Uses of the West: Security and the Politics of Order

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Uses of the West: Security and the Politics of Order

Table of contents :
Frontmatter......Page 1
Contents......Page 5
Figures......Page 7
Tables......Page 8
Notes on Contributors......Page 9
1. Introduction: Uses of the West......Page 11
Part I | Theorizing the West......Page 21
2. Foreign Policy Identity Crises and Uses of 'the West'......Page 23
3. 'The West' versus Other Western 'We's': A Discourse Analysis in Reverse......Page 47
4. Between Polarisation and Appeasement: Democracy and Its 'Other'......Page 70
5. After 'the Clash': Uses of 'the West' after the Cold War......Page 93
Part II | The West in Use......Page 119
6. Aesthetics, Power, and Insecurity: Self-Interogative Imaging and the West......Page 121
7. Everyday Exceptions: The Paradox of a Perpetual State of Emergency......Page 146
8. Re-constituting NATO: Foundational Narratives of Transatlantic Security Cooperation in the 1950s and 1990s......Page 166
9. Transatlantic Policies towards China and Russi: Self-Conceptions and Contradictions of a Universalizing West......Page 189
10. Russia Becoming Russi: A Semi-periphery in Splendid Isolation......Page 213
Part III | Transformations of the Western Institutional Order......Page 239
11. Defending 'the West'? - The Transformation of National Security in the European Union......Page 241
12. How the 'End of the Cold War' Ended......Page 264
13. Conclusion: The Ways of the West and the Road Abroad......Page 290
Index......Page 311

Citation preview

Uses of the West

The notion of ‘the West’ is commonly used in politics, in the media, and in the academic world. To date, our idea of ‘the West’ has been largely assumed and effective, but has not been examined in sufficient detail. Uses of the West combines a range of original and topical approaches to evaluate what ‘the West’ does, and how it is being used in everyday political practice. This book examines a range of ‘uses of the West’, and traces how ‘the West’ works in a broad array of conceptual and empirical contexts, ranging from the return of geopolitics – via a critical review of the debates surrounding Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis – to the question of the future of the West. Analysis extends further to the repercussions of the war on terror on Western democracy and the processes of delineating the Western from the non-Western, as well as observations on the institutional transformations of Western order. g u n t h e r h e l l m a n n is Professor of Political Science at the Department of the Social Sciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt. b e n j a m i n h e r b o r t h is an Assistant Professor of International Relations and International Organization, History and Theory of International Relations, at the University of Groningen.

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Uses of the West Security and the Politics of Order Edited by

Gunther Hellmann Goethe University, Frankfurt

and

Benjamin Herborth University of Groningen

This project was realized in association with the Frankfurt Cluster of Excellence “Normative Orders” with the support of the German Science Foundation

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University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006, USA 477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia 4843/24, 2nd Floor, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, Delhi - 110002, India 79 Anson Road, #06-04/06, Singapore 079906 Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781107168497  C Cambridge University Press 2017

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2017 A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library ISBN 978-1-107-16849-7 Hardback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

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Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Notes on Contributors 1

page vii viii ix

Introduction: Uses of the West benjamin herbor th and gunther hellmann

1

Part I: Theorizing the West 2

Foreign Policy Identity Crises and Uses of ‘the West’ stefano guzzini

3

‘The West’ versus Other Western ‘We’s’: A Discourse Analysis in Reverse o l e w æ ve r

37

Between Polarisation and Appeasement: Democracy and Its ‘Other’ h a r a l d m u¨ l l e r

60

4

5

After ‘the Clash’: Uses of ‘the West’ after the Cold War pa t r i c k t h a d d e u s ja c k s o n

13

83

Part II: The West in Use 6

7

Aesthetics, Power, and Insecurity: Self-Interrogative Imaging in the West b r e n t j. s t e e l e

111

Everyday Exceptions: The Paradox of a Perpetual State of Emergency benjamin herbor th

136

v

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vi

Contents

8

9

10

Re-constituting NATO: Foundational Narratives of Transatlantic Security Cooperation in the 1950s and 1990s gabi schlag Transatlantic Policies towards China and Russia: Self-Conceptions and Contradictions of a Universalizing West c h r i s t i a n we b e r Russia Becoming Russia: A Semi-periphery in Splendid Isolation te d h o p f

156

179

203

Part III: Transformations of the Western Institutional Order 11

Defending ‘the West’? The Transformation of National Security in the European Union gunther hellmann

231

12

How the ‘End of the Cold War’ Ended m a t t h e w e va n g e l i s t a

254

13

Conclusion: The Ways of the West and the Road Ahead lene hansen

280

Index

301

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Figures

5.1 Community values diagram 13.1 Theorizing ‘the West’

page 100 290

vii

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Tables

2.1 Foreign policy identity versus cross-national identification page 25 11.1 Three conceptions of security 241

viii

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Notes on Contributors

m a t t h e w e va n g e l i s t a is President White Professor of History and Political Science in the Department of Government at Cornell University, as well as Director of both the Einaudi Center for International Studies and its Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. s t e f a n o g u z z i n i is Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen, Professor of Government at Uppsala University, and Professor of International Relations at ´ Pontif´ıcia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). l e n e h a n s e n is Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. g u n t h e r h e l l m a n n is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Social Sciences and Principal Investigator in the Center of Excellence ‘Formation of Normative Orders’, both at Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main. b e n j a m i n h e r b o r t h is Assistant Professor, History and Theory of International Relations, University of Groningen. te d h o p f is the Provost’s Chair Professor at the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore. pa t r i c k t h a d d e u s ja c k s o n is Professor of International Relations and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Learning School of International Service at American University, Washington, DC. h a r a l d m u¨ l l e r is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Social Sciences and Principal Investigator in the Center of Excellence ‘Formation of Normative Orders’, both at Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main. He is also a Member of the Executive Board and Head of the Research Department ‘International Security and World Order’ at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). ix

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Notes on Contributors

g a b i s c h l a g is Teaching Associate and Research Fellow at Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg. b r e n t s t e e l e is Professor of Political Science and Director of Graduate Studies at the Political Science Department, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. o l e w æ ve r is a Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, founder of the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST), and Director of the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC). c h r i s t i a n we b e r is Research Associate at the Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm University, Germany.

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Introduction Uses of the West

Benjamin Herborth and Gunther Hellmann

The notion of ‘the West’ is ubiquitous in both scholarly and political discourse. Yet, it remains surprisingly undertheorized. As if we always already knew what we are talking about when invoking it, ‘the West’ seems to operate as a taken-for-granted presumption, making superfluous any further interrogation. Curiously, thus, the West is ubiquitous, undertheorized, and taken-for-granted at the same time, and it is precisely this combination of attributes that seems to render it politically effective. It is also precisely this unique combination of attributes that constitutes the study of the West as an intellectual challenge.1 In everyday political language ‘the West’ is usually understood to refer to a grouping of states and societies in Europe and North America, which share a few characteristics, are tightly connected among each other, and have amassed the overwhelming bulk of military capabilities, economic power, and cultural attraction. Defying geographical common sense, however, Australia, New Zealand, and possibly even Japan are widely considered to be ‘Western’ outliers in the Pacific. While the idea of ‘the West’ as well as the array of images, practices, and institutions associated with it did originate in Western Europe, today the imaginary dimension of ‘the West’ has taken on a life of its own. As Stuart Hall contends, ‘the idea of “the West”, once produced, became productive in its turn. It had real effects: it enabled people to know or speak of certain things in certain ways. It produced knowledge. It became both the organizing factor in a system of global power relations and the organizing concept or term in a whole way of thinking and speaking’ (Hall, 1992, p. 278). Western states and societies define themselves in terms of a shared form of socio-political organization, which sets them apart from a non-Western ‘Rest’ and warrants a special kind of relation.2 Hence, ‘transatlantic 1

2

The editors would like to thank the Research Cluster ‘The Formation of Normative Orders’ at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Johns Hopkins SAIS Bologna Center for generous support of this volume. Importantly, the geographical dislocation of the idea of ‘the West’ opens up the possibility of the entire world becoming ‘Western’.

1

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relations’ commonly refers to relations among Europe and the US, while, to the complete befuddlement of any studious reader of a world map, relations between, say, South Africa and Brazil are not usually classified as transatlantic. The terms employed to describe distinctly Western similarities characteristically entail advanced liberal democracies and market-oriented or capitalist economies, and secularized societies. References to their interconnectedness typically point to common historical experiences as well as dense networks of political, economic, and societal exchange.3 In addition, in a global perspective the ‘Western’ world is usually viewed as having assumed a dominant position for many centuries – a position which it still occupies to the present. What history books usually consider to be the world’s major wars have largely been fought in the West and among Western states. Here, the concentration of wealth was by far the highest and the political regime of popular sovereignty considered to be most advanced. The longstanding (obviously Western) distinction between ‘developed’ countries on the one hand and ‘developing’ countries on the other captured this sense of Western superiority most clearly. In the loose sense in which the remaining states were grouped in this narrative according to the other cardinal points of the compass, ‘the South’ and ‘the East’ were relegated to secondary roles at best.4 In a nutshell, there was little room for doubting who was dominating and who was being dominated. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact seemed to mark one of those historical junctures with the potential for far-reaching upheavals. In the beginning, Western triumphalists were clearly dominating the debate. Francis Fukuyama famously summarized the alleged ‘triumph of the West, of the Western idea’ in the following way: What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. This is not to say that there will no longer be events to fill the pages of Foreign Affairs’ yearly summaries of international relations, for the victory of liberalism has occurred primarily in 3

4

Initially the pun ‘From Plato to NATO’ served well primarily for European History courses, as a quick search on the internet shows. By the 1990s it also reached the cover of academically inspired books about the identity of ‘the West’; see Gress, 1998. In recent centuries ‘the East’ only played a dominant role approximating that of ‘the West’ when it was understood as the Eastern part of a bipolar ‘North’ grouped around the Soviet Union. Tellingly, ‘the North’ has essentially disappeared from the global political compass after the demise of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact – and with it ‘the South’ has vanished as a playground for the geopolitical maneuvering of Northern powers.

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Introduction: Uses of the West

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the realm of ideas or consciousness and is as yet incomplete in the real or material world. But there are powerful reasons for believing that it is the ideal that will govern the material world in the long run. (Fukuyama, 1989, p. 4)

When one moves closer to the present, the ‘emerging powers’ (most prominently China, India, and Brazil, as well as a resurgent Russia) are all (more or less) rising in ‘the East’ and ‘the South’ – and their rise is often accompanied by diagnoses of crisis at the very heart of the ‘developed’ West. Moreover, the ‘case against the West’ has been made ever more explicitly from the East with charges that it (i.e. ‘the West’ collectively) has become ‘the world’s single biggest liability’ (Mahbubani, 2008). Although neither Fukuyama nor Mahbubani were (or are) representative of a broader discourse at the respective point in time, they certainly expressed an underlying mood – if in an exaggerated way. Apparently, the concept of ‘the West’ not only entails a distinct ‘set of images’, it also provides us with a way of drawing boundaries, establishing differences, and demarcating political and social spaces. ‘The West’ gains significance only in contradistinction to ‘the Rest’ (Hall, 1992). It seems well-justified and only consequential, then, that most of the attempts to come to terms with the West focus predominantly on Western domination, repression, and silencing of non-Western voices, in short the whole array of hierarchies brought about by the West/Rest distinction. However, the ensuing story, if it merely inverts the hierarchicalization of ‘the West and the Rest’, all too easily reproduces static and fixed images of both the West and the Rest. The problem is most clearly articulated by Edward Said, in a 1994 post-scriptum to his seminal study of Orientalism: Let me begin with the one aspect of the book’s reception that I most regret and find myself trying hardest now (in 1994) to overcome. That is the book’s alleged anti-Westernism, as it has been misleadingly and rather too sonorously called by commentators both hostile and sympathetic. This notion has two parts to it, sometimes argued together, sometimes separately. The first is the claim imputed to me that the phenomenon of Orientalism is a synecdoche, or miniature symbol, of the entire West, and indeed ought to be taken to represent the West as a whole. Since this is so, the argument continues, therefore the entire West is an enemy for the Arab and Islamic or for that matter the Iranian, Chinese, Indian and many other non-European peoples who suffered Western colonialism and prejudice. The second part of the argument ascribed to me is no less far reaching. It is that a predatory West and Orientalism have violated Islam and the Arabs. (Note that the terms “Orientalism” and “West” have been collapsed into each other.) Since that is so, the very existence of Orientalism and Orientalists is seized upon as a pretext for arguing the exact opposite, namely, that Islam is perfect, that it is the only way (al-hal al-wahid ), and so on and so on. To criticize Orientalism, as I did in my book, is in effect to be a supporter of Islamism or Muslim fundamentalism. (Said, 1995, p. 330f. )

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Against such ‘caricatural permutations’, Said (1995, p. 331) insists on the explicitly anti-essentialist thrust of his work. Nevertheless, Orientalism has more often been thought of as a kind of testimonial to subaltern status – the wretched of the earth talking back – than as a multicultural critique of power using knowledge to advance itself. Thus as its author I have been seen as playing an assigned role: that of self-representing consciousness of what had formerly been suppressed and distorted in the learned texts of a discourse historically conditioned to be read not by Orientals but by other Westerners. This is an important point, and it adds to the sense of fixed identities battling across a permanent divide that my book quite specifically abjures, but which it paradoxically presupposes and depends on. (Said, 1995, p. 336)

In order to avoid re-essentializations of this kind, this volume explicitly refrains from imposing a shared understanding of the West, or a shared framework of analysis on the individual contributions.5 We do not ask what the West is but what it, the word, does, and how it is being used in everyday political practice. The ‘self/other nexus’ is not to be misunderstood as a structuralist formalism where history and politics are relegated to the secondary role of filling in preconstituted positions. On the contrary, it is only in the contested Uses of the West, where politics is at play, that the positions of ‘the West and the Rest’ are constituted.6 We thus focus deliberately on uses of the West inside the West and by Westerners (or, in the case of Ted Hopf’s chapter, potential Westerners), not in order to denigrate the importance of non-Western articulations of the West, but, very much in line with Stuart Hall and Edward Said, in order to shed light on the internal complexity and multifacetedness of references to the West inside the West. Such a focus on everyday practices of using the West inevitably yields a multitude of different uses. An inquiry into the transformation of Western order thus confronts us with more than the empirical challenge of meaningfully weaving together a coherent account of a complex macro-social process in the light of abundant and heterogeneous pieces of evidence. It also confronts us with the theoretical challenge of how to conceptualize the West in the first place. Traditionally, theories of international politics assume a starting point where conceptual problems of this kind are already rendered unproblematic. From such a perspective, grasping 5

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The chapters by Gabi Schlag, Christian Weber, and the editors are the product of a joint research project ‘Secur(itiz)ing the West’ funded by the research cluster on the Formation of Normative Orders at Goethe University Frankfurt. See esp. Iver Neumann’s Uses of the Other: The East in European Identity Formation (1999), and Alastair Bonnett’s Occidentalism: The Uses of the West (2006), which served as inspiration in choosing the title for this volume; see also Neumann, 1996; Hansen, 2006; the contributions to Hall and Jackson, 2007; Browning and Lehti, 2010; and Katzenstein, 2010.

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the intricacies of international conduct seems possible only to the extent that we start from a relatively fixed understanding of who the relevant actors are and what they are up to. Then the ordeal of cooperation under anarchy may begin. The various turns IR theory has taken in recent years have responded to this constellation by attempting to gradually unpack what is taken for granted in the image of states as unified, rational actors pursuing national interests. However, writing against the background of a discipline that still draws a hard and fast line between the domestic and the international, analyses of the contingent, historical, and contentious construction of national interests, state preferences, or identities have, for the most part, still presupposed a fixed unit of analysis – i.e. something like a specific grouping of Western states to which we can attach actor-like qualities. Reflexive analyses of contentious processes of identity formation have gained legitimacy as a distinct type of scholarship within IR precisely because they accepted, in return, a fairly conventional understanding of international order. Constructivist, post-structuralist, and broadly reflectivist scholarship has profoundly (and fruitfully) changed our understanding of what states or international and non-governmental organizations do. Only on rare occasions, however, has it tackled the question of how political spaces, i.e. spaces where political authority is exercised, come into being in the first place.7 One of the primary objectives of this volume is to theorize the West in a manner that, contrary to the interpretive routines sketched earlier, does not presuppose a fixed understanding of the West as a preconstituted political space, ready-made and waiting for social scientific inquiry. The West, we contend, is one of the elusive phenomena in international politics, which do not have ‘phone numbers’ – to recall one of Henry Kissinger’s complaints about an ineffectual European partner. ‘The West’ indeed is an elusive concept, yet its elusive nature has not seemed to hamper its historical success. On the contrary, it might be precisely the integrative catch-all nature of the idea of the West that has made it attractive in many different ways and contexts. In seeking to explore a broad range of uses of the West, the volume is organized into three sections. The first section is entitled Theorizing the West, but this is not meant to imply that the chapters collected here provided an authoritative framework for what is to follow, let alone that 7

The burgeoning literature on global governance, which has pointed to the emergence of new forms of regulation beyond the nation-state, runs into a similar problem. Starting from the observation that there is governance beyond the nation-state, it has been taken for granted that post-, trans- or supranational spaces have already emerged. Here, too, the question of how such political spaces are constituted in the first place receives little attention.

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there are no distinctly theoretical efforts in the subsequent chapters. On the contrary, the broadly reconstructive approach implicit in focusing on practical uses of ‘the West’ requires each and every chapter to engage in both conceptual and substantive research at the same time. Similarly, that the second section is entitled The West in Use is not meant to imply that these were the only chapters engaging in the reconstruction of specific uses of the West, much as the focus on Transformations of the Western Institutional Order is not exclusive to the chapters collected in the third section. Still, the relative emphasis of these respective concerns is distributed unevenly across the chapters, and this is all we mean to highlight by proposing such a categorization. Specifically, Stefano Guzzini addresses the question of how ‘the West’ operates as a ‘geographic imaginary within a context of geopolitical thought’. Theorizing ‘the West’ here boils down to tracing specific (and contested) articulations of what the West may stand for within different national discursive contexts. Ole Wæver moves beyond national spaces by asking whether ‘the West’ will be ‘a powerful category in the future’ in contrast to competing (and overlapping) ‘other We’s’. Posing the question in this fashion suggests a theoretical approach which culminates in a prediction. For Wæver a mixture of polarity analysis and foreign policy outlook of major powers forms the basis for ‘predicting future discourses’ in which ‘the West’ (at least as a category) is declining. Whereas ‘the West’ is either multiply applied in diverse national geopolitical discourses, as in Guzzini’s contribution, or seen to be in decline overall from a macro-analytical perspective, as in Wæver’s chapter, Harald Mu¨ ller theorizes the West as a universalist ideology which is deployed to justify and perpetuate the powerful global position of states ¨ located mainly in the North Atlantic space. In particular Muller castigates the normative impulses feeding liberal interventionism. He pleads for a rehabilitation of state sovereignty and non-intervention in order to reinstate basic rights of self-determination to the non-Western ‘rest’ ¨ of the globe. Patrick Jackson shares with Harald Muller an outlook on ‘the West’ which conceives it primarily in terms of a universalist (and, presumably, fairly coherent) set of ideas. Yet in examining the rise and fall of ‘Western civilization’ discourses in the context of Samuel Huntington’s book on ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, Jackson shifts the focus back to the discursive level. He shows how ‘the West’ was linked to the discourse of ‘containment’ and how it gradually vanished after the mid-1990s, especially after 9/11. Different as they are in their substantive outlook, all three chapters share a particular mode of interrogating the West. Theorizing the West is not a quest for absolute foundations, forging a master definition meant to trump all others, but rather an

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ongoing inquiry into the performative consequences of its uses in political practice. Brent Steele starts off the second section on The West in Use with an analysis of ‘self-interrogative imaging’, a set of practices that thrives on the difference between an aesthetically idealized US Self and the harrowing experience of being exposed to images thwarting such idealizations. Taking the 2004 Fallujah incident as an example, Steele shows how the idealized image of the US as the ‘standard-bearer’ of Western values was at the same time actualized and called into question. It is precisely because aesthetic self-images can never be fully stabilized, Steele concludes, that they remain open to critique and counter-power. Benjamin Herborth shares Steele’s concern for the ramifications of the post-9/11 war on terror on democratic practice. The discursive salience of a ‘terrorist threat to the West’, he argues, triggers an ongoing securitization spiral gradually submerging what is hailed as the normative core of ‘the West’ in the name of its defense. In an analysis of the notorious Torture Memos, Herborth shows how such a logic of securitization then gradually transforms into a technocratic logic of risk, which works to exempt practices of torture and extraordinary rendition from political accountability. While Steele and Herborth focus on the dangers of ‘de-Westernizing the West’ and the ensuing tension between the fragility and tenacity of democratic practice, which typically remains situated at the level of the nation-state, the chapters by Schlag and Weber interrogate dynamics of securitizing and desecuritizing the West at a higher level of aggregation. Gabi Schlag focuses on the reconstitution of NATO through the performative enactment of a securitized politics of identity, which can be tracked from the earliest stages of the alliance to the most recent efforts to redefine its operational scope. Casting itself as the primary institutional embodiment of ‘the West’ and its first line of defense, Schlag argues, NATO has displayed a creative array of practices of self-authorization, which ensured that it would remain safely in business after the end of the Cold War. Christian Weber moves beyond the internal institutional organization of the West to an even higher level of aggregation, namely that of great power rivalry. In dealing with China and Russia, the prime candidates for the role of a rivaling great power, Europe and the US are found to project a strong sense of moral superiority. The display of ‘Western universalism’, however, turns out to be paradoxical even on the inside, for the vibrant public endorsement of shared commitments to universal values, at closer scrutiny, tends to conceal a more complex and multifarious discursive landscape encompassing both securitizing and desecuritizing dynamics. A complex and multifarious ensemble of references to the

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West lies also at the center of Ted Hopf’s chapter. Where Weber focuses on Western and, in particular, transatlantic policies towards China and Russia, Hopf delves into Russia’s struggles to situate itself vis-`a-vis the West to uncover a disjuncture between an elite-centered move towards neoliberal adaptation and a ‘strategy of selective disengagement with the West and non-participation in its hegemonic order’. The tension between these alternatives, Hopf shows, plays out not only at the level of alternative common senses, but also in confrontation with Russia’s material power base, which remains distinctly semi-peripheral. All five chapters thus start from concrete empirical sites in order to interrogate how the West is being used, and more specifically how it serves in different ways to constitute, shape, and constrain horizons of political possibility. The two chapters in the final section share a perspective on material and ideational dimensions of ‘Westernness’ with a focus on transformative dynamics. Gunther Hellmann focuses on classical security issues and concentrates his analysis of the transformation of ‘the West’ on one of its prominent theatres, Europe in general and the European Union in particular. Observing a gradual shift from traditional notions of ‘national security’ to ‘transnational security’ in European security discourse, he finds striking differences in references to ‘the West’ between the EU and the US based on a comparative reading of European and US security doctrines. Instead of defending a classical ‘transatlantic West’, Europeans are gradually shifting to a redefinition of ‘Westernness’ in terms of a globally engaging ‘Europe’. Matthew Evangelista examines the transformation of the ‘end of the Cold War’. His interest in explaining ‘how the “End of the Cold War” ended’ is driven by two curiosities: (a) the rise and fall in Russia of ‘the West’ as an appealing set of ideas and as a coalition of states which might serve as a partner in a project of de-securitization, and (b) the different ways in which international relations as a discipline tried to come to grips with the ‘end of the Cold War’. Evangelista argues that two sets of causes were feeding into each other: first, a preoccupation with domestic concerns in the US and an accompanying lack of empathy for the internal struggles and perceptions of ‘Western’ alternatives within Russia, and, second Russian disillusionment with ‘Western’ solutions to domestic as well as international transformation, which in turn stimulated a search for distinctly Russian alternatives. Both chapters engage most directly with what is commonly associated with ‘the West’ in everyday political language, namely its manifestation in both formal institutions and broader configurations of global order.

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They do so, however, without ascribing the attribute ‘Western’ and its implicit normative hierarchicalizations to a particular institutional setting in advance, thus opening up the possibility of a problem-based turn in discussions of global order, which benefits from a focus on contested uses of the West in concrete institutional settings. In the concluding chapter, Lene Hansen examines ‘what “the West” does’ in the individual chapters. In a ‘strategic summary reading’ she highlights differences at the ontological, epistemological and methodological level and asks what these differences ‘tell us about “the West”’. In Hansen’s view this diversity of approaches can be reconstructed as an overarching research agenda of ‘the West’ in terms of an ‘ontology in material/discursive action’. Rather than seeing a material-ideational ‘front line’, she finds that a ‘loose analytical framework that theorizes “the West” as made up by institutions, collective “we”-concepts, and values could be said to unite the book’s contributions’. Thus, rather than defining the task of ‘theorizing’ as one which ought to reduce complexity, the chapters as a whole can be read as a plea for building up and rendering intelligible the complexity of the phenomena at hand. This, Hansen concludes, nicely fits the task of ‘de-monolithicizing “the West”’, which, normatively speaking, could be a major task for how the ‘inside’ of ‘the West’ might be tackled in future research projects. It is precisely in the service of such a ‘de-monolithicization’ that we have opted to refrain from imposing a single, overarching theoretical framework on the volume, which would then reduce the task of individual chapters to a mere application of what has been theoretically stipulated in advance. The conceptually and theoretically pluralist structure of the volume thus corresponds directly to an understanding of the West itself as multi-faceted, at times even paradoxical. Individual uses of the West may often appear to operate as moves towards political closure. A strong universalization of all things Western implies a tendency to remove alternatives from sight. In the light of the manifold and often contradictory uses of the West that we find in political discourse, however, such a closure can never be fully successful, and it is precisely due to the impossibility of such a closure that the concept of the West, contrary to the surface implications of its dominant deployments, remains a site of discursive struggle and contestation. This is not the place to go on theorizing. We do hope, however, that lines of arguments such as these may serve as an example of how ‘the West’, though interesting in and of itself, can be understood as a site through which broader debates on ordering the global can be opened up to inquiry and contestation.

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REFERENCES Bonnett, Alastair (2006) ‘Occidentalism: The Uses of the West’, paper presented at the NORFACE seminar ‘Towards a Post-Western West? The Changing Heritage of “Europeˮ and the “Westˮ’, 2–3 February 2006, Tampere, Finland, available at http://www.norface.org/files/s1-bonnett.doc, last accessed July 20, 2015. Browning, Christopher and Marko Lehti, eds. (2009) The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy (London: Routledge). Fukuyama, Francis (1989) ‘The End of History’, The National Interest 16, pp. 3–18. Gress, David (1998) From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (New York: The Free Press). Hall, Martin and Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, eds. (2007) Civilizational Identity: The Production and Reproduction of ‘Civilizations’ in International Relations (London: Palgrave-Macmillan). Hall, Stuart (1992) ‘The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power’, in Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben, eds., Formations of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press), pp. 275–320. Hansen, Lene (2006) Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London: Routledge). Katzenstein, Peter, ed. (2010) Civilizations in World Politics: Plural and Pluralist Perspectives (London: Routledge). Mahbubani, Kishore (2008) ‘The Case against the West’, Foreign Affairs 87, 3, pp. 111–124. Neumann, Iver B. (1996) ‘Self and Other in International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations 2, 2, pp. 139–174. (1999) Uses of the Other: ‘The East’ in European Identity Formation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Said, Edward (1995) Orientalism (London: Penguin Publishers).

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Part I

Theorizing the West

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Foreign Policy Identity Crises and Uses of ‘the West’ Stefano Guzzini

It is not surprising that the fading of Cold War antagonisms since the middle of the 1980s has put pressure on these countries to adopt a new, meaningful vision of external relations. The process evokes problems of identity and hesitations in establishing new foreign policy lines. (Dijkink, 1996, p. 140)

The transatlantic ‘community’, or at least its EU European wing, had been heralded as a security success story for quite some time, as an incarnation of a security community in which war was not on the agenda, indeed no longer even thinkable (Adler and Barnett, 1998). In Wendt’s (1999) terms, Europe stood for the closest we had gotten to a Kantian culture of anarchy, where relations of enmity had been replaced by amity, and where the security dilemma had been overcome. With the end of the Cold War, such a Kantian culture stood the chance of expanding over the entire continent. But precisely when it seemed least likely, when the dream of many, among them not only peace researchers, had come true, a dynamic towards a more Hobbesian culture of anarchy came to the fore, rearing the head of geopolitics, ugly perhaps, but, for its defenders, bare at last. The end of the Cold War was to be no departure from the allegedly ‘normal’ international politics. Kant was nowhere in sight, not even in Europe. The revival of geopolitics took place at both the core and the margins of the (European) ‘West’. It happened most prominently in Russia, which has seen a quite remarkable turn-around. Branded during the Cold War by the Soviet authorities as a mistaken theory, if not ideology, geopolitics today has gained prevalence in the analysis of world politics (Tyulin, 1997; Sergounin, 2000), not least through the writings of Alexander Dugin.1 From Marx to Mackinder. But also the smaller countries in the post-Soviet space, usually aspiring to be part of ‘the West’, have seen a 1

Dugin, in particular, has attracted the scorn of critics, who liken him to a neo-fascist (see, for example, in Ingram, 2001). See the interpretation of Dugin in Bassin and Aksenov (2006) and Astrov and Morozova (2012).

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revival. Although the exact status of geopolitical thought in Estonia is still disputed (for an overview, see Aalto, 2000, 2001), the reception of Huntington’s clash of civilizations has been truly remarkable (Aalto and Berg, 2002; Kuus, 2002, 2012) – and the revival did not stop on the Eastern side of the former Iron Curtain. Quite strikingly, Italy has seen a revival of ‘geopolitics’ with General (and political advisor) Carlo Jean as its figurehead, as well as the first new journal of geopolitics called Limes: Rivista Italiana di Geopolitica (the new Italian equivalent to the French H´erodote, but with the national success of Foreign Affairs/Foreign Policy) as its main outlet (Lucarelli and Menotti, 2002). Jean’s books (1995, 1997) are the most widely read books in international relations written by an Italian. Together with Limes, they have accompanied and arguably influenced the geopolitical vocabulary permeating the daily discourses of politicians and newspapers (Antonsich, 1996; Brighi and Petito, 2012). The present chapter is an outgrowth of my research on the revival of geopolitical thought (Guzzini, 2003, 2012a). It has significant implications for the debate about ‘the West’, both for the social mechanisms by which it took place and for the implications of having mobilized a geographic imaginary within a context of geopolitical thought (or not, depending on the country). The first section of the chapter claims that the unforeseeable (and uneven) revival of geopolitical thought in Europe should not be understood as ‘normal’ given the end of the Cold War and its aftermath, but is best understood as an answer to, or an easy fix for, the sense of disorientation and foreign policy identity crises which followed 1989. As such, it is closely related to processes of re-identification and to politics of representation which are central to the dwindling self-evidence of ‘Uses of the West’. At the same time, such an easy fix provided by a geopolitical imaginary is not innocent. It mobilizes the militarist gaze in realism (however, not to be confused with all realism). This, in turn, can contribute to re-securitizing international politics. As such, it addresses the hypothesis of the general project that such re-securitization can be expected to foster a vision of an exclusionary Fortress West. But the borders and identity of that ‘West’ are not given. Having moved the analysis to foreign policy identity discourses, the chapter, in a second section, deals with the way such discourses can relate to cross-national identifications in general, and ‘the West’ in particular. It posits four possible relations, according to whether or not there is overlap between national and cross-national identifications, and which of the two, the national or cross-national, has prevalence. If there is no overlap, then there is the situation where the cross-national is either ignored or opposed. When there is overlap, then the cross-national can be appropriated in a discourse where the national is prevalent in foreign policy

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identity, or, when it is not, the cross-national can become an intrinsic part of constituting the national in the identity discourse for its capacity to stabilize an otherwise imbalanced identity prone to crisis. 1

Geopolitics as an Answer to Foreign Policy Identity Crises

The revival of geopolitical thought is best understood in the context of foreign policy identity crises, a kind of ‘ontological insecurity’ (Agnew, 2003, p. 115)2 that foreign policy elites encountered in Europe after 1989. Relying on Jutta Weldes’ (1996, 1999) concept of a security imaginary, my claim is that if discursive understandings of the meaning of 1989 are such as to put into question the preexisting identity in foreign policy discourse with no evident solution, then we have the necessary context for the development of a geopolitical revival. The thesis then is this: the resurgence of geopolitical thought in Europe after 1989 came at the crossroads of possible foreign policy identity crises – i.e. the anxiety over a new, a newly questioned or acquired self-understanding or role in world affairs – and the spatial logic of geopolitical thought, which is well disposed to provide some quick and allegedly ‘natural’ fixtures to this anxiety. 1989 Meets Security Imaginaries . . .3 Central to this approach is an intersubjective unit of analysis that catches the interpretive predispositions of the foreign policy expert system. Jutta Weldes has introduced such a unit in her study of the Cuban Missile Crisis. She calls it a ‘security imaginary’, which is defined as a ‘structure of well-established meanings and social relations out of which representations about the world of international relations are created’ (Weldes, 1999, p. 10). In the process of representation and interpretation of world affairs, actors mobilize this reservoir of raw meanings embedded in the collective memory of the expert field, including historical scripts and analogies (what she calls ‘articulation’), and the embedded subjectposition of a country in the international system (‘interpellation’). The use of such a concept, however, does not imply that such an imaginary is homogeneous over time and space, meaning that it does not convey only one way of heeding the lessons of the past or just one 2

3

For different developments of the concept of ontological security, see: Kinnvall, 2004; Mitzen, 2006; and Steele, 2005, 2007. For a similar approach in terms of identity crisis, see Lupovici, 2012. This section is excerpted from Guzzini (2012b).

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particular self-understanding or role recognition of a country in the world. Rather, there are shared features in the way that debates about the past are conducted or in the potential roles of a country in the world that can be conceived of. In the US, the allusion is often made to the divide between interventionists and isolationists who refer to the same historical event with different implication, or indeed value certain events differently than others. But they share a definition of the boundaries, and hence the legitimate contenders, of the debate. Similarly, among the interventionists, there is the debate about foreign policy containment versus engagement – which again pits the two camps against each other. They rely on different lessons of the past: the argument for containment (against an inevitable expansion) being derived from the lessons of World War II, and engagement (avoiding an escalation nobody wanted) from the lessons of World War I. Pitting these two against each other justifies, whether openly or not, that it is those lessons that are authorized to structure the debate.4 Hence, a security imaginary is not ‘shared’ in the sense that it produces just one opinion or that actors are induced to interpret the different scripts the same way. What characterizes a security imaginary is not a readymade ideational toolkit, making debate unnecessary; on the contrary, the existence of such a tradition is what allows political debate to happen in the first place, since it stakes the boundaries of it, defines its terms, and ensures people refer to the same language when they dispute each other’s points. Foreign policy experts will disagree on issues, but within the terms already agreed upon by their sharing a foreign policy field and its imaginary.5 ‘Munich’, for instance, has become a potent symbol for almost all foreign policy experts in the West – the presence of this analogy shapes the political debate – but they will disagree on whether or not the analogy applies. Such analogies work as quasi-logical scripts and are mobilized in and through foreign policy debate. How can we then understand a ‘foreign policy identity crisis’ or a state of ‘ontological anxiety’ in such a framework? In order for such a crisis and or such anxiety to occur, there must be a mis-fit between the significance of a certain event and the subject positions or roles which are embedded in a foreign policy imaginary. This means something more than that the event ‘contradicts’ this identity. For it is perfectly possible for security imaginaries to provide material for interpreting particular events in ways that would fit their predispositions. Whereas conservative scholars on US 4 5

For one of the most elaborate expositions of these two positions, see the spiral model and the deterrence model elaborated in Jervis (1976). This has obvious similarities to a Bourdieu-inspired understanding of doxa in his ‘field’ analysis. For an analysis in IR along these lines, see Ashley (1987, 1988, 1989).

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foreign policy would see in Reagan’s arms race one of the main conditions for the shift in Soviet foreign policy under Gorbachev, German peace researchers and d´etente politicians would see the long-term effects of Ostpolitik as the decisive aspect. Since facts are often underdetermined by theory, many interpretations are feasible and no dissonance prompted merely by the event itself need appear. Hence, for a crisis to occur, interpretations given to the event must be such as to make role conceptions no longer self-evident – in other words, those conceptions need to justify themselves. An identity should come naturally; the moment it needs to consciously justify its assumptions, we can say that a crisis has occurred. Such a definition is weaker than one that would add that such justification should turn out to be impossible. The research puzzle starts with a demand for identity fixing, not with the impossibility of a solution to the identity crisis. Such a crisis can be prompted in several ways: 1. The embedded self-conception or international role of a country’s security imaginary is closely connected to the Cold War scenario. Although such a circumstance does not entail that the self-conception will be profoundly affected by the end of the Cold War, in most cases the foreign policy identity narrative cannot simply go on as though nothing has happened. Only if it appears self-evident that no substantial change occurred (a new Cold War scenario) will no crisis ensue. However, the degree to which the events of 1989–1991 were received as a major change was sufficient that, at least in the 1990s, one could expect many countries to engage in debates about their place in the world, regardless of how that debate ended. On the level of self-conceptions, this is a scenario that is applicable to neutral states, such as Austria, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden: what does neutrality mean when the previously opposing camps are no longer there?6 But it could also be applicable to other states, such as Italy or Turkey, who defined their ‘importance’ much in terms of the strategic role they could play for the Western Alliance, as well as to France or Germany, who defined their diplomatic role much in relation to the existence of two security blocs in Europe. And it applies to Russia to the extent that it sees itself as a continuation of the Soviet superpower that no longer is. 2. Debate over a country’s foreign policy identity was suppressed during the Cold War, but this is no longer the case. This would apply to all countries of the former Warsaw Pact, possibly also including Russia (if 6

See, for example, Joenniemi (1988; 1993) and Kruzel and Haltzel (1989). For an analysis that historically shows how questions of neutrality can become a central part of the selfrepresentation of a country, see Malmborg (2001).

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Russia is seen as suppressed by the Soviet Union, a line of thought which was of some prominence in the 1990s) and potentially also Italy. 3. A country did not exist in its present shape during the Cold War. This is a relatively heterogeneous category, since it covers countries that basically did not exist during the Cold War decades, such as countries from the former USSR or former Yugoslavia, as well as countries that changed their shape after 1989, such as the Federal Republic of Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Whereas, in the first case, existing foreign policy imaginaries and identity discourses run into anomalies, in the last two cases (with the exception of Germany), new elites had to look more actively to establish such a tradition in the first place. But, in all these cases, it could be expected that discussions about who ‘we’ are now in world (or European) affairs would surface, often strongly influenced by concerns of societal identity. Geopolitical thought is particularly well suited to respond to such an ontological anxiety, since it provides allegedly objective and material criteria for circumscribing the boundaries (and the internal logic) of ‘national interest’ formulations. Invoking national interest almost inevitably mobilizes justifications in terms wider than the interest of the ruler or the government. Such wider justification can be given by ideologies, as in the case of anti-communism and anti-capitalism during the Cold War, or with reference to the ‘nation’, for instance. But when yesterday’s certitudes have gone missing, national interests have to be anchored anew. In this context, geopolitics in its classical understanding provides ‘coordinates’ for thinking a country’s role in world affairs. Deprived of traditional reference points and with a challenged self-understanding or outside view of its role, spatial logic can quickly fill this ideational void and fix the place of the state and its national interests within the international system or society. And geopolitics is particularly well suited to such a role, since it relies upon environmental determinism from both physical geography (mobilized often through strategic thinking) and human/cultural geography typical for discourses essentializing a nation.7 7

Yet, although geopolitical thought fulfills that function very fittingly, there is no necessity for national security discourses or foreign policy elites to resort to it. Assuming otherwise would be committing a functional fallacy. Whether geopolitical thought is mobilized to fulfill that function is dependent on a series of process factors: the ‘common sense’ embedded in the national interest discourse which predisposes for it, the institutional structure in which foreign policy thought is developed, and the mobilization of agents in the national political game. For a development of ontological dissonance reduction as a social mechanism, see Guzzini (2012c).

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. . . Mobilizing Geopolitical Determinism . . . 8 Although 1989 signified the end of Cold War security dynamics in Europe, it also provided fertile ground for the development of identity crises, which, in searching for an answer, would find the geopolitical discourse useful in its simplicity and material character. Yet, granted that there has been such a revival in the 1990s, the link to securitization dynamics is not self-evident. Indeed, most defenders of geopolitics today characterize it as profoundly different from earlier geopolitics. According to them, it refers to ideas which are far less predisposed to offset or accompany securitization dynamics. The argument about the different character of present-day ‘geopolitics’ comes in two main forms. For the first, references to Mackinder and Mahan would be still acceptable, but not to Haushofer. In other words, it argues that geopolitics can be coherently thought without reference to German Geopolitik. A second argument in defense of an important difference states that it is generally not ‘environmentally determinist.’ None of these paths is, however, persuasive. With regard to the difference to German Geopolitik, it can be shown that, although Geopolitik is not to be conflated with Nazism (although it had been adopted by the National Socialists), the German tradition relies on the same core assumptions as the wider classical geopolitical tradition. Claiming that Geopolitik is special for its reference to organicistic explanations is not entirely wrong, but misses the point. What defines the geopolitical tradition is a reliance on the then common versions of Social Darwinism, common well beyond the German tradition. Doing away with the German tradition does not touch the common roots. Without question, organic metaphors play a great role in German romanticism, but they are hardly unknown elsewhere. Indeed, the use of such metaphors is prominent in the work of Herbert Spencer – the inventor of the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ – who had a strong influence on American thinkers in the late nineteenth century (Hofstadter, 1944)9 . Similarly, they abound in early French sociology, from Auguste Comte ´ to Emile Durkheim (Hawkins, 1997, pp. 12–13, 52–53), from whom Ratzel is said to have picked them up. At most, then, the claim might mean that German defenders of geopolitics used the organic metaphor more prominently than their counterparts in the UK (Mackinder) or the US (Mahan). But it still remains to be seen whether with that single characteristic such a lineage would necessarily end up with qualitatively 8 9

The following is excerpted from Guzzini (2012d). See also p. 34, where he cites the sales figures of Spencer’s volumes between 1860 and 1903 in the US, a staggering 368,755 copies!

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different geopolitical theories, that is to say, picking up on a unique feature is not showing that it is significant enough to set the German path apart, except, perhaps, if it were not used as a metaphor, but as an essential explanatory concept. This was not the case here. Indeed, there is need for caution when interpreting what the German tradition’s references to the state as an organism actually meant and implied. The metaphor was famously used in the opening pages of von Rochau’s treatise on Realpolitik. However, the theme of the relevant passage in that work quickly shifts to an alleged law of the strongest in political life, similar to the law of gravity in the physical world (Rochau, 1972 [1853/69], p. 25), something at best akin to the idea of the reason of state (Haslam, 2002, p. 184). Furthermore, Ratzel himself, the alleged father of geopolitical thought in that organicistic tradition, was very cautious about the use of this analogy. Although one of his short essays is repeatedly quoted for showing its central role in the German tradition (Ratzel, 1896), his early book Anthropo-Geography hardly mentions it, and his subsequent major work Political Geography contains a clear disclaimer regarding the use of a biological analogy (Ratzel, 1903, pp. 12–13). Accordingly, it seems fair to say that Ratzel’s position is ambivalent. On the one hand, his former training in zoology does not lead him to use an organicistic (biological) metaphor that was widely available in those times, but instead enables him to see the limits of such a metaphor more clearly (Hunter, 1986, p. 278).10 At the same time, Ratzel allows the metaphorical force of the biological analogy to suggest explanations. It provides the necessary ‘scientific’ grounding for his approach to geography and the political justification for the expansionism and colonialism that he actively supported (Bassin, 1987, pp. 488 and 485). Yet, as shown in detail elsewhere (Guzzini, 2012d, pp. 24–26), Social Darwinism can be reached via paths other than organicistic metaphors. And since Malthusian, Darwinian, or Spencerian ideas were very common thought in (liberal-) conservative circles at the time (but also in some reformist circles, as Hawkins, 1997, shows), it is no surprise to find the argument elsewhere with allegedly acceptable representatives of geopolitics. Much of the first inspiration of geopolitics around the end of the nineteenth century was captured by Mackinder’s celebrated address. Here, I am referring less to his famous discussion of the Heartland or his map, suggestive for generations to come, but rather to his grandiose opening in which he refers to the historic change from a Columbian 10

His actual training in zoology may also explain the fact that he insisted on the insignificance of racial differences (‘deceptive garments misleading the superficial observer’). According to him, humankind is fundamentally unitary in its anthropology – and in its destiny, with the increasing fusion of peoples into a common mankind, a fusion he did not condemn (Ratzel, 1882, pp. 469 and 177).

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epoch, where the expansion of Europe (sic) met next to no resistance, to a ‘post-Columbian age.’ in which the world has become a ‘closed political system’ of worldwide scope: ‘Every explosion of social forces, instead of being dissipated in a surrounding circuit of unknown space and barbaric chaos, will be sharply re-echoed from the far side of the globe, and weak elements in the political and economic organism of the world will be shattered in consequence’ (Mackinder, 1904, p. 422). Consequently, all it needs is a sense of national mission and conservative understanding of Malthusianism, which teaches that population pressure necessarily leads to scarcity of resources. Since productivity is stable in Malthus, this logically implies the need to expand territory to overcome scarcity. As there are no blank territories left (even for the imperialist mind), such expansion will clash (as it did in Fashoda), producing a struggle for subsistence as the default setting of international politics. Defenders also use a second type of argument, insisting that presentday geopolitics does not have much to do with any of the classical geopolitical traditions, German or otherwise. In present-day geopolitical thought, there is no assumption concerning any kind of environmental determinism (see, for instance, the work by Cohen, 1963, 1991, 2003). Indeed, the present discussion has moved beyond attempts to determine politics through geography. I have dealt with such arguments in more detail elsewhere (Guzzini, 2012d, pp. 36–41). Suffice it to say that this claim relies on a faulty definition of what such determinism implies. Surely any definition of determinism which implies that a theory is monocausal and makes clear predictions of behavior can easily be flawed. Rather, all that is needed for the critique of ‘environmental determinacy’ is to show that the analysis gives explanatory primacy to environmental (natural material/geopolitical) factors. If there is any significance left to the label ‘geopolitics’, then this is needed. Otherwise, present-day geopolitics is trapped in a dilemma, somewhat similar to the identity dilemma of realism (Guzzini, 2004b). If it accepts environmental determinism, it needs to justify it, which has been eluded so far. If it pretends not to be environmentally determinist, but allows for a multiplicity of equal explanatory factors, or inflates the definition of geography sufficiently to include everything from historical lessons to state forms, then it is redundant, since it loses both a specific explanatory added value as compared to already existing approaches and, indeed, its geographic identity: Why else call it geopolitics?11 Because of its coherency and specificity, determinism, understood as explanatory 11

For a related critique, as applied to Geoffrey Parker’s wide definition of geopolitical thought which ends up being unable to discriminate consistently what is part of it (also including world system analysis, for instance), see Østerud (1988, p. 192).

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primacy, is part and parcel of the tradition and of present-day geopolitics, even when it slips through the back-door. The use of ‘geopolitics’ refers to that materialist and structuralist ‘necessity’ which agents can ignore only at their peril. Indeed, this determinacy is fundamental for its appeal. In Carlo Jean’s own words: For this lack of neutrality, no geopolitician can, even if unconsciously, evade the temptation of scientism and determinism, whatever his/her theoretical criticisms addressed to these are. This is a constant temptation for all those who, in their quest for making their political or strategic choices acceptable, elaborate geopolitical theories, hypotheses or scenarios and who look for the consent of the ‘Prince’ or of public opinion . . . Those who brandish a political programmed and cannot enrol ‘God’ or the ‘Idea’ under their banner will try to enlist nature or history (on top of justice, humanity, religion, etc.) in order to convince others of their proposals. (Jean, 1995, p. 20, my translation)

Geopolitical determinacy is fundamental not only for its appeal, but also for its effect. Through this latent sense of certitude, geopolitical thought can work in providing a footing to a foreign policy that looks for new self-definition. . . . and a Militarist Gaze on Foreign Policy Geopolitical determinacy based on an unavoidable power expansion as the default option is fundamental. But a default option would still leave some room for maneuver, if this default were perhaps not realized in the case at hand. Here, a geopolitical framing adds further determinacy in moving the analysis from the level of observation to the level of action and in assuming that we simply cannot afford to ignore the possible worst case. This is an understandable, if often counterproductive, practical move, but it has quite pernicious implications, both theoretical and practical. It basically claims that whether or not there really is some ‘necessary’ tendency to power expansion can be considered secondary; we simply assume it, because, to quote former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, there are ‘also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.’12 On the theoretical level, this ultra-prudential (or ultra-paranoid) statement does not resolve anything: we still do not know whether or not the behavior of states is characterized by a tendency to expand their power, and hence to collide. And, on the practical level, if 12

Donald Rumsfeld at a press conference at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, June 6, 2002, available at: http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx? transcriptid=3490. Although this quote has been heavily ridiculed, it is meaningful in terms of worst-case thinking pushed to the extreme, where risk has turned into true uncertainty.

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every state behaves on the general assumption that such a tendency exists, the risk of a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy looms large in the picture. This move that seeks to rely on worst-case thinking is crucial for pointing to a special connection between geopolitics and the more military or strategic wing of realism. For worst-case thinking encourages thinking politics from war. It immediately drags foreign policy into the realm of military planning and quickly tends to reverse Clausewitz’s dictum – in other words, it comes to think of politics as a prolongation of war by other means, rather than vice versa, with often deleterious effects for foreign policy in general.13 With potential war planning as a backdrop, geographic factors, which would at best be generic factors of the analysis, acquire a particular salience. It is almost self-evident that military movement and defense are conditioned, often strongly so, by geography, and that the domination of space (and the time needed to cover it) is a crucial strategic factor. Accordingly, through the backdoor of military worst-case scenarios, in an equivalent to the ‘primacy of foreign policy,’ here reduced to the primacy of potential war (as compared to domestic politics and diplomacy), geographic or generally more materialist factors gain priority in the analysis. It is in this symbiosis of expansionism and worst-case thinking that geopolitics becomes or represents realism’s militarist gaze. Any usage of ‘geopolitics’ will almost immediately mobilize this particular bias of strategic thinking. The bias is particularly well mobilized in times of higher alert or international tensions. In turn, its use, whether intended or not, feeds into an escalation that moves military factors – and everything that can feed into them – to the top of the agenda. Geopolitical discourse is hence ‘securitizing’ in the words of the Copenhagen School of Security Studies (Wæver, 1995; Buzan, Wæver et al., 1998).14 And what a powerful tool it is. For it is not just abstract argument; it comes with the persuasiveness of the visual, the power of maps, where the world is laid out before one’s eyes. Even Carlo Jean, defender of a geopolitical approach but wary about the alleged determinacy of geopolitical argument, notes that ‘the temptation of determinism in geopolitics . . . feeds off the enormous propagandistic value of the geographic map. It presents itself as an objective evaluation of that which is only subjective’ (Jean, 1995, p. 19, my translation). 13 14

This is Raymond Aron’s central line of criticism of US foreign policy during the Cold War, many times repeated in Aron (1976). Of course, peace research has been aware of the perverse effects of worst-case thinking for a long time now and has been applying a reflexive turn to it: in several cases, worstcase thinking itself produces the very worst case to be avoided. For an overview, see Guzzini (2004a).

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The military bias of geopolitics, putting national security thinking first, also enables the mobilization of the implicit nationalist biases of the geopolitical tradition to ‘rally round the flag.’ This is visible in discussions about the need for primacy in international affairs. Such a need for primacy is obviously justifiable if power expansionism can be taken for granted, although nobody derives it theoretically any longer.15 Hence, openly using geopolitical arguments is not innocent. Whether consciously or not, it is meant to mobilize a vision of the world not just in terms of realism, but, more specifically, with the realists’ militaristic gaze. This provides a fertile ground for the remilitarization of foreign policy thinking in Europe and the West at large. 2

Foreign Policy Identity Discourses and ‘Uses of the West’

The important issue in this chapter is the social mechanism through which that geopolitical revival has been achieved. To understand the ‘Uses of the West,’ it matters that it is driven by identity discourses, their crises, and their fixing – from the inside interpretation out – and not in terms of given systemic necessities. The analysis of ‘the West’ in the post–Cold War era is not just about the effects of the end of bipolarity or ideological competition or whatever else may have defined the Cold War. It is about the representational level on which the meaning and contours of the West are negotiated within individual security imaginaries. This second section does not primarily deal with all the different visions of the West which appeared on the European side of the transatlantic community. Rather, it briefly develops some heuristic paths on the ways the relationship between foreign policy identity discourses and the ‘uses of the West’ can be conceptualized. Geopolitical discourses, in the narrower sense as used in this chapter, are intrinsically connected to foreign policy identity and, as a simple corollary or intended implication, to the conception of the ‘national interest.’ Yet, ‘the West’ always refers to more than just a national reference. This opens up a series of possible connections between the two phenomena, depending on how such identity discourses incorporate or relate to such supra- or cross-national representations in general, and ‘the West’ in particular. One can hypothesize four possible relations, according to (1) whether or not there is overlap between those self-representations and cross-national ones, and (2) if there is, which of the two is given prevalence. If there is no overlap, then the cross-national is basically ignored or opposed. When there is overlap, 15

For the mobilization of national primacy arguments, see Huntington (1993b); for a critique, see Jervis (1993).

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Table 2.1 Foreign policy identity versus cross-national identification No cross-national identification

Cross-national identification

Ignoring cross-national identity Opposing cross-national identity

Co-optation into national foreign policy discourse Cross-national is a prevalent and intrinsic part of constituting the national in the foreign policy identity discourse

then the cross-national can be appropriated and co-opted in a discourse where the national in the foreign policy identity is prevalent; or, when it is not, the cross-national can become an intrinsic part in constituting the national in the identity discourse for its capacity to stabilize an otherwise imbalanced identity prone to crisis. I will take up these types in turn. A foreign policy identity can be defined independently of a crossor supranational representation either by fundamentally ignoring it or by openly opposing it. Indeed, in that latter case, this very cross-national representation can be seen as one of the major threats to what the country is and should stand for. There are some foreign policy identity discourses which include accepted positions (majority or minority) that are intrinsically skeptical about a cross-national, let alone supranational identification. Examples would include the US, where, for instance, the UN, a US brainchild, is in constant and dire need of justification (just imagine what would have happened to the UN if it had ever been responsible for burning as much money as the banking system did recently). Legendary in this respect were positions taken by Jesse Helms, the former chairman and long-time member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, or, in the George W. Bush administration, by the recess-appointed Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who was also important to the US decision to pull out of the ICC. Such insistence on a ‘nationalist’ definition of national interest can be inspired by the isolationist tradition in US foreign policy, but increasingly more so by its unilateralist wing. Such a nationalist vision which defines foreign policy identity explicitly against any cross-national identification can obviously be found elsewhere, too, and also with smaller actors. In Europe, this is most visible in the more nationalist versions of the anti-EU identity discourse, distinguishable from the more anti-neoliberal or anti-bureaucratic or civil society-oriented ‘Basis-Demokratie’ anti-EU discourse, although they can ingeniously be mixed. In this EU opposition, the threat is either direct in terms of taking ‘power’ and sovereignty away from the state, or indirect and more civilizational, when the EU is considered the Trojan

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Horse for the multiculturalization (as in: cultural decadence) of Europe and, in particular, the respective country. Right-wing populist parties (for a reference discussion of the topic, see Mudde, 2007), some of which had started on a relatively pro-European ticket, such as Lega Nord in Italy, have turned into open and sometimes virulent EU critics. As the examples of the Lega Nord (Diamanti, 1995; Biorcio, 1997) and of Vlaams Belang (Mudde, 2007) show, the ‘nationalist’ reference can also be subnational regionalist when it stands for an allegedly most advanced part of the nation. Although not the main force in their countries, many of those parties have recently been coalition partners (e.g. Lega Nord) or supporting minority governments of the right (e.g. Dansk Folkeparti), or else they are prominent in the public debate, so that their views may be in the minority, but by now accepted minority views in the identity discourse of their country (Front National). As such, their influence is wider than their direct effect. A formerly staunch European core state such as the Netherlands has seen EU support diminishing steadily. The implications of such an antagonistic stance against a cross-national identity for ‘the West’ are, however, not so straightforward. They change from case to case, and in fact also within the case. In the US, they can range from a purely cynical understanding to an all-appropriating one (on the latter mixed case, see later discussion). In a cynical view, ‘the West’ does not exist, only one’s own country; but if it is beneficial for its foreign policy, it can be exploited as an emotional or ideological resource. In the case of the populist right’s influence on foreign policy discourses in Europe, its vision of the West is more complex and can apply to two levels. On the national level, it strives for a hardline anti-immigration policy and for stricter enforcement of the assimilation of immigrant citizens (indeed sometimes denying or stratifying such rights of citizenry); on the all-European level, rather than simply retreating into a ‘Fortress Padania,’ it presents its own identity as the (last) defender of the true West (the pure white Christian Europe) against the other West (multicultural Europe) (see the different country studies in Schori Liang, 2007). The discussion on the possible EU admission of Turkey has mobilized geopolitical arguments on the side of the EU and, within the populist right, a clear exclusion made in the name of defending Europe, almost against itself (Diez, 2004; Rumelili, 2004, 2007). The ambiguity of such a ‘defense of the West against the West’ is not too different from the (in)famous stances taken by Huntington since the early 1990s. It has not escaped the critical reader of his ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ (Huntington, 1993a) that the target was as much the civilizational ‘other’ out there as the non-WASP ‘other’ within. As Ajami (1993, p. 3, fn. 1) writes, the ‘West itself is unexamined in Huntington’s

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essay. No fissures run through it. No multiculturalists are heard from. It is orderly within ramparts . . . He has assumed that his call to unity will be answered, for outside flutter the banners of the Saracens and the Confucians.’ However, Huntington leaves many clues. Jeane F. Kirkpatrick (1993) notes the role of civilizational encounters and clashes through immigration (sic) in Western societies in Huntington’s argument, hence having a parallel focus of the external and the internal. She also wonders why Latin America would be a civilization on its own, different from the West. Edward Said (2001), writing after 9/11, chides Huntington for reifying ‘civilizations’ as ‘shut-down, sealed-off entities that have been purged of the myriad currents and countercurrents that animate human history.’ It was only normal that, for Huntington, the final defense of the West was to come from within, against the ‘Hispanic Challenge’ (Huntington, 2004) undermining the Anglo-Saxon definition of what the US, that is, the ‘real’ West, is all about. No wonder Huntington is so popular in some nationalist quarters in Europe. As a result, foreign policy identity discourses that are constructed in opposition to a cross-national or supranational representation of identity do not necessarily end up rejecting the latter, but, as the discussion of ‘the West’ has shown, can also be used to define it both as a threat and as part of the identity: ‘the West’ is both an external menace and a home. It is as if universal values are most truly realized ‘at home,’ and therefore allow a particularist appropriation of them. Indeed, it is in the name of that redefined homely ‘West’ that the cross-national ‘West’, fallen or diluted, can be opposed. Foreign Policy Identity Co-opting Cross-National Identifications A second relationship between foreign policy identity discourses and cross-national identifications consists in the attempt to appropriate it for the national discourse. This is usually shown in the prefix ‘pan-’ when applied to nationalist or ethnic ideologies, but it works just as well with any other incorporation of a cross-national identity. Again, a few examples will suffice. In the more expansionist version of US foreign policy identity, ‘the West’ does exist, but only to the extent that it can be conflated with the US (see also Huntington above). This can be done in an almost imperialist manner, but it can also be of defensive origin, as when James Rubin, former assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief Spokesman for the State Department under Clinton, was interviewed on 9/11 in the London BBC studios and declared, struggling for words that would convey the importance of the event, that the attack on the

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Twin Towers was an attack on ‘Western civilization’ (some liberals were probably cringing at the thought that money was the core of Western civilization). The taken-for-granted assumption here is that the Western home is not just one’s region or state, but self-evidently incorporates a larger stretch of states. Such a national appropriation of ‘the West’ can easily lead to tensions when that ‘West’ does not speak with one voice, as in the run-up to the last Iraq war. Then Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s division between New and Old Europe was not only a strategy of ‘divide and rule’; it fostered exclusion in terms of Western and ‘un-Western’ activities as a prolongation of American and un-American ones. Here, in other words, the membership of the West is not culturally or geographically given, but something to be merited within a community (and here: by its leader) and controlled by it. That Rumsfeld’s target was Europe is not fortuitous, since the EU, in its most self-righteous moments, was and is a mirror of such an appropriating identity discourse. The foreign policy identity of the EU cannot, almost by definition, be one which excludes a cross-national identification, such as ‘the West.’ EU documents spend their time jealously defining the relationship between the EU and the West in such a way as to have the latter appear as the outgrowth of the former – in what appears to others as a kind of human rights and welfare state chauvinism. Consequently, the transatlantic divide can be understood as a struggle between foreign policy identity discourses which tend to conflate themselves with the West (understood as the beacon of civilization). Both aspire to – or simply take for granted that they do – represent the moral and civilizational high ground, as well as being the West’s true representative. Were the issue not so fundamental for the countries’ selfidentification and so crucial in its political implications, one could almost find it awkwardly amusing to watch the transatlantic partners in this beauty contest of ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most Western of us all?’ – a merely nominal contest though it is, since each side already has an obvious winner. The struggle is over the power to define what the West is. A further twist obviously applies when such an incorporating view is cast from the margins of or outside ‘the West.’ Indeed, such a pannational discourse can then display a similarly ambivalent pattern. In Tsarist Russia, for instance, national foreign policy discourses oscillated between Russia’s attempt to become a full member of the Western vision of ‘civilization’ and, alternatively, redefining itself as the beacon of civilization against a fallen West, materialist and decadent, as in its attempts to reclaim its place as a ‘Third Rome’ (Neumann, 1995). The interesting

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twist is that the central component of what ‘the West’ stands for, at least in ‘Western eyes,’ namely being at the height of civilizational development, is dissociated from the West itself. Here, again, although in a different manner, ‘the West’ is saved from itself, since the common heritage leading to Rome (and true Christendom) does not define Russia outside of the West, but redefines the latter as one path to civilization among others in such a way as to make Russia a natural core of it. Contemporary Russia may or may not be taking up this road once again. Finally, a position which positively incorporates a cross-national identification can also stand outside of ‘the West.’ This may then be in clear opposition to it, although not necessarily so. Not being committed to a definitional struggle over the meaning of the West, it would need to define itself either in favor of or against it to a lesser extent. Cross-National Identification Stabilizing National Identity Besides ignoring/opposing or co-opting moves, a final relationship between national foreign policy identity discourses and cross-national identifications, such as ‘the West,’ can be akin to the incorporating relationship, but reversing its sense: a country’s discourse does not see the cross-national identification as an outgrowth of itself, but itself as an outgrowth of that cross-national identification. This can, again, work, in a more active or defensive manner. In the active manner, and applied to ‘the ‘West,’ a country’s selfunderstanding would see itself as the stalwart or also as a model of ‘the West,’ which it tries to personify in what it perceives as its most appropriate behavior. Naturally, this is a way to bolster its self-image, similar to the satisfaction derived by more imperialist versions of a country conflating itself with the West. And yet, this position is different in that it is more ‘principled’: if behavior can be shown not to fulfill the purity of principles, it weighs on the foreign policy identity discourse as an anomaly to be addressed. In contrast, the more imperialist version would see the problem rather in the principles not being as pure as the country itself. Such a vision of themselves in the West could apply to smaller countries, in particular Canada and some Nordic countries. This shows in their prominent foreign policy profiling in debates about ‘Human Security,’ the environment, the role of multilateralism, the possible creation of and commitment to security communities, the importance of disarmament and foreign aid, and the active involvement in third-party mediation (Canada, Finland, Norway), but also in their internal visions of being the most advanced and equitable welfare state organization of the respective continent. But it also fits a certain self-representation of the EU, in

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particular if it wants to see the claim of being a ‘normative power’ upheld. Similarly, the US can be seen in this way. Here, Rumsfeld’s attack on Old Europe can also stand for an internal debate between an Old and New America, where Europe, or rather certain principles and politics applied more in Europe (and Canada), such as national public healthcare, would have a certain pull on, or stand for (liberal) positions within, US politics (see also Garton Ash, 2003). Besides this more active take, there is also a more defensive one, in which the relationship between foreign policy identity discourse and cross-national identification is still from ‘within the West,’ but in dire need of confirmation of that matter. Whereas the active version mentioned before would help a country profile itself as the prodigious child of the family, this defensive version looks for confirmation of not having been forgotten as a member of the family in the first place. In fact, the cross-national identification serves here as a reminder of and stabilizing factor in a foreign policy identity discourse that has inherent difficulty finding a balanced self, an accepted role. Such imbalances can be of different origins. For instance, it can be a historical development that may situate the foreign policy identity farther away from ‘the West’ or at least its perceived core. In Australia, references to the Queen and to Western security alliances have such confirming and surely also strong symbolic significance for Australia anchoring itself with the (changed) perceived core of ‘the West’ while being increasingly aware (and often afraid) of being situated so close to Asia, if not being effectively an English-speaking part of it. Here, references to ‘the West’ are not necessarily in terms of principles or policies, but in terms of common kinship and history (in this it resembles some of Russia’s discourse). In Central and Eastern Europe, Huntington’s map of civilizations was so important because it ‘objectively’ collocated certain parts of Europe with ‘the West’ and not others – and the map was hated for that very same reason if countries, or parts of them, as in Romania, found themselves on the wrong side of the now-civilizational wall. The attempt to find a clear anchoring shows also in the symbolic weight put on ‘Central’ Europe as opposed to ‘the East’, but not ‘the West’, and appeals to a common heritage in terms of statehood (e.g. the Austro-Hungarian Empire: part of the Balkans or Western Ukraine) or religion (e.g. Western Christianity: Hungary, Poland, the Baltic States) or language (e.g. Latin: Romania), whatever suits best. Here also, common heritage and kinship, but more cultural than national, is of primary importance. But at the same time, there can also be a certain tension in this solution that would make the national foreign policy identity fundamentally

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dependent on the cross-national identification. That tension can arise when one of the two sides is moving. For instance, at a moment when Europe is moving increasingly into a ‘normative power’ gear, where EU membership is closely connected to certain human rights practices (at least in principle), Turkey finds itself continuously following a moving goal post for being accepted in the midst of Europe. As the Turkish military’s increasing resistance to the EU shows, it may be having second thoughts about whether it is such a good idea to look for this external stabilizer in the first place (e.g. Bilgin, 2012). Indeed, Turkey is a most interesting case. For some, the appeal to a ‘common’ Europe has been so crucial that it is made almost as if Europe can be divided from a wider trans-Atlantic West.16 For all its history of European wars and exclusion from ‘Europe’, the strictly European reference comes more naturally. Inversely, a part of the country, and surely the military past and present (if less) find it easier to construct a common heritage with the more encompassing if less demanding ‘West’. This is a pattern that some other CEE countries might see repeated if the accession to (Serbia) or acceptance within the EU (Romania, Bulgaria) seems endlessly postponed. Not to be excluded from the West, despite being shunned by the EU, identity discourses may end up mobilizing and creating representations of ‘the West’ and its very definition that could become more encompassing and/or geographically more diverse. 3

Conclusion

The present chapter has aimed to use previous findings on the mechanisms via which a geopolitical revival took place in Europe as a framework for thinking about the ‘uses of the West’ after 1989. To understand that revival, the analysis focused on foreign policy identity crises. The end of the Cold War shook the stable system of coordinates that defined many foreign policy roles in Europe. Where the mobilization of such roles out of (national) security imaginaries loses its self-evidence, a certain anxiety ensues, which opens up debate. In such a debate, the geopolitical argument can come in handy for its alleged ‘naturalness,’ helping foreign policy experts to position themselves and their country in the changed environment. If this happens, however, the return to geopolitics is not innocent. Despite claims to the contrary that water down its connection to its past 16

Such a vision seems to be shared by Orhan Pamuk in his speech on his acceptance ¨ of the Peace Prize at the German Book Trade in 2005 (Borsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, 2005), in which the wider West hardly appears.

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or allegedly avoid any environmental determinism, ‘geopolitics’ mobilizes realism’s militaristic and nationalist gaze. With this rhetorical power, it prepares the ground for, and accompanies, a remilitarization of politics. The year 1989 stands for the success of the demilitarization of European security, which, paradoxically for that very reason, ushers in a period of remilitarization. Yet the effects of such remilitarization of foreign policy thinking on the ‘uses of the West’ depend on the specific encounter between the national and the cross-national (such as ‘the West’) in those national identity discourses. The present chapter has suggested four different links between the two, depending on whether or not the cross-national is admitted within the national discourse, and if it is, whether it has gained prevalence or not. As such, cross-national discourses can be ignored or opposed, coopted or made superior. With these four types, the chapter can only suggest a research agenda on exactly how to investigate the relationship between the discursive attempts to fix a country’s self-identification and role recognition, and the ‘uses of the West’.

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Astrov, Alexander and Natalia Morozova (2012) ‘Russia: Geopolitics from the Heartland’, in Stefano Guzzini, ed., The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 192–216. Bassin, Mark (1987) ‘Imperialism and the Nation State in Friedrich Ratzel’s Political Geography’, Progress in Human Geography 11, 4, pp. 473– 495. Bassin, Mark and Konstantin E. Aksenov (2006) ‘Mackinder and the Heartland Theory in Post-Soviet Geopolitical Discourse’, Geopolitics 11, 1, pp. 99– 118. Bilgin, Pinar (2012) ‘Turkey’s Geopolitics Dogma’, in Stefano Guzzini, ed., The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 151–173. Biorcio, Roberto (1997) La Padania Promessa. La storia, le idee e la logica d’azione della Lega Nord (Milano: Il Saggiatore). ¨ Borsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (2005) Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 2005 – Orhan Pamuk. Ansprachen aus Anlass der Verleihung (Frankfurt am Main: Verlag MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH). Brighi, Elisabetta and Fabio Petito (2012) ‘Geopolitics ‘in the Land of the Prince’: A Passe-Partout to (Global) Power Politics?’, in Stefano Guzzini, ed., The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 127–150. Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde (1998) Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner). Cohen, Saul B. (1963) Geography and Politics in a Divided World (New York: Random House). (1991) ‘Global Geopolitical Change in the Post-Cold War Era’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 81, 4, pp. 551–580. (2003) ‘Geopolitical Realities and United States Foreign Policy’, Political Geography 22, 1, pp. 1–33. Diamanti, Ilvo (1995) La Lega. Geografia, storia e sociologia di un nuovo soggetto politico (Rome: Donzelli). Diez, Thomas (2004) ‘Europe’s Others and the Return of Geopolitics’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs 17, 2, pp. 319–335. Dijkink, Gertjan (1996) National Identity and Geopolitical Visions: Maps of Pride and Pain (London: Routledge). Garton Ash, Timothy (2003) ‘Anti-Europeanism in America’, The New York Review of Books 50, 2 (13 February). Guzzini, Stefano (2003) ‘Self-Fulfilling Geopolitics?’, or: the Social Production of Foreign Policy Expertise in Europe (Copenhagen: DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies), Working Paper 2003/23. (2004a) ‘“The Cold War Is What We Make of It”: When Peace Research Meets Constructivism in International Relations’, in Stefano Guzzini and Dietrich Jung, eds., Contemporary Security Analysis and Copenhagen Peace Research (London: Routledge), pp. 40–52. (2004b) ‘The Enduring Dilemmas of Realism in International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations 10, 4, pp. 533–568.

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ed. (2012a) The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). (2012b) ‘The Framework of Analysis: Geopolitics Meets Foreign Policy Identity Crises’, in Stefano Guzzini, ed., The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 45–74. (2012c) ‘Social Mechanisms as Micro-dynamics in Constructivist Analysis’, in Stefano Guzzini, ed., The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 251–277. (2012d) ‘Which Geopolitics?’, in Stefano Guzzini, ed., The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 18–44. Haslam, Jonathan (2002) No Virtue Like Necessity: Realist Thought in International Relations since Machiavelli (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press). Hawkins, Mike (1997) Social Darwinism in European and American Thought, 1860– 1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Hofstadter, Richard (1944) Social Darwinism in American Thought (Boston: Beacon Press). Hunter, James H. (1986) ‘Commentary on “The Social Origins of Environmental Determinism”’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 76, 2, pp. 277–281. Huntington, Samuel P. (1993a) ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’, Foreign Affairs 72, 3, pp. 22–42. (1993b) ‘Why International Primacy Matters’, in Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Stephen E. Miller, eds., The Cold War and After: Prospects for Peace (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 307–322. (2004) ‘The Hispanic Challenge’, Foreign Policy 141, March-April, pp. 30–45. Ingram, Alan (2001) ‘Alexander Dugin: Geopolitics and Neo-fascism in Post-Soviet Russia’, Political Geography 20, 8 (November), pp. 1029– 1051. Jean, Carlo (1995) Geopolitica (Rome-Bari: Editori Laterza). (1997) Guerra, strategia e sicurezza (Rome-Bari: Editori Laterza). Jervis, Robert (1976) Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). (1993) ‘International Primacy: Is the Game Worth the Candle?’, in Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Stephen E. Miller, eds., The Cold War and After: Prospects for Peace (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 291–306. Joenniemi, Pertti (1988) ‘Models of Neutrality: The Traditional and the Modern’, Cooperation and Conflict 23, 1, pp. 53–67. (1993) ‘Neutrality beyond the Cold War’, Review of International Studies 19, 3, pp. 289–304. Kinnvall, Catarina (2004) ‘Globalization and Religious Nationalism: Self, Identity, and the Search for Ontological Security’, Political Psychology 25, 5, pp. 741–767. Kirkpatrick, Jeane J. (1993) ‘The Modernizing Imperative: Tradition and Change’, Foreign Affairs 72, 4, pp. 22–24.

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Steele, Brent J. (2005) ‘Ontological Security and the Power of Self-Identity: British Neutrality in the American Civil War’, Review of International Studies 31, 3, pp. 519–540. (2007) Ontological Security in International Relations: Self-Identity and the IR State (London: Routledge). Tyulin, Ivan (1997) ‘Between the Past and the Future: International Studies in ¨ Internationale Beziehungen 4, 1 (June), pp. 181–194. Russia’, Zeitschrift fur Wæver, Ole (1995) ‘Securitization and Desecuritization’, in Ronnie Lipschutz, ed., On Security (New York: Columbia University Press), pp. 46–86. Weldes, Jutta (1996) ‘Constructing National Interests’, European Journal of International Relations 2, 3, pp. 275–318. (1999) Constructing National Interests: The United States and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Wendt, Alexander (1999) Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

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3

‘The West’ versus Other Western ‘We’s’ A Discourse Analysis in Reverse

Ole Wæver

Is the power of ‘the West’ a thing of the past? I am asking here not about the power of those labeled the West, but the power of the label itself – although the latter might (as we will see) partly depend on the former. So the question asked here is: Will ‘the West’ be a powerful category in the future? Will the ordering and justification of politics use it as an important figure? How could we know? Predicting future discourses is not a common exercise. Some discourse analysts believe that discourse analysis has some – maybe contingent or ‘non-deterministic’ – predictive capacity, while others refuse to engage in prediction at all (or at least claim not to predict). Those who do talk about futures usually mobilize discourse analysis to suggest what future policies or patterns are more or less likely. It is less normal to suggest what discourses will appear at future points – and even less to do so based on patterns and structures whose nature is not primarily discursive. That is: discourse analysts usually predict from discourse to policy (if we allow this distinction for now), and those who base their reasoning on other kinds of ‘factors’ than discourse do not care to predict the discourse. However, if we for some reason or other want to know whether ‘the West’ is going to be a powerful category, and we believe discourse and other ‘layers’ of reality are closely intertwined, who says we cannot predict discourse from (disciplined) analysis of a different kind, just as discourse analysis can (sometimes) predict, I would argue, patterns of political possibilities? The central argument in this article is that the most important conceptual competition for the West is not in relation to its ‘opposites’, but in relation to other overlapping ‘we’s’. We all need ‘we’s’, but many possibilities are available to us, and dependent on which one(s) prevail, different main oppositions and essential features are emphasized. Whenever a given ‘us-them’ opposition (or other identity making pattern) is in operation, it is easy to critically point out how it serves various purposes, how it essentializes and demonizes, stabilizes and reassures, which hints at this being a kind of explanation of the ‘we’. But other we’s could have 37

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the same function. Usually, a critical reading of ‘Othering’ explains only why we have (i.e. are) a ‘we’, not why we have a particular ‘we’. The challenge is often to find out why one ‘we’ wins out against another. And this is rarely coincidence. Much seems to follow from a search for political advantages. This will be illustrated with the case of the historical emergence of the concept of ‘Europe’. It is possible to study competing discourses of Europe (or ‘Competing Europes’; Wæver, 1990; Rovisco, 2010), but a preceding question has to be why we have concepts of Europe at the center of attention, and not concepts of Christendom as in previous periods. So to forecast the future standing of ‘the West’, the most important question is not whether the US and Europe will grow more similar or dissimilar or Asian nations will adopt ‘Western’ values, but whether the main fault lines will line up politically in such a manner that it appears useful and meaningful (or not) to invoke ‘the West’ as opposed to other available unifying categories. Macro-distinctions are likely to be made, so to say, at the level right beneath the global – actors will try to define large communities and projects that organize global politics through distinctions, be they contrastive (us versus them) or universalistic but differentiated (how they become like us). In any case, it is between the national and the global, and probably also between the regional and the global (cf. Buzan and Wæver, 2009) that such distinctions are being made. The question then is what macro-distinctions are likely to rule. More operationally, the chapter will argue that a macro-analysis of polarity and the emerging global/regional constellation in combination with some principled features of the political outlook of major powers (peculiarities of the US relation to foreign affairs and the post-colonial context of the new powers) gives a fairly reliable outline of the emerging global order, and on this basis it is possible to assess whether ‘the West’ will be a relevant concept for major actors in the US, in Europe, or possibly as counterpoint for ‘non-Western’ actors. The conclusion is that the candidacy of the West for political prominence is weak. The primary use of ‘the West’ will be more or less congruent to what we now think of as the ‘North’, and it will be a category used more commonly by critics of the West than by the West itself. Even critics will not produce ‘the West’ as a dominant signpost but will more likely just keep it as part of a narrative, which is important to them. Other discourse analyses and related studies have tended to predict a ‘resilient’ West (Browning, 2010, p. 218). As pointed out by Jackson (2010) and others, stories about the West are usually about decline (Spengler, 1972 [1923]) or triumph (Fukuyama, 1992) and thus rarely something in-between or inconclusive, so in order to provoke it would be tempting to search for some third option, where

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the West transmutes into new forms. However tempting that might be, the following analysis does point in the direction of decline – although we should remember: this is not a decline (necessarily) for those designated as the West, only for the designation. As it is often the case in stories about decline, we end by discussing whether this will likely happen gracefully or destructively. This chapter is structured into four sections. The first discusses some of the theoretical issues already hinted at: can discourses be predicted from ‘non-discursive’ analysis? How can we study long-term historical change of political key concepts at the international level? In the second and third sections, patterns of world politics are predicted on the basis of Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT), and from this, the prospects for ‘the West’ are assessed. The fourth section briefly discusses the possibility that ‘value policy’ in the name of ‘Western values’ might keep the figure of ‘the West’ alive, even in a situation where ‘the West’ has declined conceptually – i.e. will the adjective live on sufficiently to implicitly sustain a living memory of ‘the West’? The conclusion is included into this fourth and final section. 1

Theory: Discourse Analysis in Reverse

1.1

The Emergence of ‘Europe’ – Papal Policies and Conceptual Change

In 1459, Pope Pius II summoned the Congress of Mantua, and it declared that the purpose of the next crusade was to drive the Turks from Europe (Hay, 1968, pp. 86–87; den Boer, 1993, pp. 34–36). This was a fairly novel approach. Until then, the focus had been on Jerusalem itself and on the general situation of Christianity in all parts of the world, and not least on its original continent Asia. Calls had been made in the name of Christianity or Christendom, not Europe. In the 1459 call – underpinned by Pius II’s writings in general – the central source of outrage was that Christianity had lost ground in Europe. Why did Pius II not use the traditional formulas of Christendom, Occidens or other familiar terms – why Europe? To simplify just a little, this makes a lot of sense at two levels. First, politically, it was a wise, instrumental move in a difficult situation. The Church was weakened due to internal rivalries, several competing antipopes, and a growing distance to many state rulers, so it simply would not have worked to make calls in the name of the Church, and the Pope thus had to appeal to another category that included the most important actors. Second, various broader, slow changes in outlook made the category of Europe more attractive: the general humanist interest

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in classical concepts and new conceptions of space were underpinned by precise tools for measurement, and a change from generally vertical to horizontal rationale took place (Anderson, 1991). Coming out of a period dominated by Christendom as the dominant collective category, ‘Europe’ worked by being both distinct and overlapping enough that it could generate different energies, yet draw outrage from the fact that Christianity was losing ground in Europe. This is a textbook case of how explanations in conceptual history need to combine a German and an English kind of process. Conceptual history of Koselleck’s kind studies gradual change and how ‘the same’ concept takes different meanings in different eras permeated by different ‘cosmologies’ typically defined by different relationship to time (Koselleck, 2002, 2004). In contrast, Skinner-style conceptual history is focused on speech acts, on conspicuous interventions, where the conceptual landscape of the day is re-arranged by operations that should be understood in relation to the pre-existing intellectual universe (and therefore, this theory was developed especially as a way to read texts in relation to their time, say, Leviathan as incredibly successful speech act) (Skinner, 2002). The 1459 innovation in the name of Europe was possible because of ‘cosmological’ changes as mentioned, but the call from the Congress of Mantua was a distinct speech act that in itself transformed the conceptual universe of the day and redefined the possibilities of meaningful political action. A crusade could be mobilized despite the weakness of the Church because the key concepts were re-arranged, and a new one was put at the center. There are three influential traditions in the study of conceptual history (Wæver, 2006): (1) the German (Begriffsgeschichte; Koselleck), (2) the English (Cambridge School; Skinner and Pocock), and (3) the French (discourse analysis; Foucault). In the context of the present book, the last is probably the most relevant, so let’s leave the detour around the German and English strands and re-translate into discourse analysis: prominent discourses at a given point are conditioned by the episteme of the age with its general forms of subjectivity, truth, action, history, ethics, etc., but also by the more specific strategic constellation where power relations are always ‘intentional and nonsubjective’ (Foucault, 1998, p. 94). Intentionality is not a question of minds and thoughts, but inherent in the strategic situation. Particular concepts and discourses have to be understood in terms of the advantages they produce for particular lines of action. This perspective is often denounced by hardcore discourse analysts as a positivist focus on conscious strategies for legitimating actions (Howarth, 2000, p. 3), but it should definitely be possible to include in a Foucauldian perspective how discourses serve very precise

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political purposes. The political analysis of discourses typically focuses on broad ‘ideological’ struggles over the direction of societal developments, but the case of Mantua is slightly more instrumentalist than that: it is not that reproduction of identity is inherently better served by Europe than Christendom, or that the exclusion of some out-group is directly understandable as a privileging of some in-group; it is more specific than that in the sense that a particular line of policy becomes possible by this re-arrangement of categories. Hence, we have to deal with at least two sets of objections or worries likely to be put forward by discourse theorists. First (1.2.), we look at the question whether this kind of strategic or almost instrumental logic of discourses is compatible with discourse analysis. Second (1.3.), we have the just-mentioned question of an analysis which is not primarily discursive operating together with discourse categories. 1.2

Discourse: Design or Destiny

When reading discourse analysis, one often gets the impression that discourses are prisons inside which we are only able to think what the discourse prescribes. Obviously, discourse analysis – especially of the Foucauldian kind – has good reasons (taken from both structuralism and post-structuralism) for upsetting any image of a self-identical and sovereign subject as author and controller of things. However, this only means that strategies and tactics take shape without anchorage in a human(istic) subject, not that they do not exist, nor that subjects are not involved in strategizing. One element of this discussion has to do with two different understandings of discourse analysis, roughly to be characterized as a ‘mentalist’ versus a political understanding. What is it that discourses regulate: how you can think, or what you can say? It is clear, especially in the Archeology of Knowledge, that Foucault’s is a theory about the formation of statements (Foucault, 2002 [1969]). And in a political context, it is even more important to focus on what can be said, not what can be thought (Wæver, 2005, 2009a). Politics is by definition always in between individuals, and as such it is about regulating what can be done in a sphere that is stretched in between us. Therefore, it is neither decisive nor easily researchable whether President Bush was motivated by religious concerns in his politics, but it is possible to study what his discourse reveals about what can be done in the name of religion in the political sphere (in Niklas Luhmann’s theory, this distinction is even clearer where all social systems are ultimately about communication, while psychic systems are about consciousness). This means that a distance is opened up between

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subject and discourse, where it must be conceivable that one relates in a strategic manner to discourse – in addition to the fact that discourse in its own right is strategic. (See also the elaborate argument in Hansen, 2006, for the possibility of studying how discourse can be directed at policy, while avoiding external causality among the two.) Another element, especially in an IR context, is the question of TopDown versus Bottom-Up. Should we focus on the discursive structures in the strategic space among states and other collectivities – or on the discursive structures within each of these collectives (and add to these internal discursive structures possibly a more ‘external’ interaction-strategic relationship among these)? Patrick Jackson (2006) has shown the utility of a study tracing ‘the West’ as the category that worked inside domestic battlefields in the Federal Republic of Germany and the US, respectively. Similarly, the ‘Struggle for Europe’ theory of foreign policy (Holm et al., 1990, not forthcoming; Wæver, 2005) makes a principled point about concepts of Europe being primarily articulated domestically with concepts of state and nation as a way to make sense out of ‘we’s’ in a roughly national context, while the then-multiple ‘Europes’ interact primarily because their political realizations are intertwined (Wæver, 1990), not because they are discursively fighting across borders. For various reasons, especially first-wave social constructivism in IR tended to focus on system-level categories, such as sovereignty, statehood, and self-help. Very early on, in a critique of Wendt, Erik Ringmar (1997) argued that it is usually more important and ‘more constructivist’ to focus on the inside-out process of any given community making sense for itself and on its own terms. As can be seen from the references in the previous paragraph, I have previously invested in the bottom-up side of the story, and I believe there are strong reasons for favoring this approach in cases like ‘the struggle for “Europe”’. However, the Mantua case – and its repetition as an analysis of ‘the West’ later – is in some crucial respects a ‘topdown’ version, focused on discursive structuration at the shared space for all units. For what reason do I favor here the opposite of what I do elsewhere? I only partly do. I want to point to the importance of both levels, but with slightly different emphasis at different stages. It is important to look at the domestic, especially to investigate whether a concept is close to indispensible, which mostly depends on how it articulates with even more powerful ‘we’s’ domestically. Foreign policy is tied up with collective sense-making, and therefore dominant ‘we’s’ and their various possible constellations are co-dependent with overall foreign policy lines. However, there are also situations where the main usage is external and the role of the concept primarily is in inter-unit politics. Not

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all ‘we’s’ are equally important in the domestic arena (‘Europe’ probably more than ‘the West’ in France and Germany), and some conceptual moves are particularly powerful at the international level (Europe in 1459 and at several other key junctures [Boer 1993]; the West e.g. during the Cold War). Also, there is probably a difference between a change of concept and the fight over the content of an already established concept. What I have tried to argue in this brief section is nothing new or remarkable as such; it is rather a defense against objections likely to appear. Probably the next section is more productive, in the sense that it presents an unusual procedure and probably a controversial argument for it. 1.3

Other Analytical Cuts, Compatible with Discourse Analysis but Not Focusing on Discourse

The final, odd move in the present analysis is to try to approach questions about future discourse (concepts) by way of an analysis not located at the level of discourse, and more specifically an analysis of global and regional patterns of power and security based on Regional Security Complex Theory. Most likely, many will deem this unviable because discourse analysis is usually presented by way of arguments ultimately meaning that you have to organize your analysis around discourse. But I will argue that it is possible to make the philosophical arguments that lead to the relevance and possibility of discourse analysis while simultaneously allowing for other forms of analysis as well. Discourse theory is not an ontological statement about the primacy of discourse. It is (for the version discussed here) rooted in post-structuralist philosophy, and this means that it takes sign-systems as crucial (the structuralist element), however also as unstable and inconclusive (the postpart). This has both negative and positive implications: it warns against practices that rely on an essentialized, dichotomized, and allegedly transcendental signifi´e (self-identical, sign-free ultimate reference point) or logics of inclusion/exclusion. More constructively, this perspective points to the promises inherent in focusing on texts and discourse as a way to approach that field where meaning is produced and distributed. An exclusive privileging of discourse analysis, however, rests on a conflation of discourse as sign logic and discourse as analytical category, as if one avoids imposing a particular instrument when using discourse analysis. Discourse theory shows that it is possible to do discourse analysis in a manner that is philosophically viable and able to make important statements with an unusually low level of performative inconsistencies as long as one is careful about the kind of statements it can produce or

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not. Still, like any theory, it constructs a model and makes sense out of the world from that self-defined center (Giere, 1999; Wæver, 2009b). The question now is if one can construct other models that are not discourse-centered and still able to respect post-structuralist philosophy and therefore be able to interact with discourse analysis, for instance in the form of predicting (in some form) discourse? It is important here to stress that the analysis is not ‘non-discursive’ in the sense that ‘something exists outside discourse’ when seen through the lens of discourse analysis, but that it is possible to create an analytical set-up that follows other demarcation marks without violating basic principles of post-structuralist philosophy. This, I will contend, is true for the theory of regional security complexes (Buzan and Wæver, 2003). It is crucial that structures are not essentialistic but unstable and incomplete, that neither subjects nor objects are given outside the process but part of what is in flow, and that one’s own analytical categories are exposed to the same power analysis as all other knowledge production. 1.4

Theoretical Summary

The 1459 case of a shift from Christendom to ‘Europe’ as the key mobilizing category was used to introduce the importance of studying both slow, gradual, general changes in outlooks between different ages, and (especially) the strategic speech-act change of conceptual structures by distinct texts that alter the spaces of political possibility and impossibility. Especially the latter form is likely to be found too instrumentalist by some discourse analysts, but it was argued why this is fully compatible even with classical Foucauldian discourse theory. Finally, it was suggested that a non–discourse-centered theory can be compatible with post-structuralism and thus interact with discourse analysis without doing discourse analysis as such. Therefore, it is analytically possible and philosophically legitimate to make predictions about future discourse on the basis of an analysis of world security through the theory of regional security complexes. Leaving now the theoretical and meta-theoretical ground clearing, it is time for the analysis of ‘the West’ today and in the future. 2

The World: Emerging Structures and Patterns

2.1

Regions and Powers

This is not the place to recount all the steps of an RSCT analysis of the world, but some of the main points are sufficiently simple and hopefully

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also compelling, so that the argument can be outlined in brief form. RSCT corrects the standard image of polarity on two major points – ‘regions’ and ‘powers’. In terms of regions, the argument is that the global structure and dynamics are much more regional than most prevalent stories that tend to over-emphasize the global level (due among other reasons to the dominance of theories made in the US, the global power par excellence) seem to suggest. For most countries and other actors around the world, the main security challenges are regional, and therefore global security is clustered into regional security complexes that often develop out of synch – improvements or deterioration, more or less state-focus, military or non-military security, and many other trends can diverge between regions. At the global level, the main correction is to the concept of polarity, which usually consists of one layer only, and the question is if there are one, two, or more super/great powers. But we should distinguish between superpowers with truly global reach, all kinds of power, and an ability to get involved in any issue anywhere on the one hand, and, on the other hand, great powers that are not fully super but clearly more so than regional powers, that play in both their own region and other (typically neighboring) regions, that are counted in the global structure and have recently been or are seen as candidates to superpower status? The distinction has been overlooked for the Eurocentric reason that all great powers originally were in (and later spun out of and oriented towards) one and the same region, Europe, while today we have to take into account their anchoring in different regions. In Regions and Powers, Barry Buzan and I labeled the resulting structure 1+4+regions – 1 superpower, 4 great powers (China, Russia, Japan, and the EU), and close to a dozen regional security complexes. With this conception, ironically less has changed in global power over the last ten years than in the dominant stories of unipolarity giving way to multipolarity. The structure is ‘1+4+regions’ now as it was ten and twenty years ago, and conflicts are driven by the tensions inherent in this structure. From the end of the Cold War and culminating in the neoconservative visions under George W. Bush’s presidency, US policy tried to emphasize the unipolar elements and organize the world around the one center. In practice, however, the world is not unipolar in strict power terms, but the attempt was made to re-inforce unipolar elements. This naturally triggered resistance from both the four great powers and the regions – the great powers pulled in the direction of a more multipolar order, and the regions resisted global-level imposition (most clearly in the Middle East). Now, there is a tendency to rush to the opposite labeling of ‘multipolar’, which we of course can analyze as discourse and politics and so forth – but

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as a measurement of power, it is problematic, because one of the great powers is clearly more equal than the others: the US. So for now, we still have the tension of 1+4+regions, most clearly expressed as inner tensions in US policy with President Obama trying to continue the centered world order without using the means of the Bush administration. The failure of the unipolar order demonstrated the limits of both US power and universalizing Western pretensions. On the political-military level, the events that changed the general perception of power and thus its inter-subjective status were of course Iraq and Afghanistan. Not that it now can be said whether these wars will eventually in history come down as successful or not, but they clearly did not conform to the original vision of proving that the US could ‘just’ go in and quickly determine things. The neo-con vision of producing a general psychological inflation of American power backfired and produced exactly the opposite. Economically, the financial crisis had a somewhat similar effect. Epitomized by the so-called Washington consensus, the post–Cold War world had been shaped by a Western will to tell other countries how to organize themselves economically in order to qualify for WTO membership or World Bank assistance, for example. After the financial crisis, those who previously had been told what to do were now in a position to ask with what right anyone pretends to know how things should be done, when they could not handle their own affairs – or, even worse: they blame their own problems on especially the US as the point of origin of the crisis. When ‘1+4+regions’ eventually gives way to another power structure, the most likely candidate is ‘0+N+regions’, that is, a world without superpowers (Buzan and Wæver, 2003). More likely than a new superpower challenging the US is a US abdication from superpower rank. You might ask whether this can be understood as multipolarity, but it cannot, because the great powers are not as closely connected as the powers of a given space (as the European great powers in European multipolarity were). Today’s powers are nested in their regions, and from issue to issue they form constellations of those that go global on this particular issue – or reach into neighboring regions for that one. In politics, future power structures are often as important as the current one for strategic decisions. Therefore, even if we are still in a transitional phase (and a few steps further along, since the original drafting of this chapter), it is important to explore the logic of the emerging structure despite the kicking and screaming of especially Americans protesting about exaggerations of US decline. Both Barry Buzan and I have independently updated our ‘Regions and Powers’ analysis with policy analyses of ‘a World without Superpowers’ (Wæver, 2010; Buzan, 2011). Traditional polarity analysis led to faulty prescriptions both when it declared unipolarity and when it predicted bipolarity or multipolarity, and therefore

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it has been important to point out the important difference in ensuing dynamics following from the seemingly minor difference between ‘unipolarity’ and ‘almost unipolarity’ (1+4), and it will be important to distinguish the dynamics of a world without superpowers (0+N) from those of multipolarity. Not by skipping polarity analysis altogether, but by a properly adjusted, securitization-based understanding of regions and powers can we attend to the fate of peoples, of issues, and of our current object of concern, the concept of ‘the West’. The most important feature of the emerging system is that power is more dispersed, and the weakest point of the ‘1+4’ and ‘0+N’ pictures probably is that they depict too strong a distinction between the great powers and the leading regional powers. Increasingly so, the world is defined by some five to eight new powers from ‘the South’ in combination with the ‘old’ powers. It will clearly be a world of weaker leadership, but it is also one where the power structure does not immediately point to overarching rivalry, because the powers are not generally aspiring to global roles. Particularly, ideas – as seen e.g. after the December 2009 climate meeting (COP15) – that the world should be bi-polar are misleading. China is clearly not trying to move into a spot as peer competitor to the US. When the slogan of G2 was suggested a few years ago, the Chinese refused this. Chinese policy aims to focus on its own development and regional relations, avoiding any more global involvement than necessary (with energy needs as the main source of transgression). The lesson from the Soviet fate is clearly understood – if ever the US should be challenged, it is important to wait until the economic base is sufficient, which might take centuries. Even a leading advocate of the ‘future clash’ thesis like John Mearsheimer (2014: pp. 360–411) isn’t arguing this on the basis a global bipolarity, but because his theory (like the theory of regional security complexes) emphasizes the sub-global level (hemispheres in his case), and therefore he predicts an Asia-Pacific-centered clash between China and the US. This follows not from polarity as such, but from his inflated ‘offensive realism’ assumptions about the power aspirations necessary for security. Indirectly, his analysis illustrates the importance of looking at concrete constellations, place by place, issue by issue, framed by a global power constellation somewhere along the route from 1+4+regions to 0+N+regions. From this framework, the future of ‘the West’ can be assessed. 2.2

The Paradoxical Return of ‘the South’

An important feature of this order is the increasing relevance of ‘NorthSouth’ perspectives. This is confusing and unexpected to many in the

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North. Here, we had grown used to seeing North-South relations as defined through development aid and as a tail end to colonialism. It was widely seen as having rhetorically peaked in the 1970s with the plea for a New International Economic Order, but has since then been fading in importance due to the historical distance from colonialism, the increased awareness of responsibility for one’s own fate after decades of independence, and, especially, economic growth in more and more Southern countries. In this perspective, Westerners were led to expect that the growth of powers in the South would finally end this particular North-South set-up. However, the effect is the opposite. Our form of North-South set-up was the product of a power distribution where the South could not put much force behind their demands, and it was up to Northern generosity how much North-South policy there would be. In contrast, now that the Southern powers are emerging, the result is that they can articulate their own interpretations and agendas with greater force, enabling them to also define North-South relations. If countries in the South consolidated economically and politically, they would graduate into the Northern club, just as the first non-Western powers had done in earlier phases of ‘the expansion of international society’ (Bull and Watson, 1984). The powers of the South expressed the same idea during the 1980s, most clearly in the Brazilian attempt to become the ‘last of the first’. But neither Brazil nor others talk like this today. What does ‘North-South’ mean in this context? First of all it expresses a specific historical framing, one that roughly corresponds to what is academically discussed as post-colonial. A contemporary issue is understood in the light of history, a history where one’s own history is profoundly shaped by the relationship to European, colonial, or Western powers. Three recent illustrations can be the Muhammad cartoons (published in 2005 by a Danish newspaper), the 2008 controversies over the China Olympics and Tibet, and finally the climate summit, COP15, in December 2009. The Muhammad cartoons were seen as a religious insult and disrespectful against Muslims, even though depictions of Muhammad are actually quite common in Islamic history itself, and cartoons are often nasty. So it is hard to avoid the interpretation that the cartoons were seen as so terrible because they came from those already responsible for the situation of the Muslim countries, the power holders of the world, who thereby reveal what it means to be Muslim in a world run by these people. It was the confluence of historical responsibility and contemporary serial attacks on the Muslim world, by military, economic, and other means, that made the depictions so despicable in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Muslims.

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Similarly, the Western discussions of a possible boycott of the Beijing Olympics (or just the torch relay) because of the Tibet issue was received in China as such an affront because the Beijing Olympics were generally placed in a historical narrative of China having suffered a century of humiliation in relation to the West and now finally, having made it back, being in a position to demonstrate this by staging a brilliant world event. The boycott was therefore widely received as a sign that the West could not bear or was not willing to grant their recognition of Chinese recovery. Again, the main narrative has nothing to do with the values that Western media framed it around, but a post-colonial story that mattered much more locally. Finally, the clash at the COP15 meeting has been summarized as a contrasting picture of a backward-looking (Southern) and a forwardlooking (Northern) sense of justice (Penetrante, 2013). According to China, India, and other emerging economies, the standard of judgment for distribution of responsibility has to be the historical responsibility for CO2 emissions and an equal right to development, not prejudiced by whether you modernize (under heavy emissions, ignorant of effects) in the nineteenth century or you do so in the twenty-first century. In relation to the way the quasi-geographical terms are understood in the West, this implies a shift from East-West to North-South. East-West is the approach that continues Cold War logic in terms of defending our Western values into a similar fight now against new challengers, be they Islam or Asian authoritarianism. The three mentioned issues, and especially the first two, were very much cast along these lines in Western media – defending freedom of speech, freedom of press, and human rights, and often with the doubling of East-West working so that the ‘lesson’ from the Cold War was to stand up for ‘our own’ values, and when we did this the most strongly, we prevailed. In relation to the climate issue, the value approach is less pronounced, but there is still a lingering effect of the self-assuredness that when the fair and correct approach has been defined (by us), there should be no horse trading – it is then for others to get the message. However, Western actors increasingly get into trouble with this rulebook in a world where many viewpoints matter. Naturally, it is not new that there are many truths, and regular misunderstandings where a policy in the name of value x is received by the target as being about issue y, but until recently this was their problem. The price of misunderstandings (either way) was carried by the poor countries, so they had a strong incentive to ‘get the message’. Now, increasingly, it costs the West to be misunderstood or to misunderstand – that is, when interpretations clash, it increasingly becomes necessary for policy success for all actors to put some effort into understanding this

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post-Western pattern of multiple truths. Naturally, this does not mean they will comply or that outcomes will be favorable for all – silly policies are a common feature of world politics – but it is to be expected that a heavy-handed continuation of the East-West model as epitomized by the unipolar vision of the neo-conservatives is going to be self-destructive. In the short run, it is less likely that this will lead to a new post-Western diplomatic sensitivity, and more likely that it will spell frustration and withdrawal, but at least it will become increasingly clear that Western visions falter on a ‘Southern’, post-colonial perspective. West meets South will be the formula for an oddly shaped transition period. 3

Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘the West’

Now, we should finally be ready to explore the conditions and chances of ‘the West’ – now with reference to the basic layout of patterns of world politics. 3.1

Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘the West’ to Europe

In a world somewhere between ‘1+4+regions’ (with the ensuing tensions around US quasi-unipolarity) and ‘0+N+regions’ and with a postWestern articulation of perspectives from many corners of the world, often with a post-colonial narrative, the available European categories do not point to ‘the West’ as a useful and attractive choice. ‘Europe’ will be the ‘we’ to emphasize for most purposes in order to articulate a distinct own role, and as a conceptual competitor to the West, which means that references to ‘the West’ will be avoided. Due to increasing controversies of a North-South nature, there will also be very little to be gained by invoking a category like ‘the West’ that reminds everybody of the colonial mix-up of the particular and the universal. Confrontation with China is a regional/hemispheric issue, not a global one, and Europe therefore takes a low profile. Conflicts in the Middle East are allotted gradually less direct Western involvement, allocating greater roles to regional actors, making the category of ‘the West’ an even less useful slogan. With the external/internal security issue of Islamic radicalization (IS and at home), ‘the West’ becomes even more self-defeating. The only recent issue that has spurred some revaluation of ‘the West’ was the Ukrainecentered conflict with Russia. Especially those with ‘Atlanticist’ agendas (for economic, political, or cultural reasons) tried to re-center security on old-style NATO and increased their usage of the category of ‘the West’ (Behnke, 2012). From the larger global pattern, however, it is unlikely in the longer run both that Europe and the US will converge that much, and

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that Russia will be able to sustain such a central role. It is therefore more likely that Europeans will combine one ‘we’ as ‘Europe’ with another global one, but a ‘West’ in between these will be counterproductive. 3.2

Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘the West’ to the US

The US, in contrast, has traditionally often found the West useful as a way to galvanize the ‘US+’ group in world politics. Tensions arising from the ‘1+4’ structure peaked around the start of the Iraq war with ‘intraWestern’ controversy and clearly point to possibilities for a rhetoric of ‘the West’ in terms of loyalty to suppress dissent from a European great power to the leadership by a US superpower, allegedly on behalf of both. However, the emerging structure now will be one where the handling of the new powers from the South will be more and more important. In turn, the US will need Russia (concerning Iran), China (concerning climate and economy in particular), India (against China and to solve the AfPak mess), Brazil (concerning hemispheric issues), and so forth. It is therefore unlikely that the main slogan will be one that draws a line between the US and those that it wants to be able to co-opt selectively and play off against one another. Still, as a more global player, the US will need some universalistic concepts. Although it might sound a bit quaint, the concept of ‘the Free World’ (Deudney & Ikenberry 2012) might actually stand a better chance because it combines better American self-understanding with allegedly universal terms in a way that is less obviously exclusionary and asymmetrical. 3.3

Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘the West’ to Non-Western Actors

A third and final possibility for a mobilization of the category of the West comes from non-Western actors. This is probably the strongest of the three cases. As pointed out in the recent literature on Occidentalism (see Bonnett, 2010, for a summary of several main works and interesting continuation), it is not only the West that has used images of ‘the Orient’ for its own identity purposes; others have used the West for their identity construction, too. This includes the origins of the modern concept of the West in Russian intellectual life in the nineteenth century (Heller, 2010). However, it is not given that ‘the West’ will be the most relevant concept for others in the period to come. It fitted more the birth of new (new-old) identities, whereas their arrival on the world scene is not served well by drawing a demarcation line exactly where one tries to move in. Still, the most open question is about non-Western uses of the West. There will be

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a logic of us-them in relation to those who used to rule the world – but how these (we) will be labeled is less evident. We need to look textually, and could reuse the examples introduced earlier, but also look to actual terminology used during events such as the Muhammad cartoon crisis, Tibet/OL in China, and COP15. Osama bin Laden could have been expected to politicize and polarize the cartoons to the utmost. He should, perhaps, have been expected to phrase this in terms of ‘the West’. In his declarations most explicitly on the subject of the Danish cartoons, he talked ‘[t]o the intelligent ones in the European Union’ and then talks about ‘you’ (bin Laden, 2008). In bin Laden’s text, the word ‘crusade’ hinted at a religious definition of the counterpart, but in this particular text, he referred mostly to ‘Europe’ and in other texts, he talked to ‘Americans’. The West did not seem to be a key category. In the Tibet/Olympic case, there is some criticism from China of Western media, and one might say that the frequent use of the word ‘arrogant’ hints at a certain image of those who are involved. Still, it is most often depicted as a question of ‘others’ in general, that is, non-Chinese who do not understand, or told in terms of the colonial history without giving a contemporary name (leaving open whether we are West, North, or what). Finally, the climate case is clearly framed mostly in terms of the ‘developed’ and the ‘developing’ world, again not in terms of the West. Notably, the various ‘rising powers’ have very different basic selfimages vis-`a-vis the West. Roughly, comparing China, India, and Brazil (Kristensen, 2015), if designated by others as ‘non-Western’, Chinese accept the distinction and speak willingly as ‘non-Western’, Indians point to the paradoxes and pitfalls of using such distinctions in a post-colonial context, and Brazilians refuse a ‘non-Western’ designation. The discussion in IR on non-Western IR theories is representative of a broader complexity in how a self-description up against the category of ‘the West’ is conditioned by both historical trajectories and current agendas. While the general picture is one in which the most significant actors do not have an interest in polarizing excessively, because the rising powers are exactly rising within an order that they ultimately have little interest in destabilizing – even if they want to undermine its self-authorized superiors – there are of course some (cf. bin Laden previously) that pursue a more confrontational policy. In September 2009, Hugo Chavez and Moammar Gadhafi met in Venezuela and issued a declaration to countries in Latin America and Africa to form a strong alliance, ‘a NATO of the South’ (Houston Chronicle, 27 September 2009; Chavez and Gadhafi, 2009). Even in this situation, the favored rhetoric is not one blasting

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‘the West’, but confronting a legacy of poverty left ‘by the empires of the North – by the empires of Europe, by the US Empire’. So, in conclusion regarding non-Western uses of the West, this is where some possibilities could be imagined, but again given the most likely global structure, it seems more probable that one will not want to polarize and draw strong distinctions, since the development project partly relies on becoming integrated into a larger whole, while also resisting attempts of the authority of the old center to speak on behalf of this whole. Therefore, we will most likely see historical narratives that play on the West, but will mostly follow a pattern of North-South distinction and variably talk of the ‘developed’, the ‘rich’, etc. – however, not particularly emphatically of ‘the West’. This conclusion seems to be supported by both levels of analysis: the instrumentalist delineations and the general historical phase and its dominant narratives. The third element – cf. the theory chapter – is only partly included in the analysis: the domestic sustainability of policies. The arguments about the ‘post-colonial’ reception of events do include the domestic politics, but the policies of ‘the West’ domestically in the West have not been sufficiently covered, so I will return to these in Section 4. 3.4

If Not ‘the West’, Then What? Who Will We Be?

It has been used as an argument for the viability of ‘the West’ that no successful alternatives have been close to establishing themselves (Browning, 2010, p. 219). Although a valid observation, it risks smuggling in some circular reasoning. Naturally, we should not expect a direct competitor unifying the same group of people on the same criteria – then it would be ‘the West’ – but redrawing slightly (as at Mantua), and possibly with use of different concepts at the macro-level for different parts of what used to be the West. This brings us back to the top-down versus bottom-up question from Section 1.3: the logic here is top-down in the sense that the useful categories are determined to a large extent by the effects on rearranging the highest level field of powers, but it is bottom-up in the sense that the question is what works for each actor, and this might differ. It is still less bottom-up than the old ‘Struggle for Europe’ approach (Holm et al., 1990, not forthcoming; Wæver, 1990, 2005, 2009a) or Jackson’s study (2006), because it is not focused on domestic battles and domestic usages, especially not on how well the competing concepts contribute to the domestic acceptability of the overall foreign policy line. This analytical choice is justified because ‘the West’ is not close to constitutive for the collective identities of key nations to the extent that ‘Europe’ is (or was?) in the case of France and Germany. Therefore, it is analytically viable

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to focus on the systemic effects on international lines of alignment and confrontation as the decisive dynamic. At this level, ‘the West’ does not serve any major actor’s agenda, nor is any one alternative close to taking its prior place. So who will we be? We will most likely be Europeans, world citizens, Americans, the Free World, Chinese, Asians, South Africans, Africans, civilized nations, responsible people, etc. – but neither ‘the West’ nor ‘the anti-West’. 4

The Value of Value Policy: Will ‘the West’ Continue to Exist Because We Fight for Its Values?

The analysis so far has focused on the utility and attractions of ‘the West’ as an identity category, a group designation, as self-definition or otherdefinition. However, a slightly different way of asking the question might lead to different conclusions. What about policies in the name of ‘Western values’? It is widely argued in Western societies that our policies should defend ‘Western values’. Therefore, it could be considered a possibility that even if ‘the West’ wanes as general reference for a community, the discourse on Western values maintains sufficient momentum, so that ‘the West’ is by implication in existence. It speaks in favor of this possibility that the world outlined earlier very likely will be one where ‘value questions’ take prominence. There will regularly be small (‘bottom-up’) conflicts marked by contrasting perspectives and historical interpretations. These are easily politicized in terms of ‘values’. It is rhetorically stronger to define a conflict of perspectives in value categories than as experiences or interests. Perspectives as experiences point to perspectival truth, and also interests are potentially self-problematizing. In contrast, a rhetoric of values defines differences as caused by different actors prioritizing differently, that is, having different ultimate standards: values. Thereby it becomes a question of what you stand for, i.e. who you are and how much you can be trusted to stand up for what is right. There is thus a self-serving and self-celebrating attraction of defining especially this kind of conflict as one of values. The next question is then whether this will be conceptualized to a great extent as Western values. Two factors speak against this assumption: First, it seems that in this relatively inclusive and non-divided yet multi-centric world, conflicts will no longer be typically between democracy and anti-democracy or those for and against human rights, as in the typical twentieth-century conflicts. Increasingly, contrasts will take the form of differing conceptions of democracy and varying sets of human rights. Therefore, they

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lend themselves less easily to a logic of ‘Westernness’ qua supporter of democracy/human rights, and rather to a more nuanced ‘quality control’ and refinement within a general field where all states to some extent build on elements of the Western tradition – all are ‘Westernistic’ (Buzan & Segal, 2000). Thus, the agenda will often be a very concrete one of supporting institutions to strengthen rule of law, of assisting education of specific professionals or criticizing particular laws. Other actors such as Russia (Morozov, 2010) and increasingly China will stress their allegiance to democracy, freedom, and human rights, while protesting Western attempts to see these values as both universal and coming naturally with a Western privilege of deeper access to their true meaning. To counter the often self-serving and superficial nature of such newfound support for these values, a critical line has to avoid the trap already set for it by the rhetoric of the Putins of the world, and this demands a more specific inquiry into concepts like democracy, human rights, freedom, and rule of law, not a blanket definition of these as ‘Western’ (cf. Browning, 2010, who reaches the opposite conclusion of a resilient West on a line of analysis very similar to mine). Second, in terms of labeling, it is generally less obvious in a situation like the emerging one to brand these as ‘our’ values instead of being more abstract ones. Why should we label them as ‘ours’ when the challenge is to limit resistance at a time when our power wanes? If ‘Western’ actors have success in a fight for, say, freedom of religion, this course will not be furthered by trumpeting the result as a triumph of ‘Western values’, which just strengthens the hand of those castigating this principle as foreign importation. We have been through a period characterized by a universalization of the particular (Bhambra, 2007): the West has been ‘the sole legitimate site for the universal’ (Michel-Rolph Trouillot, quoted by Bhambra, 2007, p. 60). Values have been projected as universal and transcending the particular, while always coming from one particular corner of the world: the northwestern (often European) one. Other parts of the world faced the choice of being particular/provincial or becoming part of the universal by being absorbed in the particular Western universalization. Generally, the post-colonial counter-move to this has been the provincialization of Europe (Chakrabarty, 2000) as the insistence of universal particularism. While Western actors are unlikely to buy into the theoretical premises behind this operation, their actual situation is likely to motivate a similar practice. As a weaker part, Europe will occasionally have to defend particular claims as particular – that is, to insist on Europe’s right to be different (for instance on secularism?), and even the US might get into this situation, on an issue like capital punishment. On other issues,

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actors in Europe or the US will want to play universalizing cards, but then it will be vital for success in a post-Western world to present this as truly universal and not as quasi-universal as implied in the category of ‘Western’. Finally, however, it is possible to counter these two arguments by demonstrating that they mistakenly assume that ‘the West’ will really be motivated by what actually helps Western values. What if a rhetoric of Western values gets mobilized mostly as symbolic, not really meant to work, but for domestic consumption? Probably, this is the weakest point in the present analysis. It harks back to the methodological argument about the domestic anchorage of discourses. In this perspective, ‘Western values’ could be played up for domestic uses. In an increasingly media-driven society with politicians posturing on global issues for symbolic purposes, it is a very real possibility that it will continue to prove useful to talk ‘West’, even if it is counterproductive internationally, even detrimental to those very values one claims to support. Very likely, this will be an important battleground. Both sincerely in order to maximally further (what historically have been) Western values and as always mixed up with other motives, some will disentangle these values from the ‘Western’ slogan. Others will try to cast the issues in terms of values in order to strengthen their own domestic association with the right and good, and they will more often find the ‘Western’ slogan helpful. While the value policy has advantages in the short term, it will be vulnerable to accusations of being hypocritical to the extent that it fails to deliver. Ironically, this kind of policy has the best chances politically if it fails dramatically and produces polarization, because in situations of a strong ‘us-them’ antagonism, the blame for non-success has an address: them. That is, at low-to-medium levels of polarization, policy efficiency will deliver some degree of reality check, whereas escalation might relieve Western actors from this pressure. Previously, these Western actors were strong enough that the problems of Western value policy was not spoken back to them. Much of this critical question therefore hinges on degrees in the over-arching prognosis: how weakened will Europe and the US be (and therefore how clear the incapacity to get results by self-righteousness) and how solidly non-polarized will the system be (and thereby weakening the possibility of blaming non-results on the Other)? The question of ideological promotion of Western values past the ‘sellby-date’ will be crucial in determining how gracefully or not the West declines conceptually. After the end of the geo-cultural reproduction of the category of the West, we might have a slowly self-undermining fight for Western values. If a specter of ‘the West’ survives, this is likely to be its wretched form.

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In a post-Western world, where slowly ‘most of the world’ (Chatterjee, 2004) comes to matter, too, the parts that used to be ‘the West’ are a small fraction with a complex historical relationship to the rest. This situation is sufficiently difficult, so that one can with modest confidence hope that this leads to a discursive policy of avoiding self-defeating politics of ‘the West’. This hope of managed decline of ‘the West’ (as concept) gives some hope that it is possible to also manage the decline of those that this category used to refer to – if in contrast, the concept is played heavyhandedly in a post-Western world, the decline of the signified will be hastened and most likely highly unpleasant. REFERENCES Anderson, Benedict (1991 [1983]) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Revised Edition (London: Verso). Appadurai, Arjun (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Behnke, Andreas (2012) NATO’S Security Discourse after the Cold War: Representing the West (London: Routledge). Bhambra, Gurminder K.(2007) ‘Multiple Maternities or Global Interconnections: Understanding the Global Post the Colonial’, in Nathalie Karagiannis and Peter Wagner, eds., Varieties in World Making (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press) pp. 59–73. Boer, Pim den (1993) ‘Europe to 1914: The Making of an Idea’, in Pim den Boer, Peter Bugge, and Ole Wæver, The History of the Idea of Europe (Milton Keynes: Open University (and republished in 1995 by Routledge)), pp. 13– 82. Bonnet, Alastair (2010) ‘Asian Occidentalism and Rediscovered Modernities’, in Christopher S. Browning and Marko Lehti, eds., The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy (London: Routledge) pp. 201–217. Browning, Christopher S. (2010) ‘Conclusion: The resilient West’, in Christopher S. Browning and Marko Lehti, eds., The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy (London: Routledge), pp. 218–229. Bull, Hedley and Adam Watson (1984) The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Buzan, Barry (2011) ‘The Inaugural Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture. A World Order without Superpowers: Decentred Globalism’, International Relations 25, 1, pp. 3–25. Buzan, Barry and Gerry Segal (2000) Anticipating the Future: Twenty Millennia of Human Progress (London: Simon & Schuster). Buzan, Barry and Ole Wæver (2003) Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). (2009) ‘Macrosecuritization and Security Constellations: Reconsidering Scale in Securitization Theory’, Review of International Studies 35, 2, pp. 253–276. Chakrabarty, Dipesh (2000) Provincializing Europe. Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

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Chatterjee, Partha (2004) The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World (Delhi: Permanent Black). Chavez, Hugo and Moammar Gaddaffi (2009) Declaration from meeting, 28 September 2009. Deudney, Daniel and John G. Ikenberry (2012) Democratic Internationalism: An American Grand Strategy for a Post-Exceptionalist Era, An IIGG Working Paper, Council on Foreign Relations. Foucault, Michel (1998 [1976]) The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: The Will to Knowledge (London: Penguin). (2002 [1969]) Archeology of Knowledge (London: Routledge). Fukuyama, Francis (1992) The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press). Giere, Ronald N. (1999) Science without Law (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Gollwitzer, H. (1951) Europabild und Europagedanke (Munich: Beck). Gress, David (1998) From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (New York: Free Press). Grewe, Wilhelm (1988) Epochen der V¨olkerrechtsgeschichte, 2nd ed. (BadenBaden: Nomos). Hall, John A. (1985) Powers and Liberties: The Causes and Consequences of the Rise of the West (Oxford: Basil Blackwell). Hansen, Lene (2006) Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London: Routledge). Hay, Denys (1968) Europe: The Emergence of an Idea (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press) (expanded version; original version 1957). Heller, Peggy (2010) ‘The Russian Dawn: How Russia Contributed to the Emergence of “the West” as a Concept’ in Christopher S. Browning and Marko Lehti, eds., The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy (London: Routledge), pp. 33–52. Holm, Ulla, Henrik Larsen and Ole Wæver (1990) ‘Forestillingen om Europa: En studie i fransk og tysk tænkning efter revolutionen i Øst’, Tidsskriftet Vandkunsten – konflikt, politik & historie, no. 2, March 1990. (not forthcoming) The Struggle for ‘Europe’: French and German Concepts of State, Nation and European Union, book manuscript from the early 1990s. Howarth, David (2000) Discourse (Buckingham: Open University Press). Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus (2006) Civilizing the Enemy: German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press). (2010) ‘The Perpetual Decline of the West’, in Christopher S. Browning and Marko Lehti, eds., The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy (London: Routledge), pp. 53–70. Koselleck, Reinhart (2002) The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press) (largely a translation of Zeitschichten: Studien zur Historik from 2000). (2004) Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time (New York: Columbia University Press) (German original 1979).

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Kristensen, Peter Marcus (2015) Rising Powers in the International Relations Discipline: Sociological Inquiries into a Dividing Discipline and the Quest for NonWestern Theory, PhD thesis, University of Copenhagen. Laden, Osama bin (2008) ‘May Our Mothers Be Bereaved of Us If We Fail to Help Our Prophet (Peace Be upon Him)’, transcript of audio recording released March 19, 2008; http://www1.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/ FeaturedDocs/nefabinladen0308.pdf. Mearsheimer, John J. (2014 [2003]) The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, 2nd edition, New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Morozov, Viatcheslav (2010) ‘Western Hegemony, Global Democracy and the Russian Challenge’, in Christopher S. Browning and Marko Lehti, eds., The Struggle for the West: A Divided and Contested Legacy (London: Routledge), pp. 185–200. Penetrante, Ariel M. (2013) ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities: The ¨ North-South Divide in Climate Change Negotiations’, in Gunnar Sjostedt and Ariel Penetrante, eds., Climate Change Negotiations: A Guide to Resolving Disputes and Facilitating Multilateral Cooperation (London: Earthscan), pp. 249–276. Ringmar, Erik (1997) ‘Alexander Wendt: A Social Scientist Struggling with History’, in Iver B. Neumann and Ole Wæver, eds., The Future of International Relations: Masters in the Making (London: Routledge), pp. 269–289. Rovisco, Maria (2010) ‘One Europe or Several Europes? The Cultural Logic of Narratives of Europe – Views from France and Britain’, Social Science Information 49, 2, pp. 241–66. Skinner, Quentin (2002) Visions of Politics, Vol. 1: Regarding Method (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Spengler, Oswald (1972 [1923]) Der Untergang des Abendlandes: Umrisse einer Morphologie der Weltgeschichte (Munich: dtv). Wæver, Ole (1990) ‘Three Competing Europes: German, French, Russian’, International Affairs 66, 3, pp. 477–493. (2005) ‘European Integration and Security: Analysing French and German Discourses on State, Nation, and Europe’, in David R. Howarth and Jacob Torfing, eds., Discourse Theory in European Politics: Identity, Policy and Governance (Basingstoke: Macmillan), pp. 33–67. (2006) ‘Security: A Conceptual History for International Relations’, Working Paper for CHALLENGE, The Changing Landscape of Liberty and Security in Europe, an Integrated Project financed by the Sixth EU Framework Programme; www.libertysecurity.org. (2009a) ‘Discursive Approaches’, in Antje Wiener and Thomas Diez, eds., European Integration Theory, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 163–180. (2009b) ‘Waltz’s Theory of Theory’, International Relations, 23, 2, pp. 201–222. (2010) “Verden efter Vestens Vælde” (the world after the reign of the West), udenrigs, vol. 65:2, pp. 6–23.

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4

Between Polarisation and Appeasement Democracy and Its ‘Other’

¨ Harald Muller

1

Introduction

How shall democracies relate to their non-democratic ‘other’? Mainstream international political philosophy and theory, seconded by democratic peace theory, neo-conservatism, clash-of-civilisation pundits, and parts of the global governance literature, embark on ‘civilisational polarisation’: Explicitly or implicitly, these approaches ascribe to democracies a moral superiority which legitimates restructuring international, transnational, and/or inter-societal relations in their own image. This would lead to a cosmopolitan order where states lose their imposing importance, individuals become the lead subject of international law, and the world is governed according to democratic principles. Eventually, Can¨ dide’s dream of the ‘best of all worlds’ would be achieved (Muller, 2009, chapter II). Practical policies by democracies waver between confronting nondemocracies selectively (President Bush) and the strategy of the ‘extended hand’ (President Obama). While the first alternative breeds unnecessary conflict, the second one has been criticised for unprincipled appeasement. Democracies range on a continuum between two ideal types of attitude towards the non-democratic ‘other’: ‘Militant democracy’ sees in autocracies the implacable and irredeemable evil that must be vanquished; ‘pacifist democracy’ accepts non-democracies as partners in international order and fully capable of evolving towards a republican ¨ ¨ constitution in the long run (Muller, 2004; Muller and Wolff, 2006). The two types share a feeling of democratic superiority; but the difference in translating this into worldview and practice makes them inhabitants of different planets. This study advises prudence and humility. While the author is rooted in the same liberal-humanitarian, democratic values as his subjects of critique, he does not share their enthusiasm for using the ‘unipolar democratic moment’ (which may have passed) for imposing our system on the rest. In the last 300 years, democracy and human rights have gained 60

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ground incrementally. Most of the gains were due to successful democracies serving as models for others, and for people in other places fighting for, and eventually establishing, their tailor-made democracies in their countries. Imposing democracy on others by pressure and force was only rarely a success. Efforts at social engineering, re-modelling the ‘the rest’ in the image of ‘the West’ not only have a poor track-record, they have also, more often than not, triggered violence and conflict rather than helping to overcome them. Kant’s defence of state autonomy is usually forgotten by his present followers (Maus, 1998). His refusal of a world state (universal cosmopolitan democracy in today’s parlance) meets criticism and dismissal as rooted in the circumstances of his time. Kant’s respect for the right of peoples to autonomous development, unharassed by the zeal of missionaries, serves as a useful reminder that respect for the rights of others dissuades against even well-minded missionarism. Intervention for ‘saving strangers’ (Wheeler, 2000) must be restricted to the most outrageous incidents (genocide, grave breaches of humanitarian law) and decisions on such action must follow lawful procedures as enshrined in the UN Charter. This minimalist universalism corresponds to what the Millennium Summit could agree to in 2005. It is not promising to go beyond this minimum global consensus at this time. Normatively, this study gives priority to preserving peace and to solving the most pressing international problems, such as climate change, combating poverty, resolving virulent conflicts, and curbing terrorism. To preserve peace and to work these problems out, we have to make do with the real existing actors, not with those we dream up in high spirits. These actors are, in the first place, the governments that, for better and worse, manage to control their states’ territories. We can discuss for a long time whether states have any normative standing (Kant, to the chagrin of some of his current followers, viewed even autocratic states as systems of rudimentary legal rule capable of evolving). While state authorities can occasionally be cruel, rapacious, and murderous, the situation is as bad when there is no state authority at all (‘state failure’). For keeping a minimum of peace and working for the solution of urgent ¨ problems, functioning states are indispensable (Muller, 2009). Since not all functioning states are democracies, there is no way to escape working with autocracies. Of course, deficient democracies, like Russia or Venezuela, or autocracies, like Saudi-Arabia or China, do things we find justifiably repelling. But they are the only Russia, Venezuela, Saudi-Arabia, or China we have got. We can hope that, if we prove the superiority of our system of rule, if these societies undergo further differentiation as a consequence of development, and if our well-tempered

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policy towards them helps open spaces for societal evolution, they will go the way of South Africa, Brazil, or South Korea in due time. For the time being, it is more sensible to work with them than to confront them with demands for framing international relations according to principles alien to them; this would lead to a new, unnecessary polarity, a kind of ‘civilisational security dilemma’. Before discussing that in detail, I will explain my use of the term ‘polarity’. 2

International Polarity and Domestic Political Structure

Polarity, in classical and neorealist theory, emerges from the international distribution of power resources (Waltz, 1979). In the Waltian amendment, polarity results from the biggest threat in the system which provokes counter-alliances (Walt, 1987). If we conceive of the system as regionally fragmented, we get checkered polarities distributed over regional security complexes (Buzan and Wæver, 2003). In power change theory, polarity still results from the distribution of resources, as declining hegemons confront ascending challengers (Tammen et al., 2000). For constructivists, poles are what governments make of it. It is less the distribution of material goods than the distribution of values and perceptions which divides the world community (Wendt, 1999). The social facts which result from such ideational divisions are no less hard than those derived from raw matter. But they appear more malleable by human agency. Democratic peace theory, the most popular variant of liberal theory in international relations, arrives at polarity in a subtle way. Democracies are, alas, as warlike as non-democracies. But among themselves, they keep peace. The world would be peaceful if only everybody was democratic (Russett and Oneal, 2001). And suddenly, polarity is there, not only in a purely analytical way. Typologising the world according to political system is a speech act establishing polarity; since peace is as impeccable as motherhood, the polarity bears a strong normative imprint. The constructivist strand of democratic peace theory ascribes this polarisation of democracies/autocracies to the perceptual and evaluative activities of democratic actors. This consideration bears some resemblance with, and might be as momentous to world politics as, securitization (Buzan et al., 1998). Democracies observe the homologous traits of their peer democracies; they themselves prefer peaceful solutions to internal conflict and conclude that this must be the same for their democratic sisters. They expect that this preference is transferred to interstate relations and thus harbour no distrust against their own kin: The security dilemma does not emerge; relations are on a peaceful trajectory.

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In contrast, by using force to manage domestic conflicts, autocracies attract resentment and deep distrust of democracies; they are suspected to transfer, as democracies do with their peaceful conflict management, their violent treatment of conflict to interstate relations (Risse, 1995). Thus, the security dilemma emerges in full force (Booth and Wheeler, 2008). Inclining states towards escalatory moves, it can lead to violent intersystemic conflict. The argument does not stand scrutiny. The security dilemma is rarely the cause of war, and democracies show variance in their perception of the non-democratic ‘other’. Some address autocracies with disdain and wish to force regime change; others view in non-democracies cooperation partners with a potential to evolve. Even the more militant ones treat some autocracies as good friends when they need them as allies against worse enemies, or, even more expediently, as reliable suppliers of crude oil. The polarisation along the democracy/non-democracy line, thus, is no necessity, but contingent. The democratic peace discourse risks not to be the analysis of, but a contribution to, this polarisation. Words can hurt you, as Ernst B. Haas once wrote (Haas, 1982). The liberal-theoretical discourse is at risk to drive polarisation politics once politicians pick up its arguments whose prejudices or agendas it is fitting all too well (Ish-Shalom, 2006; Smith, 2007). In the following, I demonstrate the militant tendency inherent in some strands of Western liberal thinking, using the project of ‘cosmopolitan’ democracy as example. I then argue that this is no necessary consequence of liberalism (as pretended by Desch, 2007): Quite a few democracies approach the non-democratic ‘other’ cooperatively rather than in a polarizing way. The future polarity of the world is thus not a given, but lies in the hands of actors who, wittingly or not, are the architects of world order. Polarisation as Principle of Order: Current Liberal International Thought Liberal universalism, notably cosmopolitism, lays the foundation for a dichotomic polarisation of the international system along ideational boundaries. It is somehow ironic that this bifurcation stems from the desire to create universal homogeneity. Liberals argue that their own values and assumptions must be regarded as universally valid, particularly democracy and human rights. The idea of cosmopolitan democracy can be regarded as the attempt to answer the questions of global governance from the universalistic point of view. For these purposes the basic assumptions of Kant are reconverted (Maus, 1998): The cosmopolitan right focusing on the individual is regarded as far more important than the

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international right that focuses on the protection of state sovereignty (e.g. Kuper, 2004, pp. 25–341 ; Beck, 2004; Buchanan, 2004). This revised liberal concept is caused either by sovereignty engendering unthinkable national terror (Auschwitz), or by the permeable boundaries of the nation state in the age of globalization and the increasing quality of legitimation of transnational discourses and actors. The Problem of Exclusion The crux of this concept is the treatment of non-liberal others. Consistently, these concepts do not argue functionally or inductively by referring to the real world, but rather, in a normative-deductive way, by referring to liberal axioms. There is no place for a non-liberal agent in such a construction: non-liberal actors are excluded more or less explicitly. The Rough Version The most radical exclusionism is promoted by thinkers such as Charles Beitz, Thomas Pogge, Andrew Kuper, or Allen Buchanan (Beitz, 1979; Pogge, 2002; Buchanan, 2004; Kuper, 20042 ), who object that John Rawls did not close his concept for non-liberal states completely. These 1

2

See, e.g., Kuper, 2004, p. 26: ‘We want principles of justice to regulate a global institutional scheme, principles, which are not statist in their assumptions. It will be a cosmopolitan conception because it requires institutions to meet three criteria: taking individual human persons as the units of concern (individualism); attaching that status to every human being equally (universality); and regarding persons as the ultimate unit of concern for everyone (generality)’. Kuper here attaches himself to Thomas Pogge (Pogge, 1994 [2002]). As radical doubtlessly underlines most of these author’s academic works in a consistent way, a few quotes should be sufficient to explain their aim. Beitz states that ‘a state’s claim to autonomy rests on the conformity of its institutions with appropriate principles of justice’ (Beitz, 1979, p. 83), and ‘that this principle [of nonintervention – HM] does not apply equally to all states. Indeed, the same moral concerns that support the nonintervention principle in some circumstances might justify intervention in others . . . Unjust institutions do not enjoy the same prima facie protection against external interference as do just institutions, and in fact, other things equal, interference with unjust institutions might be justified when it has a high probability of promoting domestic social justice. The nonintervention principle cannot be interpreted properly without considering the justice of the institutions of the states involved in particular instances of (potential) intervention’ (Beitz, 1979, p. 121). According to Kuper, ‘decent regimes [in a Rawlsian sense – HM] must be engaged in a global legal structure but only to a limited extent. First, the conditions for entry must require reforms in a democratic direction rather than avoiding this issue’ (Kuper, 2004, p. 42), and that ‘Moreover the theory and practice of international law increasingly, and rightly, invokes such democratizing imperatives’ (Kuper, 2004, p.43). How vulnerable – and risky – this way of arguing is, even for an intrinsic critique, can be shown in the case of Thomas Pogge, who believes that the spread of weapons of mass destruction could solely be contained by a centralization of significant sovereign rights on a global level (‘vertical distribution of sovereignty’) (Pogge, 2002, p. 148). Mainstream theory of international relations, history, and experience suggest that states would react to a threat to their sovereignty rather with armament than with disarmament and nonproliferation.

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authors ask for prescriptions that are universally valid beyond borders, in order to protect the rights of the individual. If these rights are broken, sanctions – including oppressive ones3 – will follow to reconstruct the demanded governance of law. Moreover, they demand the right to distribute certain goods and implement certain ecological standards. All these demands refer inevitably to basic liberal principles. There are two conclusions for the international order: the acceptance of the rights of individuals – determined out of a liberal perspective – is the precondition for all nation states for being considered legitimate. If they refuse to accept these rights, they will lose their sovereignty or not be granted recognition in the first place. Second, the liberal nation states obtain a privileged status. Only they – excluding all others – decide whether another state is to be considered as legitimate and as sovereign for this reason. Only the liberal states are competent and authorized to acknowledge legitimacy and sovereignty. Only they are qualified to command the required measures to punish offenders, and to decide on war and peace. Hence a – so far unanswered – question arises: as there is no authority at the point of origin that would be able to make the selection of the privileged, who is supposed to be the original constituent of the system? [The American neo-conservatives consider this problem to be less complicated because they demand the right to select for their own nation, and they base this right on the asymmetrical distribution of power for the benefit of the US (Krauthammer, 1990/914 , 2002/03; Frum and Perle, 2004)]. At the international level, cosmopolitans construe two classes of public international law, distinguishing between the In-group and the Outgroup, between democratic patricians and non-democratic helots (Crawford/Marks, 1998, p. 78/9). This applies, in the first place, to the use of 3

4

E.g. Kuper, 2004, p. 44: ‘It is one thing to treat illiberal regimes as outlaws – to a greater or lesser extent, depending to the extent of violation, that is, on where they fall on the decenttyrannical – continuum – but it is quite another to think that it is morally permissible to colonise or eliminate them by force’. What on first sight seems to be a (not too) narrow concept of intervention gets rough a few sentences later: ‘The use of force must be reserved for cases where force is the only way to encourage sustainable democracy or to prevent egregious abuses of human rights’ (ibid.) Krauthammer, 1990/91, p. 25: ‘There is much pious talk about a new multilateral world and the promise of the United Nations as guarantor of a new post-Cold War order. But this is to mistake cause and effect, the United States and the United Nations. The United Nations is guarantor of nothing. Except in a formal sense, it can hardly be said to exist’; ‘International stability is never a given. It is never the norm. When achieved, it is the product of self-conscious action by the great powers, and most particularly of the greatest power, which is . . . the United States’ (p. 29); ‘Why should it matter to Americans that their actions get a Security Council nod from, say, Deng Xiaoping and the butchers of Tiananmen Square is beyond me’ (p. 26); ‘Our best hope for safety in such times, as in difficult times in the past, is in American strength and will to lead a unipolar world, unashamedly laying down the rules of world order and being prepared to enforce them’ (p. 33).

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force.5 Concretely, it means that – depending on the basis criterion – at least one third, and maybe half, of today’s nation states must be displaced from all relevant decision-making positions and a new democratic organization, representing only half of the world’s population, must be installed against the will of the non-democratic states. A radical break within international law is requested and shall be enacted by democracies in the name of the future state of a world republic. The Disregardful Variant ¨ At first glance, Otfried Hoffe’s minimalist conception of a world repub¨ lic (Hoffe, 1996, 2002) seems to be harmless. He avoids the problem of exclusion: He does not claim explicitly that certain agents are to be excluded from the process of decision-making within the world republic. He simply ignores the problem of heterogeneity among states. This is even more surprising as he notices cultural diversity and develops ¨ clever ideas concerning an intercultural ‘dialogue of rights’ (Hoffe, 1996, pp. 53–62). But this has no consequences for his concept of a minimalistic ¨ world republic built on a strict liberal program (Hoffe, 1996, pp. 106– 136). From different deliberations, David Held comes to the same conclusion (Held, 1998, p. 11): he affirms the rapid spread of democracy in recent decades and claims that two thirds of all states have already become democracies. Yet this estimation can be doubted using the data of Polity-4 or Freedom House. Numerous states, whose governments have been affirmed formally by elections, are deficient democracies, including a decline concerning the actual chances to participate, the implementation of human rights, the implementation of constitutional principles, the parliamentarian control of the executive authority, or an independent judiciary (Merkel/Puhle, 1999). Moreover, Held seems to insinuate, misleadingly, that a ‘Two-Third-Majority’ within the system 5

‘Proponents of reform should consider the possibility of a treaty-based approach that bypasses the UN system. The most likely and morally defensible version of this alternative would be a coalition of democratic, human-rights respecting states, bound together by a treaty that would specify wellcrafted criteria that must be satisfied for intervention to be permissible in the absence of Security Council authorization’ (Buchanan, 2004, p. 450); ‘The chief criterion for admission to the intervention regime would be having a decent record on human rights and having a government that meets the rather minimal criteria for democracy’ (Buchanan, 2004, p. 452); ‘No member of such a coalition could be justly accused of being willing to impose its own view on others; instead, each member could truthfully say that it is relying upon the collective judgment of the group as to whether to intervene in any particular case . . . The fact that each member of such a group enjoy a well-functioning domestic regime for the protection of basic rights, as well as a free press and institutionalized political competition, is a basis for some degree of confidence in the group’s collective judgments’ (Buchanan, 2004, p. 467).

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of states would permit the enforcement of the particular values of this majority against the rest.6 Even if there was only one non-democratic state left, e.g. China, the vast majority of states would do well to debate the basic principles of international order with China and be willing to compromise instead of making the attempt to enforce their own principles of order upon the Middle Kingdom. The core problem is that there is a block of non-democratic but significant states, including China, SaudiArabia, Algeria, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Vietnam. And there is also a significant block of defective democracies close to autocratic systems such as Indonesia, Russia, Nigeria, or Venezuela (probably also some products of the ‘Arab spring’) that cannot be ignored, even though they belong to the so-called minority within the system of states. What, then, is the desired order supposed to look like? Employing the principle of subsidiarity consistently, the world republic’s responsibilities are situated only in the fields of peacekeeping and the assurance of the individual’s right. The rest remains within the sovereignty of the ¨ state (Hoffe, 2002, p. 23). It remains unclear why these purposes cannot be achieved by a well-organized confederation, that is, a moderately ¨ reformed UN. Nevertheless Hoffe asserts that all decisions on a global ¨ level must be made democratically, including a ‘world parliament’ (Hoffe, 1996, p. 129f). Most crucial is his proposal to authorize the world republic to interfere with other fields apart from the unspecified set of a state’s basic rights. In this way, states could lose central competences – without ¨ agreement of national parliaments (Hoffe, 1996, p. 121). ¨ Hoffe conceals the intended revolutionary disempowerment of states ¨ by talking vaguely about a ‘primary’ and a ‘secondary’ state (Hoffe, 1996, 2002). The concept of the state becomes indistinct, as he talks about two essentially different entities. Focusing on today’s multilevel state shows that sections of administration beneath the central level of the state are mostly not named ‘states’ – they are called ‘L¨ander,’ provinces, departments, cantons. If they are called ‘states,’ as they are called in 6

Held, 1998, p. 11: ‘Democracy has become the fundamental standard of political legitimacy in the current era’; ‘The case for cosmopolitan democracy is the case for the creation of new political institutions which would coexist with the system of states but which would override states in clearly defined spheres of activity where those activities have demonstrable transnational and international consequences, require regional or global initiatives in the interest of effectiveness and depend on such initiatives for democratic legitimacy’ (p. 24); Held, 1995, p. 271f: ‘The principle of non-coercive relations governs the settlement of disputes, though the use of force must remain a collective option of last resort in the face of clear attacks to eradicate cosmopolitan democratic law. Cosmopolitan democracy might justify the deployment of force, after all other forms of negotiation and sanction have been exhausted, in the context of a threat to international democracy and a denial of democratic rights and obligations by tyrannical regimes, or by circumstances which spiral beyond the control of particular peoples and agents (such as the disintegration of a state).’

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the US, this term can be considered as a kind of self-deception of once independent, but now subordinated political units. It is the same with German ‘Freistaaten/free states’, Bavaria and Saxony. ¨ Hoffe’s concepts of the ‘primary’ state and also the ‘secondary’ state are missing essential criteria of the common-sense definition of the state. The ‘secondary’ state has got no popular sovereign, and that is why it misses an essential resource of legitimacy. The ‘primary’ state misses the following essential criteria of a nation state: the election of one’s own type of governance, which has been displaced to the ‘secondary level,’ as well as the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, because this belongs to the world republic. But a multilevel system cannot work if the only legitimate actor – the nation state – does not have the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, and the owner of this monopoly is not considered to be adequately legitimate. ¨ Hence the concepts of Hoffe and Held, although they try to be as humble as possible, do not deal with exclusion problem differently than their more radical colleagues. They postulate, as a precondition for global governance, the acceptance of liberal ideals – such as human rights and democracy – that are not accepted, or at least not entirely accepted, by all of today’s states. Non-democratic actors find themselves in a dilemma: They can comply with the rules of the ‘secondary’ state without changing the set of rules of their respective ‘primary’ state and thus run the risk of becoming an object of sanctions and interventions. Alternatively, they can accept the rules of the ‘secondary’ state by accomplishing the reforms within the ‘primary’ state – but that means giving up self-determination. Last, they could choose an exit-option, staying outside the system of law. That means risking confrontation with an enclosed community of states that possesses the monopoly of the use of force and that is likely to intervene – the outlaw leads a dangerous life. The Version of a Selective Exclusion John Rawls agrees with my conclusions drawn in the previous section. Nevertheless, he takes as a starting point the perception that international order must be more than just an association of democracies that tell ‘others’ what to do. Hence, true cosmopolitans don’t regard Rawls as one of their kin. But even in Rawls’ work, the exclusionist structure of cosmopolitan thinking shows up, though in a more hidden way. Rawls includes democracies but also ‘decent hierarchies’ in the community based on the ‘Law of Peoples’ (Rawls, 1999, pp. 3–4). The decency of these states depends on the extent to which they have put some liberal values into practice. Some basic human rights as well as certain

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forms of consultation of the citizens of a country must be recognized, if one wants to become a member of the ‘community of justice’. Additionally, three types of ‘peoples’ can be found: first, the ‘burdened’ nations whose material status makes it impossible to rule effectively. That makes them addressees for the obligatory help of the ‘worthy nations’; ‘benevolent autocracies’ that behave unaggressively and respect human rights, but exclude the public from any participation; and last, the evil ‘outlaws’ who behave aggressively and inhumanly and are law-breaking, so that they become appropriate targets for sanctions by the ‘community of justice’. Rawls’ concept contains several inconsistencies. First, it is unclear why he talks about justice between peoples instead of talking about justice between states – if his concept is based on the Kantian assumption that states are representatives of their people. Rawls’ thesis that states are violent by nature (Rawls, 1999, pp. 27–35) is a completely unnecessary import of assumptions of ‘realist’ theory. The philosophy of the state and various theories of international relations offer more sophisticated conceptions of the state; it is not a good way to conceptualize a philosophical theory by referring to selected, one-sided arguments of other disciplines. It is questionable how ‘peoples’ obtain their representatives if not through institutionalized agency. The institutions in which such agency is normally incorporated are commonly named states. Replacing ‘states’ with ‘peoples’ is not justified by the analytical purpose. Second, it seems incomprehensible why ‘benevolent autocracies’ and ‘burdened nations’ are to be excluded from the ‘community of law.’ It should be the criterion of a ‘community of law,’ whose purpose it is to create and maintain order, that their members are willing to respect the rules commonly agreed. According to Rawls, these types of ‘peoples’ do so. If agents belonging to the group of the ‘burdened peoples’ break the law, it is not because they do it on purpose but because they lack needed resources. In cases like this, the following maxim should be applied: ultra posse nemo obligator. As Rawls convincingly argues, this ‘burden’ obliges others to provide assistance. Nevertheless, it cannot be right to exclude the ‘burdened peoples.’ The ‘benevolent autocracy’ can also be considered as being lawful. A breach of law only comes about because Rawls connects the criterion of ‘decency’ with the request to have participatory and inclusionary processes of decision-making. This exclusion is not cogent, because the decision-making process does not influence the state’s behavior as concerns the rules of handling the consequences of globalization, peace obligations, and the observation of minimal standards relating to the

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treatment of citizens. The exclusion can be considered a conclusion out of wrong premises (see next chapter). Third, the important question comes up as to who is authorized to decide about the inclusion or exclusion of peoples. In the classical African ‘palaver-system’, the rule of consensus ensures that every single member of society has the same right to influence a public decision. Not only does the equal right to participate affect the selection of representatives, but substantial questions are affected by it as well. But this is not the standard Western majoritarian system which excludes the oppositional minority for a fixed period of time from influencing decision-making. Likewise, members of representation systems in which the representatives are selected by lot could consider the American election campaign – which depends on the media and money – and the drastic inequalities that come along with it as an indicator of a lack of ‘decency’. These thought experiments show that deciding whether to accept or not a state as ‘decent’ it is not as easy as Rawls suggests. Fourth, Rawls presents a partial concept of law. His concept refers only to substantive law; but procedural law is equally important: What about the actual procedures of law-making and law enforcement? Rules for law-making tell us who is authorized to make law. Additionally, Rawls does not pay any attention to the question of enforcement even though he notices the problem of the ‘burdens of judgment’ and the ‘problem of misapprehension’ that unavoidably come up when pronouncing a judgment. There are situations where it is not clear if a people belongs either to the ‘benevolent autocracies’ or to the ‘outlaws.’ It is also often unclear if a breach of the rules has taken place at all, and if it is serious enough to justify military action with all the collateral damage that comes with it. A due procedure is indispensable to enable agents to decide these questions in an optimal manner. Rawls does not discuss this necessity. That is why we have to guess that these important decisions remain within the unilateral purview of governments (Rawls, 1999, p. 93f. fn. 6). Hence, Rawls does not lead us to a state of international law but into a new state of anarchy, that is driven not – as in political realism – by the security dilemma, but by the dilemmas of decision-making that come with the ‘burdens of judgment’ within an international ‘multi-class-society’. The pseudo-alternative would be to transfer decision-making authority (1) to the privileged (liberal) group of states, or (2) to the ‘decent people’ as a whole, including decent hierarchies. It is an argument for the second alternative that they are all part of the ‘association of law.’ It is an argument for the first alternative that democracies – as the real type of the desired political ideal – are better able to judge over the inclusion or exclusion of actors, and for this reason also about war and

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peace. Rawls insinuates this by the sequence of institutionalizing the ‘Law of Peoples’, in which the representatives of all liberal peoples agree among themselves, and only later with non-liberal, though decent peoples (Rawls, 1999, p. 10). With that, we are back to the exclusion of all non-democratic agents from essential processes of decision-making in the international sphere. Rawls’ attempt to overcome exclusion – which can be found in other cosmopolitan concepts of world order – by accepting non-democratic states (in his unfortunate diction: peoples) as capable of holding rights, has to fail. Because he refers to the same assumptions as the exclusionists, his courageous inclusive attempt does not work. ¨ Just like John Rawls, Jurgen Habermas is aware of the risks that a democratic prerogative of decision making contains. However, he assumes like Rawls that global governance can only be founded on liberal principles. Hence he justifies the exclusive intervention of the West within the ‘Kosovo war’ as an ‘anticipation of a future cosmopolitan condition’ (Habermas, 1999). His addition that this must be the exceptional case appears inconsistent. If there was a reason to justify the Kosovo intervention, other reasons will be found in the future for justifying other unilateral interventions. If such decisions would be illegitimate because ‘others’ were excluded, the 1999 NATO action would be illegitimate, too. The inclusive principle of the theory of communicative action suggests that any ‘principle of exclusion’ must be abolished. But the inescapable universalistic demand of liberalism leads to an exclusionary situation as soon as it gets transformed from an abstract world-view into a concrete political operation. A Bit of Everything: Beck’s ‘Reflexive Cosmopolitism’ Ulrich Beck’s conceptual design of ‘reflexive cosmopolitism’ is not rooted in political philosophy or theory, but in international sociology. Nevertheless, its consequences converge with these other strands, even though it seems to comprise the most far-reaching objections against cosmopolitan-based imperial attitudes. He cautions against the ‘dark side’ of cosmopolitism, its ambivalences that could change it into a ‘despotic’ cosmopolitism (Beck, 2004, p. 232). He mentions the risk of crusades inspired by liberal causes. Therefore, his approach seems to be a corrective for the enthusiastic missionarism of the foregoing ‘cosmopolitisms’. But this is only the surface. Beck’s ideas turn out to be as militant as the rest, even though he seems to regret that. In his conceptual design, the hegemonic strength can be found within the episteme. Beck uses

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the term ‘process of cosmopolitism’ for actual material processes that are commonly called ‘globalization’. The common use of the term ‘cosmopolitan’, in contrast, refers to a normative position. This materialist foundation of a normative statement – obscured by at the same time vague and complex language – breaches the time-honoured epistemological axiom that you cannot derive norms from facts. The border between what is and what is supposed to be gets blurred. Beck describes the ‘cosmopolitan view’ as the accurate reflection of the ‘cosmopolitan movement’ engendered by globalisation. This operation amounts to quite a primitive version of the ‘correspondence theory of truth,’ in a similar manner to Marx’s description of the proletarian class’s consciousness as being the true perception of the world. Indeed, at one point, Beck denies following a na¨ıve epistemology; instead he wants to introduce an ‘anti-constructivist-provocation’ (Beck, 2004, p. 116). But the phrase ‘reality itself is becoming cosmopolitan’ is as na¨ıve-realistic as one can go: Beck gives no reason to doubt his na¨ıve-realistic ‘theory of correspondence’ concerning his epistemology. The distinction between a true and a false reflection of reality construes a normative hierarchy: Because cosmopolitism has been enforced by the ‘risk-society’, deviating world-views lead to catastrophe, and that is why they are evil. In fact there is a hypocritical denial: ‘There is no direct, linear, ethical justification for the cosmopolitan project, no direct evidence for its moral or functional or pragmatic superiority’ (Beck, 2004, p. 71). This statement does not fit into phrases such as ‘the demonical possession of the national view’ (Beck, 2004, p. 122), or even ‘the zombiescience of the national view becomes an unreal-science of a nationalsocial-science’ (Beck, 2004, p. 170).7 Countries that have been suffering from colonialism – such as India, China, Algeria, or South Africa – recognize their sovereignty as shelter for self-determination and are thus skeptical about the agenda behind the cosmopolitan mission. If they decide to distance themselves from this ‘Western mission’ and assert their national autonomy, Beck regards this as an inferior ‘pattern of perception’ from a cognitive and moral point of view. This treatment promises to become a new classic of ‘repressive tolerance’. 7

The discipline of international relations is also badly censured: ‘International Relations theory is blind to the dynamics of globality’ (Beck, 2004, p. 61). I do not know what the colleague has read, because his heavy prose about the failures of the discipline of international relations does not get blurred by any relevant bibliographical reference. Thousands of pages about international regimes, multinational companies, epistemic communities, (social) networks, non-governmental organizations, violent transnational actors, and international organizations did not disturb his studies. O noble simplicity and quiet grandeur!

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Beck asserts that the violation of human rights nullifies the right of sovereignty (Beck, 2004, p. 215). The Kosovo intervention is justified by the obsolescence of sovereignty against the background of the universal validity of human rights (Beck, 2004, p. 182). The United Nations Security Council is misleadingly described as a ‘congregation of nondemocratic states’ (Beck, 2004, p. 193).8 In accordance with the former Bush administration, Beck moreover alleges that Saddam Hussein had ‘messed around with the inspectors for years’ (Beck, 2004, p. 193). He did not notice – just like President Bush – that the inspectors had disarmed the weapons of mass destruction completely. Accordingly, Beck designs an ‘ideal scenario’ of massive military force in order to effect an alteration of a rogue regime (e.g. Iraq) by threat. But he does not tell us what is going to happen if the threatened state refuses to transform itself (Beck, 2004, pp. 194–196). He accuses the Europeans – who are more skeptical about benefits of military threat – of protecting a ‘tyrant’ (Beck, 2004, p. 196). And moreover, he accuses them of not having an adequate military capacity, unlike the US (p. 192). (Obviously, he has not noticed that Europe spends about 180 billion euros a year for military purposes, which is the second highest amount of military spending after the US.) The corollary of Beck’s approach is – which he seems to notice in an apprehensive manner – the ‘discovery of a universally valid monopoly of the West concerning morality, law and the monopoly of the legitimate use of force’ (Beck, 2004, p. 217). All warnings and objections turn out to be red herrings: nobody else expresses the imperial demand of a relentless cosmopolitism as radically as he does. Conflict-Driving Consequences of the Universalistic Project of Order ¨ It is a common view that interstate war has almost died out (Munkler 2002). Implicitly or explicitly, this seems to lead to the conclusion that interstate war is no longer a danger to worry about. But this is a wrong conclusion. The number of interstate wars has decreased dramatically because the world of states has developed rules, institutions, and practices which help prevent the danger of interstate war. But these precautions rely on their constant reproduction through agency (Wendt, 1987; Dessler, 1998; Giddens, 1984). Interstate peace is not an irreversible structural 8

The Security Council has recently had a virtually constant majority of democratic states: in addition to three ‘permanent members’ of the UN’s Security Council, there have usually been three or four states from Eastern or Western Europe, one democratic state from the Asia-Pacific region, and one democracy from Latin America. Occasionally there has been a democracy among African members.

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status, it is a product of constant practice. If these efforts decrease or are suppressed by oppositional practices, full-blown interstate war would be back on the agenda. Thus, the international order is desperately in need of precautions to integrate states into a system of peaceful conflict management (Brock, 2002, p. 321f.). This does not mean that intra state war should not be an object for ambitions to implement order – quite the contrary. The guarantee of interstate peace is the international precondition to re-pacify internal conflicts without taking huge risks; without this precondition intrastate wars threaten to escalate to an interstate level, as rival powers are tempted to take sides in internal conflicts elsewhere, as throughout the Cold War. Given the increasingly destructive capability of modern weaponry, there is a huge danger that must be averted. With this risk in mind, the liberal state actor has to take into account the problem that many of the prospective partners are not liberal democracies, and that among them there are quite important actors. Obviously, a concept of order which does not include China is not useful in any way, shape, or form. It is in the nature of liberal universalism to wish for the global introduction of institutional and legal circumstances that assure both human and political rights of individual human beings. The offensive advancement of this desideratum with the means of pressure, sanction, or force appears threatening to non-democratic actors. The open demand for prompt regime change creates an atmosphere in which national sovereignty is constantly questioned. The logic of mutual recognition (Honneth, 1992), which is the prerequisite for all pacific and cooperative relations, the interstate level included, gives way – at least according to the expressed intention – to a normative hierarchisation of international relations. Liberal countries would be accorded decision-making authority for applying their principles to specific situations. When it is made a constitutive condition of legitimacy of a state to be a democracy, the right of co-determining the destiny of international relations is taken from those excluded. Their own destiny is already decided upon before the question of their right to exist is put on the agenda. At least 40 percent of today’s states would thereby lose their ‘civil rights’ in the international society of sovereign states. At the same time privileged decision makers in the liberal camp could at any time outlaw them, without any chance of an appeal or self-justification. It applies to all suggested liberal order constructs that they do not tolerate any deviant value and political orientation. Liberal demands get the tenor of immediacy. A disenfranchisement of the bearers of a deviant world orientation takes place on a high level of abstraction. This operation comes about through the mix-up of ideal theory with the political order

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of the day. The desired concept of world order is not discussed as an ideal scheme, towards which one needs to strive; neither is it discussed as the humble contribution to an intercultural discourse, with which the other actors can and should deal. Instead of being a view submitted to an open debate, it is treated as an immediately realisable prescription, against which there is no appeal, because its correctness is already established through the deduction from true universal principles. All world-order constructs criticised in this study assume that not all states are democracies. Otherwise the question of humanitarian intervention would not arise in the designed world community. It is astonishing how nonchalantly the overwhelming majority of liberal authors avoid the question of how non-liberal actors would respond if their world-views and constructs of world order would not have a chance to be heard, and their voice in making and applying law would not be worth anything. Non-liberal states are confronted with the imperative to either accept or tolerate world political institutions that run contrary to their principles of rule. Simultaneously, they watch the self-empowerment of liberal states – gallantly supported by the philosophical standard bearers of liberal universalism – resulting in military action which may aim as well at achieving more pedestrian political objectives. Non-democracies hence suffer from a double security problem: They are no longer included in the creation of the world order and can therefore take no part in the decision-making which sets the framework for their own national security. As mere bystanders of the implementation of these rules to specific cases, they are in danger of becoming objects of the intervention decisions of the hegemonic democracies. This creates a serious threat because it can immediately be followed by consecutive acts, and the security of the accused, non-liberal actors is directly threatened. It lets the Damocles-sword of intervention constantly hang above non-democratic states. The relationship between political theory and philosophy and significant aspects of Western policy cannot be overlooked (Ish-Shalom, 2006, and Smith, 2007). Kosovo 1999 and Iraq 2003 are striking examples of policies that read like an implementation of the polarised thinking in liberal political thought. Some liberal democracies bypassed legal barriers in order to enforce their will, which they perceived as being absolutely correct. A case of the political version of militant liberal philosophy is the 2002 US security strategy (White House, 2002), which entails the categorization of potential enemy states as rogue states, and classifies some of the threats emerging from them as requiring pre-emptive military intervention. Then US nuclear doctrine envisaged the option to use nuclear weapons inter alia for the purposes of ending the conflict in favor of the

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US as quickly as possible, to lead American or multilateral operations to victory, or to improve an unfavorable position on the battleground (Joint Publication 2005, III-2); this makes clear the extent of the threat that a rampant liberal universalism can entail once it is transferred from the lofty heights of abstract reasoning to the pedestrian level of military planning. This practical side has been epitomised in American neo-conservatism. The enforcement of democracy and human rights is propagated with berserker-like energy (Krauthammer, 2004a9 , 2004b10 ; Frum and Perle, 2004). The exclusivity of the decision is justified explicitly, be it NATO, the ‘League of Democracies’, which even has followers among Obama supporters (Daalder and Goldgeier, 2006), the smaller ‘coalition of the willing,’ or solely the US as the democratic ‘City on the Hill’. The use of the current US superiority is seen as a downright global political duty. All available resources are utilised for the triumphal procession of liberal values. The common response to the security dilemma concerning specific threats consists of the attempt to cover oneself in appropriate deterrence and defence means. The excessive missionary universalism spurs the arms race. Because the protagonists are the mightiest powers in the world, those who feel threatened only have the option to keep the missionaries away from their territories through fearsome means of deterrence. Accelerated proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and global arms races are the consequences. Cosmopolitan democracy, as well as its less sophisticated derivates in Western policy, constitutes a war programme in two ways: First, it disenfranchises a number of states in the world, provokes opposition to the imposed order and counter-alliances to liberal hegemony, which ends in arms races. Such races carry a residual risk, which can escalate into preventive or pre-emptive wars. Second, the self-empowerment of democracies justifies the military use of force, depending on where the unilateral or oligarchic decision-making sees appropriate justification for 9

10

Krauthammer, 2004a, p. 18: ‘It [Democratic Globalism, HM] seeks to vindicate the American idea by making the spread of democracy, the success of liberty, the ends and means of American foreign policy. I support that. I applaud that. But I believe it must be tempered in its universalistic aspirations and rhetoric from a democratic globalism to a democratic realism. It must be targeted, focused and limited. We are friends to all, but we come ashore only where it really counts. And where it counts today is that Islamic crescent stretching from North Africa to Afghanistan.’ Krauthammer 2004b, p. 20: ‘We will support democracy everywhere, but we will commit blood and treasure only in places where there is a strategic necessity – meaning, places central to the larger war against the existential enemy, the enemy that poses a global mortal threat to freedom’.

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acting. That the war, in this case, is veiled with the name of humanitarian intervention does not change anything – and does not bring the war fatalities back to life.

3

An Alternative to Polarisation

The cosmopolitan programme is, in an abstract way, humanitarian. Concretely, it accepts the loss of victims, when demanded by the assertion of its perfectly deduced principles. What is being claimed in the name of human rights takes away the most elementary right of those killed as collateral damage: the right to live. What has to be the absolute exception, namely (always fraught with consequences) military intervention, in the case of unavoidable and extremely serious crimes against humanity or genocide, becomes, subtly, the normal case in the cosmopolitan conception of international politics. Against that, only a radical return to the rehabilitation of sovereignty helps. We are well advised to remember those reasons on which Kant founded the prohibition of intervention in ‘Perpetual Peace.’ The sovereignty of states serves the preservation of international peace and the protection of the possibility of peoples to find an autonomous way to selfdetermination (Maus, 1998). In a world of weapons of mass destruction this function is of utmost importance. We know after Auschwitz that sovereignty cannot be absolute. The minimalistic conception of ‘Foedus Pacificum’ means that limiting the state’s responsibility to the duty of peace and the rejection of executive functions of the Foedus needs to be corrected and must be completed by a more substantial citizen-of-the-world law, as Kant envisages it (the absence of violence by visitors and by visited people in cross-border traffic). In this, the cosmopolitans are right. However, they go too far: The allowed breach of sovereignty must be the exceptional case and has to be linked to highly sophisticated, substantial, and procedural criteria (see later discussion). Otherwise, the door to war is opened, in the worst case to a world war. Polarisation is not the only option liberal democracies face when meeting the non-democratic ‘other’. It is also possible to view in nondemocracies states which are capable of evolving; this is the very reason why Kant pleaded for non-intervention in the internal affairs of other ¨ states except the dangerous ‘unjust enemy’ (Muller, 2004). In our time there exist, as poles on a continuum, two ideal types of political cultures in liberal democracies, a division which has been discussed earlier and that materialized in the Iraq war of 2003 (Larres, 2002).

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Policies embraced by the first type confront non-democracies, deny the existence of common interests, and refuse to work in common international organisations or to establish shared rules of international law; submitting to constraining rules is seen as illegitimate and dangerous in the face of non-democratic ‘unjust enemies’ (Brock, 2002). The second type seeks to create common legal ground and to work through international organisations in order to entangle the non-democracies into a cobweb of relationships, helping their evolution towards democracy and the rule of law. President Reagan’s initial approach to the Soviet Union (Czempiel, 1989) leant towards the ideal type of a ‘militant’ democratic policy, the military option excluded only by the nuclear stalemate. German Ostpolitik during the same period pursued a strategy of ‘change through rapprochement’ (Genscher, 1995); it was therefore closer to the ‘pacifist’ type of external democratic policy. Since both the ‘militant’ and ‘pacifist’ ideal types of democracy are legitimate children of liberalism, in democracies both have their followers. Pluralism and open debate cause them to exist side by side. Democracies at the centre of this continuum may waver among the contradictory orientations. The more we wander outwards to the poles, the more fixed and long-lasting orientations we find11 (Sorensen, 2007). We can thus think of more transient and more permanent orientations of democracies towards one or the other ideal type. In the more transient cases, domestic coalitions holding either ideology prevail for a while, but are occasionally voted out of power. This change will usually result from domestic rather than foreign policy concerns; the reorientation towards a more pacifist or more militant attitude in foreign policy is a random product of domestic politics. In the more permanent cases, one of the orientations has sunk into the political culture of a country and shapes the identity of the democracy; the opposite orientation may still exist, but only at the margins. Such a ‘structural’ pacifist or militant orientation is more stable than in the case of shifting ideological coalitions: All relevant political forces in the country hold the same ideology: a change in the governing coalition thus has no fundamental impact on external policy ¨ (Muller and Wolff, 2006).12 11

12

The differentiation between militant and pacifist democracies bears resemblance to Kegley and Hermann’s distinction between ‘crusader’ and ‘pragmatist’ democratic leaders (cf. Kegley and Hermann, 2002, p. 25). However, I see no reason to confine this differentiation to leaders, while populations remain to be seen as homogenous and/or passive. Kegley and Hermann’s criteria (more or less ideological impetus) misses the point that pacifism is as much an ideological position as war-prone liberalism. I expect a similar differentiation based on political culture in non-democracies, e.g. between ‘predatory’ revisionist/missionary autocracies and satisfied/self-contained autocracies, producing a similar variation of external behaviour.

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Conclusion

Of course we are all for democracy and human rights. What could stand against carrying these principles forward on a global level? However, at a second glance, there are profound doubts: First, the concept has a wrong starting point. Present world politics is primarily not about the enforcement of our (unfortunately) particularist values, but instead about peace-building and peace-keeping, coordination and cooperation between quite heterogeneous actors, who are often not democracies. Even those who believe in the liberal project and consider its universalism generally legitimate have to consider these facts. Second, and by implication, the imperative to keep peace demands solutions for coexistence. These are only accessible if we take the ‘other’ as it is. Irrespective of this, it is legitimate to wish it would be different and to promote – within tolerable limits – that it transforms. In contrast, to impose change is a collision course which is not justifiable towards states that are carriers of a considerable potential for violence. Instead, it is necessary to respect and preserve their sovereignty. This insight protects interstate peace and gives the people the dignity to emancipate themselves from non-democratic governance towards selfdetermination with their own effort, as did some Arab peoples recently. Nevertheless, there is a limit where drastic crimes against humanity, genocide being its worst form, force the international community of states to act in accordance with globally applicable standards and by the use of internationally accepted legal procedures. The liberal project has made progress in international law and in the practice of states. Even though human rights and democracy are not undisputed or cogent norms, they are established reference points for the global normative discourse. The series of human rights conventions anchored liberal principles in international law. The principles and practices of peace-building have made the support for democratic structures and civil society obligatory parts of all mandates. The principle of the responsibility to protect has proved its consensual basis with respect to dramatic crimes against humanity. This normative pattern has been established in negotiations with non-liberal, non-democratic states that were accepted as equal partners because of the prerogative of sovereignty. In the light of this success, an incremental path should be followed. Negotiations should not be overburdened by hasty claims of an immediate constitutionalisation of liberal ideals or by their anticipation in current practical political judgments. Likewise, it is ruinous to the liberal project to exclude non-democratic partners from decision-making after having frustratingly experienced the impossibility of achieving maximal claims.

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Patience – as humility – is a virtue which the liberal project needs desperately. Polarisation is a result of states’ practice. As the past decade shows, ideological polarisation is even possible among democracies, and the alleged normative superiority of ‘the West’ may be used to reinforce it. The polarisation between democracies and non-democracies as a new international structure would then, ironically, be the result of the victory of one democratic pole – the militant one – over the other. After Bush’s militant liberalism has suffered what can only be labeled a crash of sorts, there is still hope that a new global polarisation along those lines will not happen.

REFERENCES Beck, Ulrich (2004) Der kosmopolitische Blick oder: Krieg ist Frieden (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp). Beitz, Charles (1979) Political Theory and International Relations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Booth, Ken and Nicholas J. Wheeler (2008) The Security Dilemma: Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Brock, Lothar (2002) ‘“Staatenrecht” und “Menschenrecht”. Schwierigkeiten ¨ der Ann¨aherung an eine weltburgerliche Ordnung’, in Matthias Lutz¨ und wider Bachmann and James Bohman, eds., Weltstaat oder Staatenwelt. Fur die Idee einer Weltrepublik (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp), pp. 101–225. Buchanan, Allen (2004) Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde (1998) Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner). Buzan, Barry and Ole Wæver (2003) Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Crawford, James and Susan Marks (1998) ‘The Global Democracy Deficit: An Essay in International Law and Its Limits’, in Daniele Archibugi, David Held ¨ and Martin Kohler, eds., Re-imaging Political Community. Studies in Cosmopolitan Democracy (Cambridge: Polity Press), pp. 72–90. Czempiel, Ernst-Otto (1989) Machtprobe. Die USA und die Sowjetunion in den achtziger Jahren (M u¨ nchen: Beck). Daalder, Ivo and James Goldgeier (2006) ‘Global NATO’, Foreign Affairs 85, 5, pp. 105–113. Desch, Michael C. (2007) ‘The Ideological Origins of Overreaction in U.S. Foreign Policy’, International Security 32, 3, pp. 7–43. Frum, David and Richard Perle (2004) An End to Evil – How to Win the War on Terror (New York: Random House). Genscher, Hans-Dietrich (1995) Erinnerungen (Berlin: Siedler). Giddens, Anthony (1984) The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration (Berkeley: University of California Press).

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Haas, Ernst B. (1982) ‘Words Can Hurt You: Or, Who Said What to Whom about Regimes’, International Organization 36, 2, pp. 207–243. ¨ Habermas, Jurgen (1999) ‘Bestialit¨at und Humanit¨at’, Die Zeit, 54, 18, 29 April 1999. Held, David (1995) Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Cosmopolitan Governance (Cambridge: Polity Press). ¨ Hoffe, Otfried (1996) Vernunft und Recht. Bausteine zu einem interkulturellen Rechtsdiskurs (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp). ¨ ¨ Hoffe, Otfried (2002) ‘Globalit¨at statt Globalismus. Uber eine subsidi¨are und ¨ foderale Weltrepublik’, in Matthias Lutz-Bachmann and James Bohman, ¨ und wider die Idee einer Weltrepublik eds., Weltstaat oder Staatenwelt. Fur (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp), pp. 8–31. Honneth, Axel (1992) Kampf um Anerkennung, Zur moralischen Grammatik sozialer Konflikte (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp). Ish-Shalom, Piki (2006) ‘Theory as a Hermeneutical Mechanism: The Democratic-Peace Thesis and the Politics of Democratization’, European Journal of International Relations 12, 4, pp. 565–598. Joint Publication (2005) ‘Joint Publication 3–12. Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations. Final Coordination’ 2, 15 March 2005, Washington, DC, Department of Defense. Kant, Immanuel (1784/2003) ‘Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in ¨ weltburgerlicher Absicht’ (Berlin: Karsten Worm InfoSoftWare). Kant, Immanuel (1795/2003) ‘Zum ewigen Frieden’ (Berlin, Karsten Worm InfoSoftWare). Kant, Immanuel (1798) Die Metaphysik der Sitten, Werkausgabe Band VIII, ed. W. Weischedel (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp), 1977, pp. 309–636. Kegley, Charles W., Jr. and Margaret G. Hermann (2002) ‘In Pursuit of a Peaceful International System’, in Peter J. Schraeder, ed., Exporting Democracy. Rhetoric vs. Reality (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner), pp. 15–29. Kielmannsegg, Peter Graf (1996) Integration und Demokratie’, in Markus Jachtenfuchs and Beate Kohler-Koch, eds., Europ¨aische Integration (Opladen: Leske + Budrich), pp. 47–72. Krauthammer, Charles (1990/1991) ‘The Unipolar Moment’, Foreign Affairs 70, 1, pp. 23–33. Krauthammer, Charles (2002/2003) ‘The Unipolar Moment Revisited’, The National Interest, 70, pp. 5–17. Krauthammer, Charles (2004a) Democratic Realism: An American Policy for a Unipolar World (Washington, DC: AEI-Press). Krauthammer, Charles (2004b) ‘In Defense of Democratic Realism’, The National Interest 77, pp. 15–25. Kuper, Andrew (2004) Democracy beyond Borders: Justice and Representation in Global Institutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Larres, Klaus (2002) ‘Mutual Incomprehension: U.S.-German Value Gaps beyond Iraq’, The Washington Quarterly 26, 2, pp. 23–42. Maus, Ingeborg (1998) ‘Volkssouver¨anit¨at und das Prinzip der Nichtintervention in der Friedensphilosophie Immanuel Kants’, in Hauke Brunkhorst, ed., Einmischung erwu¨ nscht (Frankfurt: Fischer), pp. 88–116.

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¨ Merkel, Wolfgang and Hans-Jurgen Puhle (1999) Von der Diktatur zur Demokratie. Transformationen, Erfolgsbedingungen, Entwicklungspfade (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag). ¨ Muller, Harald (2004) ‘The Antinomy of Democratic Peace’, International Politics, 41, 4, pp. 494–520. ¨ Muller, Harald (2009) Building a New World Order: Sustainable Policies for the Future (London: Haus Publishing). ¨ Muller, Harald and Jonas Wolff (2006) ‘Democratic Peace: Many Data, Lit¨ tle Explanation?’, in Anna Geis, Lothar Brock and Harald Muller, eds., Democratic Wars: Looking at the Dark Side of Democratic Peace (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 41–47. ¨ Munkler, Herfried (2002) Die neuen Kriege (Reinbek: Rohwolt). Pogge, Thomas (2002) ‘Kosmopolitanismus und Souver¨anit¨at’, in Matthias Lutz-Bachmann and James Bohman, eds., Weltstaat oder ¨ und wider die Idee einer Weltrepublik (Frankfurt am Main: Staatenwelt. Fur Suhrkamp), pp. 125–171. Rawls, John (1999) The Law of Peoples (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). Risse-Kappen, Thomas (1995) ‘Democratic Peace – Warlike Democracies? A Social Constructivist Interpretation of the Liberal Argument’, European Journal of International Relations 1, 4, pp. 491–517. Russett, Bruce and John R. Oneal (2001) Triangulating Peace. Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organization (New York: Norton). Sorensen, Georg (2007) ‘After the Security Dilemma: The Challenges of Insecurity in Weak States and the Dilemma of Liberal Values’, Security Dialogue 38, 3, pp. 357–378. Smith, Tony (2007) A Pact with the Devil: Washington’s Bid for World Supremacy and the Betrayal of the American Promise (New York: Taylor & Francis). Tammen, Ronald L., Jacek Kugler, Douglas Lemke, Allan Stam and A. F. K. Organiski (2000) Power Transitions: Strategies for the 21th Century (New York: Chatham House). Walt, Stephen M. (1987) The Origin of Alliances (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Waltz, Kenneth N. (1979) Theory of International Politics (New York: Random House). Wendt, Alexander E. (1987) ‘The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory’, International Organization 41, 3, pp. 335–370. Wendt, Alexander (1999) Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Wheeler, Nicolas J. (2000) Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press). White House, The (2002) ‘The National Security Strategy of the United States’, Washington, DC.

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After ‘the Clash’ Uses of ‘the West’ after the Cold War

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

Fifteen years ago, it would have been safe to say that a ‘clash of civilizations’ was an important concern for US policymakers and academics alike. Debate about the ‘Huntington thesis’, as it was known following Samuel Huntington’s proclamation of the idea in an (in)famous article (Huntington, 1993), was omnipresent in the pages of US policy journals like The Nation and Foreign Policy, and the notion that ‘global politics has become multipolar and multi-civilizational . . . the most dangerous cultural conflicts are those along the fault lines between civilizations’ (Huntington, 1996, pp. 28–29) served as the occasion for a number of symposia and forums.1 Mohammad Khatami, then the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, called for a ‘dialogue of civilizations’ in September 2000; the United Nations proclaimed 2001 the Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations, featuring a variety of international conferences and other public efforts to explore the potential for a peaceful celebration of cultural differences.2 Almost everywhere one looked, predicting, containing, or avoiding a clash of civilizations was a major item on the agenda. Accompanying this concern about a clash of civilizations was the notion that ‘the West’ or ‘Western Civilization’ was experiencing a decline in relation to other civilizations, and that therefore, countries belonging to the West had to take steps to shore up their civilization. The heart of Huntington’s conception was that each civilization, especially the West, had its own individual set of core values and principles, and that those values and principles were radically incommensurate with the core values and principles of other civilizations. Indeed, incommensurable difference was the driving force of much of Huntington’s portrayal of global politics: 1 2

For example, in the March/April 1997 issue of Foreign Affairs. Records of the many conferences and other events held under the auspices of this program can be found at http://www.unu.edu/dialogue/.

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Villages, regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, religious groups, all have distinct cultures at different levels of cultural heterogeneity. The culture of a village in southern Italy may be different from that of a village in northern Italy, but both will share in a common Italian culture that distinguishes them from German villages. European communities, in turn, will share cultural features that distinguish them from Chinese or Hindu communities. Chinese, Hindus, and Westerners, however, are not part of any broader cultural entity. They constitute civilizations. (Huntington 1996, p. 43)

In such an environment, calls to defend the West would be quite at home, and it is no wonder that the most fervent American prophets of a clash of civilizations – including, most importantly, Huntington himself – were also strong advocates of a US foreign policy that would focus on strengthening transatlantic ties. How things have changed. Except for Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Phyllis Schlafly, and their allies in the Eagle Forum (Eagle Forum, 2004), discussion about ‘Western Civilization’ and its essential values – values that supposedly place it on a collision course with other civilizations – has largely vanished from the contemporary US public debate. Instead, we hear a great deal about putatively universal values like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, values that are taken to be less the possession of a particular historical or cultural tradition and more the common endowment of human beings per se. George W. Bush in particular was remarkably consistent on this point; in the same speech where he laid much of the rhetorical groundwork for the coming invasion of Iraq, he unambiguously declared: ‘The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity’ (Bush, 2003). As the clich´e goes, terrorists attacked the United States because ‘they hate our freedoms’ which means not that they hate us but rather that they hate the particular manifestation of universal values in our society. In a remarkable passage from a speech commemorating the fifth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, then-President Bush sounded what might well be regarded as the death-knell of the ‘clash of civilizations’ and its replacement in United States foreign policy discussions by something quite different. In the first days after the 9/11 attacks I promised to use every element of national power to fight the terrorists, wherever we find them. One of the strongest weapons in our arsenal is the power of freedom. The terrorists fear freedom as much as they do our firepower. They are thrown into panic at the sight of an old man pulling the election lever, girls enrolling in schools, or families worshiping God in their own traditions. They know that given a choice, people will choose freedom over their extremist ideology. So their answer is to deny people this choice by raging against the forces of freedom and moderation. This struggle has been

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called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations. And we’re fighting for the possibility that good and decent people across the Middle East can raise up societies based on freedom and tolerance and personal dignity. (Bush, 2006, emphasis added)

Liberation seems to be the goal here: everyone already wants to be free, and all that has to be done is that the US has to remove the obstacles to everyone’s innate desires. And all of this is neatly encapsulated in the contrast between ‘a clash of civilizations’ (in the plural) and ‘a struggle for civilization’ (in the singular); if there were multiple, constitutively autonomous civilizations, then there couldn’t very well be a scraping off of an ideological layer of false consciousness to reveal innate, God-given desires for freedom. This rhetorical shift was not simply a foible of Bush and his neoconservative speechwriters. Although differing from Bush on important matters including tone and tactics, Barack Obama consistently echoes an important aspect of Bush’s rhetorical strategy in seeking to surround cultural differences with a more universal, civilization-in-the-singular basis for coexistence and peaceful relations. For example, in his speech in Cairo in June 2009, Obama distanced himself and his foreign policy from ‘the clash of civilizations’ in no uncertain terms: I know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort – that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur . . . All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort – a sustained effort – to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.

That common ground, which Obama characterized as ‘the right path, not just the easy path’, involves a religious injunction that he claims derives from all three of the Abrahamic faiths – but the common ground in question is more than just religious. It is civilizational. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples – a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white or brown; that isn’t Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It’s a faith in other people, and it’s what brought me here today. (Obama, 2009c)

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Behind, or perhaps before, these three religious traditions, Obama discerns something even more basic, a standard of civilized conduct that unites and unifies every party to the ongoing disputes between countries and officials that Huntington would have argued could never reach more than a temporary accommodation. For Obama, as for Bush, the notion of irreconcilable civilizations – a West that could stand opposed to other similar entities – is a non-starter. In other words, the last fifteen years have seen a decline – indeed, a virtual disappearance – of the West as a guiding principle of US foreign policy. The particularism of a world composed of multiple, irreconcilable civilizations has been replaced by a universalism encompassing all human communities into itself; the West, one civilization among others, has been replaced by a considerably broader entity, and US presidents seem more comfortable legitimating their policies by relating them to that broader entity than to anything more parochial. Whatever made appeals to ‘the West’ rhetorically powerful in previous years, and also lent some plausibility to the notion that clashes between civilizations would structure the future of world politics, seems to have disappeared. The usefulness of the West, in other words, seems to have changed. Making sense of this change requires, so it seems to me, several steps. First of all, we need to understand why the notion of a clash of civilizations caused so much consternation in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, because this can show us what the use of the West at that point in time actually was – not just to policymakers, but to the broader public to whom they were appealing. A focus on legitimation strategies can help in theorizing this. Second, and related, we need to understand what kind of practical political work ‘the clash’ did; the use of a commonplace notion like ‘the West’ does not come out of nowhere, obviously, but it has a specific history that relates to the political context in which it functions. Considering the continuities between the dominant legitimation strategy of the Cold War and ‘the clash’ – both of which, I will suggest, were centrally based on the defense of Western Civilization and its associated values – can help to illuminate these connections. Finally, we need to place the shift from the particularist strategy based on the West to a more universalist strategy based on civilization-in-thesingular in its proper historical context, which turns out to involve an older set of debates about the proper role of the United States of America in the world. Indeed, one of the more fascinating things about this shift in public conceptualization is that US officials seem to have resuscitated something like an early twentieth-century way of understanding the United States’ role in the world: the United States as messianic carrier of universal Truth, to be ‘vindicated’ in the rest of the world by force of arms if necessary (Ninkovich, 1994, pp. 41–43; Brands, 1998,

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pp. 47–48). This was once a prominent way of making sense of the United States and its foreign policy, but it largely took a back seat during the fifty or so years following the end of the Second World War. So the relative disappearance of ‘the clash’, and the (re)emergence of something quite different and its rise to dominance, are discrete parts of one and the same story – a story with roots back in the early part of the twentieth century. I turn to the analytical elaboration of this historical context – a set of debates that occupy a number of intermediate positions between pure particularism and pure universalism – in the final section of the chapter, after I have spent some time elucidating the ways that the West was used in the Cold War and in its immediate aftermath. 1

Civilizations, Universalism, and Particularism

It should be clear (but in case it is not, let me be explicit) that when I talk about the clash of civilizations I am not referring to an empirical event or set of events involving struggles between macro-cultural groupings. That may or may not be happening in the world, and either way, it is beside the point. Let me instead distinguish between the clash of civilizations (an empirical event or set of events) and ‘the clash of civilizations’ – the latter, with its quotation marks, denoting a way of conceptualizing and referring to events. Call it a ‘frame’ (Krebs and Jackson, 2007), call it a ‘basic discourse’ (Hansen, 2006), or what have you; the point is that the use of quotation marks is intended to call attention to the conceptual equipment that we use to make sense of the world rather than calling attention to a world of which sense is being made. As piece of conceptual equipment, ‘the clash of civilizations’ might be thought of as a prosthetic, functioning much as a blind person’s stick functions in enabling its user to experience the world as a result of her ‘stick-assisted “way” of investigating it in [her] movement through it’ (Shotter, 1993, p. 21). As such, ‘the clash’ is a way of making sense of the world, not to be conflated with any sort of ‘One Way the World Is’ (Rorty, 2001, p. 42). Asking where ‘the clash’ went is therefore equivalent to asking why United States foreign policy officials3 no longer make sense of the world 3

I am focusing on US foreign policy officials in this chapter because, given the raw capacity of the United States, how it integrates itself into whatever kind of global order it sees itself as anchoring will undoubtedly have important implications for what the post–postCold War world looks like. The rest of the planet may not, and probably does not, share these precise concerns – and ‘the clash’ is alive and well in other parts of the world (Tsygankov, 2003; Buruma and Margalit, 2004). What this ultimately implies – whether US civilization-in-the-singular or a renewed discourse of civilizational particularism ends up dominating global politics – is a separate, though related, question.

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through this conceptual prosthetic, and why they are now deploying something rather different. One possibility that has to be confronted right away is the supposition that ‘the clash’ disappeared because it was falsified. Huntington repeatedly refers to the notion of clashing civilizations as a ‘hypothesis’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 13) and suggests that the appropriate thing to do is to test his conjecture against actual, empirical reality. Several scholars (Russett et al., 2000; Fox, 2002) have indeed done just this, with results that generally militate against the conjecture. But not only scholars can test hypotheses; we might speculate that ‘the clash’ is no longer popular among policymakers because they compared it to the world and found the notion wanting. Unfortunately, things are not this simple. Huntington’s thesis is too vague to easily test. For example, he predicts a strengthening of the ‘Confucian-Islamic connection’, in particular an increase in weapons technology transfers between China and various Middle Eastern countries (Huntington, 1996, pp. 188–190). Arguably, this is indeed happening, but it is not clear whether this is a vindication of Huntington or a vindication of basic realist ideas about balancing behavior among states. Huntington also points to the dangers of ‘fault line conflicts’ (ibid., pp. 252–254), but simultaneously argues that ‘tribal wars and ethnic conflicts’ will continue within civilizations (ibid., p. 28). Thus, the frequency of various kinds of conflicts would not necessarily constitute a definitive test either. But there are more sophisticated forms of the argument that policymakers accept and reject notions like ‘the clash’ because of their empirical correspondence with the world. Such accounts place emphasis on more general notion that a theoretical claim has to ‘fit’ with the world in order for it to be accepted (Legro, 2000, pp. 265–266). The explanatory advantage here is that a claim like ‘the clash’ retains its visionary character, or what Huntington himself refers to as his aim of setting forth ‘a relatively simple but not too simple map for understanding what is going on in the world’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 37). In this scenario, a claim’s capacity to envision is limited by certain constraints imposed by the situation at hand: the world, so to speak, rules out some claims as simply implausible, but fails to give rise to a single best characterization. Instead, analysts have to look to the sociological process through which ideas are generated in order to explain how a conceptual prosthetic like ‘the clash’ – or ‘sovereign territoriality’ (Spruyt, 1994), or ‘the hole in the ozone layer’ (Litfin, 1994) – rose and fell. But the claim that ideas – ideas that have visionary or constitutive aspects – lose their dominant position in a public debate because they fail to ‘fit’ with the world is, quite simply, a tautological claim (Jackson

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and Nexon, 2002). Of course ideas (often) fade when they are disconfirmed. The interesting question is how and why this ‘disconfirmation’ is produced, given the role played by these ideas in shaping and generating the world from which the supposedly disconfirming evidence arises in the first place (Tannenwald, 2005, pp. 24f.). A conceptual prosthetic like ‘the clash’ – or ‘the international system’ (Waltz, 1979) or ‘the state’ (Ringmar, 1996a) – provides a way of seeing and organizing evidence, and tells observers what counts as evidence in the first place. Hence, the ‘fit’ of an idea with the world is not some kind of natural correspondence; ‘fit’ is produced (Laffey and Weldes, 1997, pp. 202f.), and is produced through more or less deliberate practical discursive work (Neumann, 1999, pp. 33–35). Such practical discursive work ought to be the focus of our investigations. To successfully contribute to this work, a piece of conceptual equipment like ‘the clash’ needs to be embedded in the wider complex ecology of cultural resources from which it arises – in particular, the pattern of weakly shared rhetorical commonplaces that characterize the parties to a given political contest (Kratochwil, 1989, pp. 40–42; Shotter, 1993, pp. 65–69). That these commonplaces – notions like ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty’ – are weakly rather than strongly shared between individuals is important for an understanding of how they work: the fact that speakers and their audience(s) share a vague commitment to the commonplace affords the speaker the opportunity to articulate more precise versions of what the commonplace means and to apply it to a given, novel situation, and to have some hope of bringing her or his audience along because of their already-existing vague commitment to the notion (Laffey and Weldes, 1997, pp. 209–213; Crawford, 2002, pp. 122f.). Notions like ‘the clash of civilizations’ are, therefore, best thought of as sense-making instruments produced and reproduced in the course of everyday sense-making activities. Accordingly, any discussion of ‘the clash of civilizations’ must unpack and disclose the various commonplaces that anchor the notion and lend it an air of plausibility. ‘The clash’ has to be made to seem plausible, and this cannot simply happen through a set of empirical observations. Instead, we must observe the deployment of the notion in practice, in the course of actual debates and discussions and political contests, so that we can see what kind of practical work it does. All of which brings us back to Samuel P. Huntington, who did not coin the term ‘the clash of civilizations’,4 but who certainly did more than almost anyone else to introduce the notion into the public sphere in 4

The phrase ‘clash of civilizations’ actually comes from Bernard Lewis (1990).

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the 1990s. This does not make Huntington somehow personally responsible for the entire notion and the (mis-)uses that people made of his work, but it does make Huntington’s work an empirically important site at which we can observe the forging of the notion and see what commonplaces went into it. Public intellectuals like Huntington often summarize and formalize the more inchoate cultural resources that are characteristic of the society or community of which they are a part (Mannheim, 1936). If their work gets too far away from those publicly available resources, it is likely to be ignored because of its unfamiliarity: readers, quite literally, can’t make sense of it. The fact that Huntington’s 1996 book was a runaway bestseller, and has been reprinted in a variety of low-cost paperback editions, clearly demonstrates that Huntington somehow managed to strike a nerve, and makes his work an even more appropriate place to look into the mechanics of the notion. I am not proposing to make a contribution to ‘Huntington Studies’ or to simply explicate or interpret what Huntington wrote; rather, I want to use Huntington to investigate how ‘the clash’ works. It should be abundantly clear to anyone examining Huntington’s work on civilizations that Huntington believes that civilizations are particular rather than universal. Despite his occasional gestures towards a singular universal ‘Civilization’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 320), the overwhelming thrust of his argument is about the differences between civilizations. This is apparent in his discussion of ‘kin-country rallying’ dynamics in which each party to a conflict that reaches across civilizational lines ‘attempts to rally support from countries and groups belonging to its civilization’; such appeals for support work both because of the deep affinities between members of a single civilization, and the deep distinctions that exist between members of different civilizations (ibid., p. 267–273). It is also apparent in his discussion of ‘cleft’ and ‘torn’ countries, in which civilizational difference emerges as the most likely reason for a country to experience internal conflict; core civilizational values are apparently so fundamental that they can even wrench established states apart (ibid., pp. 137–139). And in his blunt diagnosis that fault-line violence between members of different civilizations ‘may stop for a period of time, but it rarely ends permanently’ unless one party exterminates the other (ibid., p. 291), we see that civilizational differences, for all practical purposes, go on forever. I emphasize this relatively simple point because if we want to try to disclose the principles from which ‘the clash’ is constructed, the notion of fundamental incommensurability is clearly an important one. For Huntington, each civilization has its own discrete and distinct set of cultural values and practices – a ‘combination’ which, even though individual

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elements of it may be common to many civilizations, is unique to a particular civilization (ibid., 72). Such civilizational essentialism has a long and complicated history (Jackson, 2006, ch. 4; 2007), but the proximate source for such essentialism lies in nineteenth-century German academic debates about relations between Germany and Russia – and connections between Germany and ancient Greece (Bernal, 1987; Marchand, 1996; Bowden, 2004a). Huntington draws on a massive number of sources (Huntington, 1996, p. 325), but his accounts of individual civilizations all derive from an entire discourse premised on a plurality of civilizations; when he deploys commonplace notions like ‘the West’ or ‘the Muslim world,’ it is the incommensurability of those communities with other civilizations that comes to the forefront. In Huntington’s hands, these notions serve primarily to accentuate difference. But the discourse of civilizations-in-the-plural – the discourse that generates all of these essentialist accounts of discrete civilizations – is not sufficient to imply all of Huntington’s bleak predictions of a future characterized by ‘clashes’. There is a second principle at work here, bridging the gap from ‘difference’ to ‘danger’ and it is a commonplace that should be very familiar to IR scholars: ‘balancing’. The notion that polities inhabiting an anarchic system have to be continually on guard against other polities, evaluating them as potential threats because of the absence of any superior power that could guarantee their security, is at least as old as Machiavelli, although here again, nineteenth-century German academic debates loom large as a proximate source for the idea of conflicts arising when the ‘balance of power’ is disturbed.5 Kenneth Waltz’s description of life in a ‘self-help’ system provides one of the clearest contemporary articulations: In a self-help system each of the units spends a portion of its effort, not in forwarding its own good, but in providing the means of protecting itself against others . . . Even the prospect of large absolute gains for both parties does not elicit their cooperation so long as each fears how the other will use its increased capabilities. (Waltz, 1979, p. 105)

Because I am treating this as a commonplace, it is irrelevant whether these claims (and the many others like it that one finds throughout realist discussions) are true or not. Instead, what matters is the basic sentiment: units look out for themselves, are sensitive to the relative power of other units, and have to continually think about their own survival. This sentiment finds its way into political contests as a commonplace about power 5

For a brief overview of the relevant conceptual history, see Sheehan, 1996.

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politics, a commonplace which – among other things – is used to recommend and reinforce policies intended to secure ourselves against the threat that others pose simply by existing. Huntington draws on the commonplace of ‘balancing’ quite a bit in developing the conceptual prosthetic of ‘the clash.’ One of the motors driving conflict between civilizations in his account is the fact that ‘the West’s share of most, but not all, of the important power resources peaked early in the twentieth century and then began to decline relative to those of other civilizations’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 84); this ‘declining relative power of the West’ engenders ‘the increasing cultural assertiveness of other civilizations’ (ibid.: 184). His concern about a ‘Confucian-Islamic connection’ (ibid., p. 188) explicitly stems from the application of balancing logic to civilizations: The realist theory of international relations predicts that core states of nonWestern civilizations should coalesce together to balance the dominant power of the West . . . In politics a common enemy creates a common interest. Islamic and Sinic societies which see the West as their antagonist thus have reason to cooperate with each other against the West, even as the Allies and Stalin did against Hitler. (Ibid., p. 185)

Balancing, yes – but civilizational balancing. Huntington’s development of ‘the clash’ draws on both the ‘balancing’ commonplace and the essentialist commonplaces produced by the civilizations-in-the-plural discourse, combining them so as to present a picture very similar to something that IR scholars have seen before: a small number of units with varying degrees of material power resources vying to preserve their autonomous existences. IR scholars even have a name for it: ‘multipolarity’, only this is a multipolar world of civilizations rather than a multipolar world of states. Discrete civilizations take the place of sovereign territorial states as the constitutively autonomous units that will engage in those multipolar contests, but almost everything else remains the same.6 It is in this sense that Huntington can be properly classified as an IR realist, albeit a realist with more of a concern for culture than is common among the state-centric realists whom he critiques. 6

Indeed, this isn’t all that difficult a substitution. Sovereign territorial states, after all, are envisioned as constitutively autonomous polities that owe allegiance to no superior temporal power, and in this way the discourse of sovereign territoriality functions for most IR realists much the same way that civilizations-in-the-plural functions for Huntington. Sovereign territoriality even represents the same kind of deferral of difference that civilizational essentialism does, placing difference outside of the borders of the polity while calling for increased unity within the polity (Inayatullah and Blaney, 2004). Huntington’s call for a ‘monocultural’ West in a ‘multicultural’ world (1996, p. 318) captures the logic perfectly.

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Uses of the West during and after the Cold War

The similarities between ‘the clash of civilizations’ and realist IR theory might help to explain the notion’s appeal to IR scholars, although even this is a small subset of the audience. A better clue may perhaps be found in the fact that ‘the clash’ doesn’t only sound like IR realism, but also sounds eerily similar to the kinds of things that people used to say during the Cold War about US-Soviet relations. Huntington is aware of these parallels, noting that ‘the term la guerra fria was coined by thirteenth-century Spaniards to describe their “uneasy coexistence” with Muslims in the Mediterranean, and the 1990s many saw a “civilizational cold war” again developing between Islam and the West. In a world of civilizations, it will not be the only relationship characterized by that term’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 207). But the parallels between ‘the clash’ and the Cold War run much deeper than this superficial parallel suggests. Indeed, one might even say that the Cold War was a clash of civilizations, and in particular, a clash of ‘East’ versus ‘West’. Let me be clear about this. By ‘the Cold War’, I mean the period of time during which the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a mutually armed standoff, confronting one another as the greatest of great powers on the planet and struggling to gain an advantage over the other through a variety of means short of all-out nuclear war. ‘Cold War’ with capital letters designates that particular pattern of interstate relations, which persisted for roughly four and a half decades and was stable enough that it could be spoken of as having its own rules and procedures (Gaddis, 1986). And that pattern cannot be regarded as simply stemming from the approximately equivalent level of capability of the United States and the Soviet Union, together with the immense gap between these two states’ capabilities and those of the other states in the world. As Mark Trachtenberg has argued, the ‘natural solution’ or ‘obvious answer’ to the tensions produced by the relative concentration of capabilities in the United States and the Soviet Union was a ‘spheres of influence’ peace in which the two superpowers simply agreed to divide up the world and not to interfere in one another’s part of the globe (Trachtenberg, 1999, p. 14). That this did not happen requires an explanation that is not simply reducible to material capabilities. Instead of starting with the stable patterns of interstate interaction that describe the Cold War, we need to start with the more diffuse social processes that produced those relative stabilities. As with the preceding discussion of the ‘clash of civilizations’, we need to identify the relevant cultural resources and the active efforts at sense-making that transformed the material situation of the United States and the Soviet Union into

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‘the Cold War’ rather than into a ‘spheres of influence’ peace – or a justification to launch a ‘war of global conquest’. Since we are considering an overall social arrangement (as in Onuf, 1998), we have to look not just at individual commonplaces but at the processes through which they were deployed, so as to produce concrete social and political outcomes. The relevant process by which certain courses of action are rendered publicly acceptable and others are rendered publicly unacceptable is legitimation (Jackson, 2006, p. 16). Legitimation provides the socially sustainable warrants for courses of action undertaken ‘in the name of the state’ by defining and redefining ‘our’ identity – who ‘we’ are – in such a way that option X is what ‘we’ do and option Y is not what ‘we’ do (Ringmar, 1996b; Jackson and Nexon, 1999, pp. 308–312). Given the perpetually unfinished or incomplete character of such identity claims (Campbell, 1992; Weldes, 1999, pp. 102–107), state policy always stands in need of legitimation – and legitimation, in turn, stabilizes patterns of action and creates relatively settled social arrangements. From this perspective, what made the relations between the United States and the Soviet Union into ‘the Cold War’ was precisely a concern for public legitimation, at least on the American side. Referring to the situation in 1946, Trachtenberg notes: For a policy of involvement [in Western Europe] to be sustained, however, the American people had to be behind it . . . In high policymaking circles, there was a pervasive fear that the US public might sooner or later turn away from world politics . . . The way to counteract this danger and to mobilize opinion in support of a policy of continued involvement – especially military involvement – was to present the international situation in stark and morally charged terms. America was engaged in a struggle for the future of civilization; the Soviets were solely responsible for the new threat to peace; the West now had to stand up and defend its liberty and the independence of other nations menaced by Soviet expansionism. (Trachtenberg, 1999, p. 50)

It was this public presentation, Trachtenberg argues, that prevented the two sides from coming to a sensible agreement to divide Europe between themselves and simply go their separate ways.7 Public sense-making 7

In fact, Trachtenberg argues that key United States foreign policy officials, particularly Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, actually wanted to establish a spheres of influence peace, and that they essentially laid this out this during the confidential negotiations that led up to key documents such as the Potsdam Agreement on the administration of occupied Germany (Trachtenberg, 1999, pp. 33, 41; McAllister, 2002, p. 95). In this account, they were unable to do so because of domestic public opinion about the Soviet Union being evil (Trachtenberg, 1999, p. 50), and perhaps even deliberately engineered situations that would make the Soviet Union look worse so as to garner more public support – in this case, support for breaking off cooperation with the Soviets and coming as close to spheres of influence peace as they could come (ibid.: 42–44, 51–52).

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processes established conditions of possibility and guided policy into specific channels, and thus actively constituted the Cold War. Somewhat oddly, Trachtenberg does not seem to care much about the content of the legitimation processes that he claims are relevant to the creation of the Cold War. This disinterest in the process of legitimation is striking, as it seems to assume that public audiences will simply respond to any moralistic presentation of an issue. But this is a highly implausible view of politics in general and of legitimation in particular. One of the basic points long established by theorists of public rhetoric is that effective appeals have to utilize notions that are already present among the audience; otherwise, the appeals will quite literally fall on deaf ears (Krebs and Jackson, 2007, pp. 45–46). So not just any appeal will work to legitimate a course of action; instead, what works in a given situation is highly contextual and specific (ibid., p. 47). Such considerations point to the critical importance of the terms in which a course of action is legitimated – a conclusion that should not be surprising if we recall that legitimation is, in the first instance, a public process of sense-making. What kind of sense is made matters, and it matters precisely because ‘people act toward objects, including other actors, on the basis of the meanings that the objects have for them’ (Wendt, 1992, pp. 396–397). So what was the content of the legitimation strategy that created and sustained the policies that made up the Cold War?8 Consider again Trachtenberg’s summary: ‘America was engaged in a struggle for the future of civilization; the Soviets were solely responsible for the new threat to peace; the West now had to stand up and defend its liberty and the independence of other nations menaced by Soviet expansionism’ (Trachtenberg, 1999, p. 50). Trachtenberg runs together ‘civilization’ (in the singular) with ‘the West’ (which implies the existence of non-Western ‘civilizations’ in the plural), but these are rather different commonplaces: the former is universalist, progressive, and points toward a single standard for all of humanity, while the latter is particularist, conservative, and points toward multiple communities of value. And they point toward rather different courses of action: ‘civilization’ envisions a global effort to defend truth and oppose evil barbarians, while ‘the West’ envisions a

8

Elsewhere, I have criticized the heroic assumptions that this argument makes about the foresight of Byrnes and company (Jackson, 2006, pp. 122–123); the broader point is that one need not make such strong motivational assumptions in order to recognise the importance of public rhetoric. For an extended discussion, see ibid., pp. 21–32. Note that I am again restricting myself to the United States’ side of the story here. Because it takes place in a different social and political context, the Soviet story is undoubtedly different inasmuch as politicians have different cultural resources to draw on in legitimating policies; for a provisional inventory of some of those resources, see Hopf, 2012, and Neumann, 1996.

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more regional effort to defend a community’s core against foreigners and other aliens (Jackson, 2006, pp. 82–86). As it turns out, the Cold War was in fact legitimated through a strategy that relied, centrally, on ‘the West’ and the associated notion of a plurality of civilizations. State Department officials began talking openly about United States policy in terms of the need to defend ‘Western Civilization’ in early 1946, and their use of this way of making sense of US-Soviet relations contributed to their generally pessimistic view of the prospect for superpower cooperation in Europe and in occupied Germany in particular (ibid., 146–147). Subsequently, George Marshall and Dean Acheson, during their respective times serving as Secretary of State, explicitly used the need to shore up ‘the West’ as a way of legitimating both the European Recovery Program (ERP), better known as the Marshall Plan, and United States participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Gusterson, 1999; Jackson, 2003). In this usage, ‘Western Civilization’ encompassed both the United States and at least some of the countries in Europe; ‘Western Civilization’ was being threatened; therefore the United States had an obligation to uphold ‘the West,’ economically in the case of the European Recovery Program (the Marshall Plan), militarily in the case of NATO. This threefold logic has a name: containment. Articulated by George Kennan in his famous ‘anonymous’ 1947 Foreign Affairs article, the basic idea was to prevent the Soviet Union from expanding while simultaneously shoring up ‘the western world’ against encroachment by a constitutively alien power (‘X,’ 1947, p. 576). Thus, containment simultaneously envisioned a foreign policy of strength and resistance, and a domestic policy of opposition to alien ideas, so as to prevent the United States from being subverted by Soviet agents or Communist organizers (Freeland, 1972). And the basis for this recommendation was the notion that the Soviet Union and the United States constituted radically different kinds of society – indeed, radically different civilizations. This difference meant that the best that the two could achieve was an uneasy coexistence, a rough balance of power between essentially different civilizational cores: a Cold War.9 Thus, ‘containment’ as a piece of conceptual equipment makes roughly the same kind of sense out of the world as ‘the clash’ does: essentially different civilizations confronting one another, and the need to defend 9

Of course, each side also thought the other to be on the wrong side of history, and each waited for vindication that God/History would eventually provide (Stephanson, 1995, pp. 123–125). There is no real problem with simultaneously maintaining essential difference and an eventual resolution of those differences into a uniform sameness that looks like oneself rather than like the other – it simply requires a dose of faith.

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one’s own civilization against possible encroachments by the other(s). In this sense, the only difference between ‘containment’ and ‘the clash’ is an empirical one: for ‘containment,’ the world is simply divided into two civilizations, while for ‘the clash,’ those two (notice that both of the two Cold War civilizations remain in Huntington’s account) are joined by six or seven others. Bipolarity shifts to multipolarity, but everything else remains constant – including the centrality of the links between the United States and Western Europe. It would be overstating the case to say that ‘the clash’ simply was ‘containment.’ Indeed, Kennan is, if anything, more pessimistic than Huntington about the West’s ability to prevail in the global struggle, and religion is more central to Huntington’s civilizations than it was to Kennan’s.10 But the basic continuity between the two prosthetics can perhaps help to answer part of our initial question: why was ‘the clash’ so popular in the 1990s? In part, I would suggest, ‘the clash’ was popular precisely because it was so familiar. ‘The clash’ was, in this sense, a variation on a theme, and precisely the sort of very limited modification of a previously established repertoire that is most likely to succeed (McAdam et al., 2001, p. 138). Foreign policy analysts and practitioners were caught off-guard by the rapid disappearance of the Cold War and the Soviet Union, and then along came one of their own, Samuel P. Huntington, a prominent political scientist with prior government and security policy experience – and provided an update of the ‘containment’ notion for a ‘post-Cold War’ environment! This is most likely not the sole reason for the popularity of ‘the clash,’ but it certainly goes a long way toward explaining why the notion caught on so rapidly among US foreign policy officials. 3

Neoconservatism, Obama, American Culture, and the West

Important continuities between ‘containment’ and ‘the clash’ also help to answer the other side of the question: why ‘the clash’ – and in particular, the envisioned conflict between ‘the West’ and other, autonomous civilizations – lost its hold on the popular imagination, why it dropped out of view in public justifications for United States foreign policy, and why we are now at a point where ‘the clash’ is only invoked negatively and in passing by US officials. ‘The clash’ sounded like ‘containment,’ and thus made an easy sell for people who already accepted ‘containment’ – which the majority of the foreign policy establishment in the 10

On Kennan’s increasing pessimism, see the essays collected in Herz, 1978.

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United States had for the previous several decades. But not every analyst or practitioner of foreign policy had accepted ‘containment,’ and unsurprisingly, they rejected ‘the clash’, too. This group, and their intellectual progeny, affected a decisive shift in the United States’ foreign policy lexicon. I refer, of course, to the ‘neoconservatives’. Spanning the distance from public intellectuals like Robert Kagan and William Kristol to high-level civil service workers like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle to widely read columnists like David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer, this neoconservative group is something less than a political party or cabal but more than a vague sensibility. And they rather explicitly disagreed with Huntington’s recommendation that the United States retrench to the core regions of ‘Western Civilization’ (Dorrien, 2004, p. 216), preferring instead a far more ambitious policy of delivering the universal values of which the United States was the custodian to the rest of the world, by force if necessary. In order to understand neoconservatism’s rise to dominance it is necessary to position neoconservatism within a series of debates about ‘American culture’, its decline, and its possible resurgence or revitalization (Williams, 2007, p. 93). In order to do this, it is helpful to keep in mind that the term ‘neoconservative’ was actually coined by Michael Harrington, a prominent American socialist, in the early 1970s as a way of differentiating his group of socialists (who wanted to align themselves politically with ‘baby boom liberals and progressive social democrats’) from the ‘neoconservative’ militantly anti-Communist socialists (mainly Trotskyites) who were ‘repulsed by America’s antiwar movement’ and wanted a nationalistic, interventionist, and fiercely patriotic America (Dorrien, 2004, pp. 7–8). This is especially significant because it was this group of ‘neoconservative’ analysts and practitioners that critiqued the ‘containment’ policy for being too soft on Communism; they were frustrated with the United States government’s reluctance to aggressively pursue a crusade against the Soviet Union, and rejected the notion of coexistence that ‘containment’ implied. One of the more important early neoconservative thinkers on foreign policy was James Burnham, CIA analyst and former leader of the American Trotskyist movement whose militant anti-Communism continually drove him further and further to the right of the political spectrum (Kelly, 2002). In 1955, he and William F. Buckley co-founded the National Review, and Burnham wrote a bi-weekly column in that seminal magazine of the new conservative movement ‘that excoriated every president from Truman to Carter for appeasing the Soviets’ (Dorrien, 2004, p. 23). That column, in turn helped to shape the foreign policy vision of many of

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the younger members of the emerging neoconservative movement (ibid., p. 24). By writing and speaking, by formulating and articulating, Burnham (and the National Review itself, aided by Norman Podhoretz’s Commentary and eventually by William Kristol’s Weekly Standard) performed a good deal of the ‘cultural/organizational work’ (McAdam et al., 2001, p. 47) required to introduce new commonplaces to a public debate. In this instance, the key commonplace was ‘American exceptionalism,’ the long-standing notion that the United States of America was not a state like other states or a nation like other nations; rather, the United States had a God-given global mission to fulfil: its ‘manifest destiny’ (Stephanson, 1995). Despite oscillations and disagreements about whether this mission was best fulfilled by an ‘exemplarist’ strategy of remaining separate from the world so as to perfect itself, or a ‘vindicationist’ strategy of going out into the world to spread its message by force (Brands, 1998), the basic commonplace remained central to debates about United States foreign policy up until the beginning of the twentieth century. In those debates, advocates of an exemplarist strategy generally had the upper hand: ‘American exceptionalism’ promoted isolation from global conflicts, so as to preserve the purity of the New World (Ninkovich, 1994, p. 46). In the early part of the twentieth century, opponents of this kind of isolation eventually evolved their own counter-strategy: the notion that the United States was a part of a community of ‘civilized’ nations and should cooperate with them in trying to redeem the globe (Jackson, 2004; Bowden, 2004b). ‘Civilization,’ although sufficient for immediate emergencies like the First and Second World Wars, was insufficient for the long haul. Instead, after Franklin Roosevelt’s untimely death in April 1945, and the massive demobilization of US troops (Pollard, 1985, pp. 20– 23) that followed the subsequent surrender of Germany and Japan, the Truman Administration, now at the reins of US foreign policy, turned to a different commonplace – ‘the West,’ one civilization among others – as a way to legitimate renewed US involvement in global politics. Thus, the ‘containment’ strategy was born, constructed out of ‘the West’ and ‘balancing’: stop Soviet expansion by building up forward outposts, and strengthen the transatlantic core against possible encroachments. Despite their differences, the legitimation strategies based on ‘civilization’ (in the singular) and ‘the West’ (as one of many civilizations in the plural) played similar functional roles in the construction of US foreign policy over the course of the twentieth century: providing an alternative to ‘exceptionalism’ by eroding the presumed particular distinctiveness of the United States and incorporating it within some wider community.

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community values particular

global

sovereign

subject global

missionary

particular

witnessing

global

exceptional

particular

inspirational

Figure 5.1 Community values diagram

The contrast between universalism and particularism when it comes to community values is not, however, a simple binary. At the very least, it is a ‘fractalized’ (Abbott, 2001) contrast, such that within the universalist and particularist camps, one can find a second repetition of the basic dichotomy (see Figure 5.1). In brief, this diagram illustrates four possible logical combinations of universalism and particularism. At the extreme left of the diagram, we find the ‘inspirational’ strategy characteristic of the exemplarist ‘city on the hill’ (Baritz, 1964); at the far right, the ‘missionary’ strategy characteristic of a crusading community determined to simply and plainly impose its values on the world by force. But there are two other positions: the ‘witnessing’ community that seeks to bring its own distinctive voice to a broader dialogue, and the ‘exceptional’ community that considers itself exempt from broader rules in virtue of its own distinctive worth. Both are opposed to the idea of simply purifying the community and standing content within its borders; both tie a reconceptualized notion of community to a specific set of recommendations about concrete worldly involvements. But the way in which their opposition to isolation is articulated is quite different, even though both make use of the notion of a broader set of values. For the ‘witnessing’ strategy, the proper and most durable way to oppose a foreign policy of isolation and separation is to nest (Ferguson and Mansbach, 1996, p. 47) the community inside of some broader whole. By embedding a community in a larger community, nesting enables advocates of involvement in the world to, in effect, ‘trump’ purely local considerations and refocus attention on broader issues. This is precisely what early twentieth-century internationalists in the United States

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sought to do, in order to work around ‘American exceptionalism’ and open the door to a more robust involvement in global politics. In either case, the United States is being legitimated as a witnessing community: since both ‘civilization’ and ‘the West’ are larger than the United States, the United States can only be one voice among others in that wider community. The separation between the West and the East underpins ‘containment,’ much as the separation between the civilized world and the barbarian/savage Other underpins a policy of going forth to slay an assortment of monsters; the inclusion of other countries in ‘the West’ or ‘civilization’, in turn, underpins multilateral arrangements between and among those countries. Historically speaking, ‘containment’ and ‘the West’ were central to the Cold War consensus in American foreign policy following the Second World War. But even though this consensus was broad, it was not all-inclusive. The dissenters, the same people who would eventually start the neoconservative movement, largely operated by returning to ‘American exceptionalism’ and reworking it so as to produce something that would have made no sense at an earlier point in time: a kind of ‘militant exceptionalism’ that supported a policy of aggressively unilateral actions designed to vindicate the Right and the True, and to oppose evil. So when Burnham and others advanced their arguments in the pages of the National Review and Commentary, they were taking an existing commonplace (‘American exceptionalism’) and reworking it so as to make it relevant to a changed set of circumstances. Their reworking involved emphasizing the argument that the exceptionality of America was intimately interconnected with its world-historical significance: America was the dawn of a new order for the ages, a novus ordo seclorum, and as such could not responsibly keep its moral riches to itself (McDougall, 1997). Hence, it was America’s duty to intervene globally, to vindicate its ideals and to help lead the world – by force if necessary – into a better future. In this way, these neoconservative thinkers were able to unify the conservative opposition to ‘containment’ on terms that were broadly acceptable to a diverse group of public intellectuals and practitioners (Williams, 2007, pp. 106–107). And it is this alternative legitimation strategy, this alternative combination of commonplaces, that afforded the present US ‘global war on terror(ism)’ by replacing ‘the clash’ as the dominant prosthetic through which the foreign policy establishment during the Bush years made sense of the world and the United States’ place within it. The exceptional character of the neoconservative position was most apparent not so much in the ‘war on terror(ism)’ itself, but in their opposition to participation in multilateral organizations founded on more or

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less universal principles: the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Protocol, even the continuation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The Bush Administration even rejected NATO’s offer of support under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, preferring – like the unilateral ‘isolationists’ of old (Jonas, 1966) – to ‘go it alone’ as much as possible, and work through ‘coalitions of the willing’ instead of denser, more potentially constraining organizational ties.11 So what happened is that the United States, in the eyes and under the leadership of the neoconservatives, became not a model citizen of a global order, but an exceptional power unbound by virtually any legal or historical constraints on the grounds of its world-historical distinctiveness. That distinctiveness might be expressed with reference to ‘civilization’, but in neoconservative hands, this does not imply any kind of multilateral alliance of ‘civilized’ powers.12 In the neoconservative imaginary, it is only the United States that has the authority to pronounce on behalf of universal values; others may follow, but they never do so as equal partners. In the wake of this neoconservative dominance of foreign policy discussions, the Obama Administration has found itself confronted with a thorny problem: how to oppose ‘American exceptionalism,’ which now implies global political involvement, without being accused of retreating from the world into a renewed policy of isolation. ‘The clash,’ like ‘containment’ before it, essentially abandons large portions of the world by placing them outside of the sphere of legitimate American reach: those other parts of the world are part of rival non-Western civilizations, and hence do not constitute appropriate domains for the exercise of US power. This is precisely what the neoconservatives did not like about 11

12

‘Isolationism’ is a great misnomer, and often confuses much more than it clarifies about the history of American foreign policy and its legitimation. The so-called isolationists were not opposed to any kind of US involvement in global politics; they were opposed to involvement on terms that would bind the United States’ freedom of action. At the center of this strategy lay, unsurprisingly, ‘American exceptionalism’ (see the discussion in Jackson, 2006, pp. 53–60). The neoconservative strategy, then, can be thought of as a respecification of the implications of exceptionalism, rather than its repudiation. Here again, concentrating on policies rather than the strategies of legitimation and supporting those policies produces a world of trouble. There is an intriguing footnote to the neoconservative strategy in the form of an effort – brokered, so to speak, by Bernard Lewis’ account of the Muslim world as having been on the track to develop into something like the modern West (e.g. Lewis, 2003) until a sequence of unfortunate historical accidents forced it off of the proper pathway – to reclaim the language of ‘the West’ and affix it to the general exceptionalist strategy. This use of ‘the West’ equivocates between civilization-in-the-singular and civilizations-inthe-plural, or even dispenses with the term ‘civilization’ altogether in favor of something like ‘modernity’ (which seems to be Lewis’s own preference). One might say that Lewis made it safe for neoconservatives to refer to ‘the West’ without repeating the logic of containment. Space prevents me from following up on this intriguing thread here.

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either of these strategies: by letting the Other live, so to speak, they were ‘soft’ on that Other.13 In response to this ending of the Cold War legitimation strategy, the Obama Administration seems to be trying to turn the clock back to the period of the Second World War to revitalize a strategy based on ‘civilization’ in the singular – but with a pronounced emphasis on dialogue and consultation with other ‘civilized’ polities. In announcing his decision to escalate the Afghanistan conflict, Obama placed special emphasis on the inadequacy of simply sending American troops into the region: We’ll have to use diplomacy, because no one nation can meet the challenges of an interconnected world acting alone. I’ve spent this year renewing our alliances and forging new partnerships. And we have forged a new beginning between America and the Muslim world – one that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle of conflict, and that promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity . . . we must draw on the strength of our values – for the challenges that we face may have changed, but the things that we believe in must not. That’s why we must promote our values by living them at home – which is why I have prohibited torture and will close the prison at Guant´anamo Bay. And we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the light of freedom and justice and opportunity and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are. That is the source, the moral source, of America’s authority. (Obama, 2009a)

The Obama administration’s articulation of the role of the United States in the world certainly does not abandon the claim of world-historical distinctiveness. But distinctiveness is not ‘American exceptionalism’. The Obama administration is attempting to configure distinctiveness differently, as less of a warrant for escaping from global commitments and more of a justification for upholding them. Working in collaboration with allies, and bringing American policies into line with more universal standards, underscores how much Obama’s strategy reflects witnessing rather than exceptionalism: yes, the United States brings something distinctive to the table, but it participates with others in a community that is larger than itself. That participation is as opposed to the traditional policy of isolation underpinned by the traditional meaning of ‘American exceptionalism’ as is the unilateral imposition of values urged by the neoconservatives, but the Obama witnessing strategy works by excluding ‘American exceptionalism’ rather than respecifying it. 13

A fuller account of these legitimation strategies, I submit, should also pay closer attention to the gendered aspects of this ‘hard’/‘soft’ opposition (as in Sjoberg, 2009).

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Only time will tell whether the Obama approach achieves dominance, or whether it collapses back into the neoconservative articulation from which it intends to differentiate itself. One thing, however, is clear: the days of ‘the West’ as an operative assumption of US foreign policy are over. Neither of these legitimation strategies has much room in it for notions of civilizational particularity; indeed, such notions would call into question the presuppositions on which both the neoconservative and the Obama articulation of the United States’ place in the world operate. Neoconservatives have no room for ‘the West’ because such a notion limits the domain over which one can claim the United States needs to assert its authority and control: if the United States is only a Western country, then it can only bring about its values in Western spaces. Obama’s strategy similarly has no room for ‘the West’, since he envisions a broader global dialogue within which the United States should participate.14 So there is no use for ‘the West’ among either of these camps – and if a commonplace notion does no practical political work, if it forms no part of a widespread strategy for making sense of the world and orienting oneself within it, then its disappearance is virtually inevitable. The disappearance of ‘the clash’ and the demise of Cold War ‘containment’ are the decline of ‘the West’, at least in the US vocabulary. Whether other countries start to speak in the new, more universalist US language, or whether they attempt to construct new particularisms around civilizational notions like ‘the West’ in the future, remains to be seen. REFERENCES Abbott, Andrew (2001) Chaos of Disciplines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Acheson, Dean (1969) Present at the Creation (New York: W. W. Norton). Baritz, Loren (1964) City on a Hill: A History of Myths and Ideas in America (New York: Wiley). Bernal, Martin (1987) Black Athena, volume 1 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press). 14

Note that Obama’s strategy is less pure in practice than I have briefly presented it here. In his Nobel acceptance speech, although he sounded the notes of universal values and a willingness of the United States to participate in dialogue about implementing those values rather than simply going about it alone, Obama also made sure to declare that ‘evil does exist in the world’ in the form of the terrorists and extremists, and that he still wanted to exterminate them (Obama, 2009b). Such an articulation points, perhaps, in the direction of a renewed American exceptionalism if the alleged global consensus breaks down or if powerful allies refuse to go along with the US plan for fighting terrorism – or perhaps it points in the direction of a state of permanent exception for ‘civilization’ versus the barbarians (Salter, 2002). In any case, ‘the West’ is nowhere in evidence.

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Bowden, Brett (2004a) ‘In the Name of Progress and Peace: The “Standard of Civilization” and the Universalizing Project’, Alternatives 29, pp. 43–68. (2004b) ‘The Ideal of Civilization: Its Origins and Socio-Political Character’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7, 1, pp. 25–50. Brands, Henry (1998) What America Owes the World: The Struggle for the Soul of Foreign Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Buruma, Ian and Avishai Margalit (2004) Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (New York: Penguin Press). Bush, George W. (2003) ‘State of the Union Address 2003’, White House Press Release Archive, available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/ 2003/01/20030128–19.html. (2006) ‘President’s Address to the Nation’, White House Press Release Archive, available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/09/ 20060911–3.html. Campbell, David (1992) Writing Security (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Cooper, John Milton (2001) Breaking the Heart of the World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Crawford, Neta C. (2002) Argument and Change in World Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Dorrien, Gary J. (2004) Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana (New York: Routledge). Eagle Forum (2004) ‘The Western Civilization Project’, available at: http://www .eagleforum.org/alert/2004/Tancredo.html. Ferguson, Yale and Richard Mansbach (1996) Polities: Authority, Identities, and Change (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press). Fox, Jonathan (2002) ‘Ethnic Minorities and the Clash of Civilizations: A Quantitative Analysis of Huntington’s Thesis’, British Journal of Political Science 32, 3, pp. 415–434. Freeland, Richard (1972) The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf). Gaddis, John (1986) ‘The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System’, International Security 10, 4, pp. 99–142. Gusterson, Hugh (1999) ‘Presenting the Creation: Dean Acheson and the Rhetorical Legitimation of NATO’, Alternatives, 24, pp. 39–57. ¨ Habermas, Jurgen (1975) Legitimation Crisis (Boston: Beacon Press). Hansen, Lene (2006) Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London: Routledge). Herz, Martin F., ed. (1978) Decline of the West? George Kennan and His Critics (Washington, DC: Ethics & Public Policy Center). Hopf, Ted (2012) Reconstructing the Cold War: The Early Years, 1945–1958 (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Huntington, Samuel P. (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster). Inayatullah, Naeem and David L. Blaney (2004) International Relations and the Problem of Difference (London: Routledge).

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Jackson, Patrick Thaddeus (2003) ‘Defending the West: Occidentalism and the Formation of NATO’, Journal of Political Philosophy 11, 3, pp. 223–252. (2004) ‘Whose Identity? Rhetorical Commonplaces in “American” Wartime Foreign Policy’, in Patricia M. Goff and Kevin C. Dunn, eds., Identity and Global Politics (New York: Palgrave), pp. 169–189. (2006) Civilizing the Enemy: German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press). (2007) ‘Civilizations as Actors: A Transactional Account’, in Martin Hall and Patrick Th. Jackson, eds., Civilizational Identity: The Production and Reproduction of ‘Civilizations’ in International Relations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 33–49. (2009) ‘The Perpetual Decline of the West’, in Christopher Browning and Marko Lehti, eds., The Struggle for the West: A Divided/Contested Legacy (London: Routledge), pp. 53–70. and Daniel H. Nexon (1999) ‘Relations Before States: Substance, Process, and the Study of World Politics’, European Journal of International Relations, 5, 3, pp. 291–332. and Daniel H. Nexon (2002) ‘Whence Causal Mechanisms? A Comment on Legro’, Dialogue-IO, 1, 1, pp. 81–102. Jonas, Manfred (1966) Isolationism in America, 1935–1941 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Kelly, Daniel (2002) James Burnham and the Struggle for the World: A Life (Wilmington, DE: ISI). Kennan, George [‘X’] (1947) ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct’, Foreign Affairs 25, 4, pp. 566–82. Kratochwil, Friedrich (1989) Rules, Norms, and Decisions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Krebs, Ronald R. and Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (2007) ‘Twisting Tongues and Twisting Arms: The Power of Political Rhetoric’, European Journal of International Relations 13, 1, pp. 35–66. Laffey, Mark and Jutta Weldes (1997) ‘Beyond Belief: Ideas and Symbolic Technologies in the Study of International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations 3, 2, pp. 193–237. Legro, Jeffrey (2000) ‘Whence American Internationalism’, International Organization 54, 2, pp. 253–89. Lewis, Bernard (1990) ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage’, The Atlantic Monthly 266, 3, pp. 47–60. (2003) What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (New York: Harper Perennial). Litfin, Karen (1994) Ozone Discourses (New York: Columbia University Press). Mannheim, Karl (1936) Ideology and Utopia (San Diego, CA: Harvest Books). Marchand, Suzanne (1996) Down From Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750–1970 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). McAdam, Douglas, Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly (2001) Dynamics of Contention (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). McAllister, James (2002) No Exit: America and the German Problem, 1943–1954 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).

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McDougall, Walter A. (1997) Promised Land, Crusader State (Boston: Mariner). Neumann, Iver B. (1996) Russia and the Idea of Europe (London: Routledge). (1999) Uses of the Other (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Ninkovich, Frank (1994) Modernity and Power: A History of the Domino Theory in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Obama, Barack (2009a) ‘Obama’s Address on the War in Afghanistan,’ The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/world/ asia/02prexy.text.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all [Accessed December 3, 2009]. (2009b) ‘Obama’s Nobel Remarks,’ The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/world/europe/11prexy.text.html? r=2&pagewanted=all [Accessed December 23, 2009]. (2009c) ‘Text: Obama’s Speech in Cairo,’ The New York Times. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text .html? r=1&pagewanted=all [Accessed November 30, 2009]. Onuf, Nicholas G. (1998) ‘Constructivism: A User’s Manual,’ in Vendulka Kub´alkov´a, Nicholas G. Onuf, and Paul Kowert, eds., International Relations in a Constructed World (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe), pp. 58–78. Pollard, Robert (1985) Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War, 1945–50 (New York: Columbia University Press). Ringmar, Erik (1996a) Identity, Interest and Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). (1996b) ‘On the Ontological Status of the State,’ European Journal of International Relations 2, 4, pp. 439–66. Rorty, Richard (2001) ‘The Ambiguity of “Rationality,” in William Rehg and James Bohman, eds., Pluralism and the Pragmatic Turn: The Transformation of Critical Theory (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 41–52. Russett, Bruce, John R. Oneal, and Michaelene Cox (2000) ‘Clash of Civilizations, or Realism and Liberalism D´ej`a Vu? Some Evidence,’ Journal of Peace Research 37, 5, pp. 583–608. Salter, Mark (2002) Barbarians and Civilization in International Relations (London: Pluto Press), available at: http://magik.gmu.edu/cgi-bin/ Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&FT=%22%28OCoLC%29ocm48892585%22 %CNT=25+records+per+page. Sheehan, Michael. J. (1996) The Balance of Power (New York: Routledge). Shotter, John (1993) Cultural Politics of Everyday Life (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). Sjoberg, Laura, ed. (2009) Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives (New York: Routledge). Spengler, Oswald (1926) The Decline of the West, volume 1: Form and Actuality (New York: Alfred A. Knopf). (1928) The Decline of the West, volume 2: Perspectives of World-History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf). Spruyt, Hendrik (1994) The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

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Stephanson, Anders (1995) Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right (New York: Hill and Wang). Tannenwald, Nina (2005) ‘Ideas and Explanation: Advancing the Theoretical Agenda,’ Journal of Cold War Studies 7, 2, pp. 13–42. Trachtenberg, Marc (1999) A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement 1945–1963 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Tsygankov, Andrei (2003) ‘The Irony of Western Ideas in a Multicultural World: Russia’s Intellectual Engagements with the “End of History” and “Clash of Civilizations”,’ International Studies Review 5, 1, pp. 53–77. Waltz, Kenneth N. (1979) Theory of International Politics (New York: McGrawHill). Weldes, Jutta (1999) Constructing National Interests: The United States and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Wendt, Alexander (1992) ‘Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics,’ International Organization 46, 2, pp. 391–425. Williams, Michael C. (2007) Culture and Security: Symbolic Power and the Politics of International Security (London: Routledge).

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Part II

The West in Use

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Aesthetics, Power, and Insecurity Self-Interrogative Imaging and the West

Brent J. Steele

This chapter investigates the aesthetic and vitalist bases of power, the vulnerabilities they facilitate, and how such vulnerabilities engender forceful reactions. It concludes by considering whether this vulnerability is particular to the ‘idea of the West’. It appropriates what I title ‘self-interrogative imaging’ as a form of counter-power – a particular configuration which engages the insecurities of aesthetic power – and examines the case of Fallujah, where the juxtaposition between an idealized Self of US power and images of carnage was quite stark. In late March of 2004, during the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US Self was aesthetically insecuritized by images of burned contractors hanging from a bridge and of Iraqis celebrating nearby. The effects of such imaging, and the interrogative qualities of modern media (‘loops’ shown on cable news and the internet) produced intense reactions by the United States to confront negative models of past US Selves.1 Such a reaction was further fueled by (in this case) US insecurity over being the standard-bearer of ‘the West’. Therefore, Fallujah not only was a flashpoint for US aesthetic insecurity, but represented a decisive moment where the vitality of Western civilization was called into question. Aesthetics in this chapter refers to the practice that bodies of centralized power – individuals, small groups, political communities, nation-states, and ‘civilizations’ – utilize to control their image, an image of a ‘Self’ that provides a locus for action. When groups are stripped of these aesthetics they are vulnerable, not only to others but also to how they see themselves. We might see this through a general metaphor of the individual, whose basis for comfortable (secure) action throughout the day depends, to some degree, on making him/herself more beautiful, professional, or ‘presentable’ to others (by dressing nicely, putting on makeup, having good hygiene, etc.). This activity or practice of aesthetics makes people feel more ‘in control’ of who they are and what they are doing. But that 1

This chapter follows from a more detailed study of aesthetics and insecurity, and the Fallujah case, detailed in Steele (2010).

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sensation can be quite fragile. The insecurity arises because the purchase of aesthetics is to make objects appear differently than they otherwise were. In many ways, this view on insecure, contingent, ‘fragmentable’, but still materially ‘powerful’ actors is one which intersects with the thrust of several contributions to this volume, especially those provided by Herborth, Schlag, and Weber. The current chapter marshals an understanding of aesthetics to consider how powerful actors, including nation-states, selfcreate in order to attain a sense of control, a sense of security, but a sense that can never be fully attained. The practice of self-fashioning and re-fashioning in corporate actors is important in a communal sense. For democratic nation-states, citizens not only react to the image of their nation, but assist in crafting it as well by legitimizing policies and giving credence to particular practices which produce those images. The focus here is on the perceived ability of centralized bodies of power to modify such subjectivity. This move to the practice of aesthetic self-fashioning is done, however, without ‘essentializing’ the Self of corporate actors. Rather, aesthetic practices, and their effects, imply that there may never be a ‘true’, timeless self on which to base action, and instead, the practices of international actors can be considered a series of movements away from a particular negative historical model of a de-aestheticized ‘Self’. As discussed in the following section, the aesthetic element of power can be partially indexed via the work of both Foucault and Dewey on aesthetics. Aesthetic legitimacy often arises from regimes of ambiguity, creating situations where democratic citizens can individually imagine and internalize the aesthetic qualities of their nation-state, ‘picture’ its ontology, and link that sensation to its accomplishments. It is this ambiguity, therefore, which makes possible a nation’s security practices: but such ambiguity is also challenged when the aesthetically constructed Self of power is ruptured by what I title forms of ‘counter-power’ like selfinterrogative imaging. There is an internal vulnerability arising from aesthetic power, which comes from the need to see it in action. The emphasis on the decision in Schmitt’s vitalist philosophy (discussed in the second section) exemplifies this vulnerability. Although the decision has the stated intention of creating a more secure environment for the nation, it instead leads to pockets of vulnerability, which arise because power, which had been operating ‘in the dark’, becomes revealed in decisive action. I also posit that such aesthetic insecurity holds the keys towards a re-formation of the Self, especially in a democracy. Nevertheless, when such an aesthetic is engaged unfavorably, the Self of power can produce problematically violent reactions, as it did in the aftermath of the Fallujah bridge

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incident, discussed in Section 3. In the final section, it is considered whether this form of counter-power is made possible by ‘the West’, as well as the possibility that the United States’ insecurity in that moment also stemmed from its perceived position of defending ‘the West’. As I qualify in that section, it is incredibly hard to conclude, definitively, that ‘the West’ was solely at stake. However, whether self-interrogative imaging itself is indeed a Western achievement, and whether the West itself was at stake in Fallujah, I conclude that the intense insecurity found in events like Fallujah is made possible because of (1) the nature of aesthetics, (2) the nature of the vitalist need for ‘demonstrative action’, and (3) the perpetual insecurity attached to perceived ‘Western decline’ (even if that decline is not invoked explicitly). Thus, the Fallujah bridge incident can be considered as one in a long line of events ‘symbolic’ of Western civilization’s decadence, and the United States’ particular reaction to this incident can be considered an attempt to engage the ‘individual moment’ found in a particular ‘pattern of social action’ (Jackson, 2006, p. 252). 1

Foucault, Dewey, and Aesthetics

While aesthetics has been treated by many political philosophers, both Michel Foucault and John Dewey are used here because they provide ‘bookends’ to the aesthetic experience. Whereas Foucault focuses upon an ‘aesthetics of the self’, which posits the fashioning of the Self without full recourse to societal guides or communal codes (practice), Dewey redirects us to the communal and intensely emotional nature of an aesthetic ‘experience’ (reactive effects). For Foucault, an emphasis on the Self necessitates constant creativity and innovation. It thus allows us a window into how power can be refashioned when stimulated through a counter-power event, which focuses upon power’s responsibility to its own integrity. Thomas Osborne (1999, p. 46) has noted the emphasis in Foucault’s aesthetics upon a ‘style of life without recourse to the fixity of moral codes’. Foucault (1989, p. 458) avers that ‘the practices of the self thus take the form of an art of the self, relatively independent of any moral legislation’. An agent acting ‘morally’ should thus not be equated with an imperative to uphold these societal codes or prescriptions. Precisely because the Self’s only recourse is to the Self, because the ‘self is not given to us . . . we have to create ourselves as a work of art’ (Foucault, 1984, p. 351). Likewise, without recourse to epistemological norms, the construction of the Self resembles more of an art than a science (Osborne, 1999, pp. 46–47). This is what Foucault titled a relationship to oneself (rapport a` soi), where the improvement of the Self

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comes through exercises (askesis) ‘such as self-interpretation, consciousness raising, dialogue . . . etc.’ (Tully, 1999, p. 96). Foucault emphasizes the importance of learning these techniques which will aid in the art of living and in the care of the Self. These techniques are constantly sharpened through time, as the ‘care of the self’ is ‘an activity’ which takes place for all of life (Foucault, 2005, pp. 87–89). A Foucauldian emphasis upon internal sanctions assumes not that there is no morality, but that recourse to moral codes inhibits the ability of agents to create, innovate, and fashion their lives aesthetically. Instead, morality is ‘a matter of knowing how to govern one’s own life in order to give it the most beautiful form possible (in the eyes of others, of oneself, and of the future generations for whom one could serve as an example)’ (Foucault, 1989, p. 458). The artist is ‘his own spectator’, in fact the urgency behind the artist’s need to create art is that he wishes to learn more about himself. Foucault states: ‘Why should a painter work if he is not transformed by his own painting?’ (ibid., p. 379). Foucault is in line here with existing IR perspectives on aesthetics (Bleiker and Leet, 2006; Debrix, 2007, 1999), in that the artist recognizes his own role in constructing the work of art. Such fashioning can also, for Foucault, be a useful end in itself – we can step back and take pleasure at the sensuousness of the body as a site of power. We become most vividly aware of the body when we invest power in it – for the individual this includes such practices as ‘gymnastics, exercises, muscle-building, nudism and the glorification of the body beautiful’ (Foucault, 1980, p. 56). That said, none of this implies that the art of the Self occurs in a hermetically sealed jar, as the art is also connected for Foucault to a field of ‘power relations’. It is within that field of ‘reversible’ relations that the ethics of the Self’s work on the Self occurs. Some of these exercises for self-improvement are thus learned from society. Likewise, one purpose of self-creation is to create the context for further encounters, both with the other and with the Self, in order to ‘interrogate the circumstances [internal and external] that make that role possible’ (Lamb, 2005, p. 43). Here, John Dewey’s work on aesthetics proves instructive in two respects. First, it redirects us to the aesthetic as it is experienced in the community. By the bonds of community, ‘every intense experience of friendship and affections completes [themselves] artistically. The sense of communion generated by a work of art may take on a definitely religious quality’ (Dewey, 2005, p. 270). This intensity serves to glue humans to one another in this community, and creates incentives for engaging the aesthetic integrity of it through productive forms of social critique (Garrison, 1998). As Michael Williams (2003, p. 526) has averred in

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his critique of the Copenhagen School’s linguistic emphasis, experiences of publics are more likely and more powerfully constructed via images. Upon the individual, the aesthetic experience brings them into contact with their environment, and even further melds them with their surroundings. The Self of the environment works upon the individual Self. Art is nothing until it is consumed through humans, or through ‘the living creature’; ‘in an experience, things and events belonging to the world, physical and social, are transformed through the human context they enter, while the live creature is changed and developed through its intercourse with things previously external to it’ (Dewey, 2005, p. 246, emphasis added). Thus, the work of art, which we see, must be experienced through us – and in the process of working back upon us, it transforms our Selves, making judgments and running narratives that are, from the moment they are uttered, highly contingent. This binding quality – individuals to their community, individuals to the work of art at a physiological level – is made possible through rhythm, which Dewey defines as ‘ordered variation of changes’ (ibid., p. 154). Rhythm exists in nature – and humans acquire and (then attempt to) emulate their sense of rhythm from that source. Dewey elaborates: Experiences of war, of hunt, of sowing and reaping, of the death and resurrection of vegetation, of stars circling over watchful shepherds, of constant return of the inconstant moon, were undergone to be reproduced in pantomime and generated the sense of life as drama . . . The formative arts that shaped things of use were wedded to the rhythms of voice and the self-contained movements of the body. (Ibid., p. 148)

By participating in these rhythms, which are once we emulate them no longer ‘just’ natural but rather ‘a matter of perception’, the Self has therefore ‘contributed . . . in the active process of perceiving’ (ibid., p. 163). Self-narration is one form of rhythmic ordering. Or, put another way, our narratives are established rhythms which help aesthetically contour the communal Self. Such narratives may even be a prerequisite to the establishment of the idealized Self. As Anthony Lang (2002, p. 12) once wrote in Arendtian terms, ‘only when stories are told about the great actions that persons engage in can these actions contribute to the revealing of who they are’. It is these rhythms which are disrupted during a moment of counter-power. Counter-Power and Aesthetic Insecurity The insecurity coming from aesthetic power is underpinned by a central premise: if one accepts that power is not only material but also

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aesthetic in its construction, then such aesthetic visions can be manipulated, even indirectly, unintentionally, or spontaneously. Yet counterpower is also compelling, as it uses that inflated, narcissistic Self as its dominant analytical referent, rather than societal codes of ‘responsibility’ or moral beauty. It is when counter-power targets the Self of centralized power on the latter’s own self-constructed terms that manipulation becomes not only possible, but most forceful. Counter-power is thus a micropressure which may stimulate power to engage its own ‘art of living’, since that art of living as the self’s work on itself is a ‘way in which people are invited or incited to recognize their moral obligations’ (Foucault, 1984, p. 353). Counter-power is ‘micro’ in a temporal sense, and while it uses materials and space in its incitement of the subject, it has no real spatial or material quality. It is a style, a word, a set of words, a position, or an image. Counter-power works within the set of power relations it challenges. It prides itself on its spontaneity and innovative capacities – and its quickness is its strength.2 However, as I discuss in the Fallujah example, although counter-power challenges a subjectivity of aesthetic power, its ability to insecuritize that subject may relate to a particular ‘Western’ insecurity over decline visa` -vis other ‘civilizations’. Thus, while counter-power moments implicate the aesthetic security of a subject, that aesthetic insecurity is particularly acute in those actors (like the United States in Fallujah) who interrogate the Self in light of its ‘responsibilities’ for maintaining (Western) order. Aesthetic power becomes vulnerable because of several configurations. First, when power’s sense of aesthetic Self becomes inflated and taken for granted, it is exposed to de-aestheticization. Additionally, such manipulation of power can work in any direction – ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – in that the exercise of counter-power sharpens the targets’ ability for ‘self-operation.’ This is what Foucault titles the ‘technology of the Self’, where the aesthetic vision of the Self can be modified and re-constituted: Techniques which permit individuals to perform, by their own means, a certain number of operations on their own bodies, on their own souls, on their own thoughts, on their own conduct, and this in such a way that they transform themselves, modify themselves, and reach a certain state of perfection, of happiness, of purity, of supernatural power, and so on. (Foucault, 2007, p. 154) 2

While I am hesitant to explicate revolutions or social movements as counter-power examples, it should be noted that spontaneous challenges to power are used as the exception, rather than the rule, of most security analyses. For example, Ole Wæver (1995, p. 70) notes that ‘only in rare situations – as during the “Velvet Revolution” in Czechoslovakia, do we see moments – almost seconds – of a kind of self-evident representation of “society” by some nonelected but generally accepted institution . . . It is much more common for a societal “voice” to be controversial and only partly accepted’.

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Third, the historical collection of events which serve as negative aesthetic models also fuel this particular insecurity. These uneasy, painful events are recalled conjunctively during a counter-power moment, and then avoided in a particular reaction. Foucault asserted that in his earlier work he had insisted ‘too much on the techniques of domination’ (ibid.), and that he understood the word ‘power’ as ‘short-hand for the expression . . . “relations of power”’, relations that can be ‘mobile, reversible, and unstable’ (Foucault, 1989, p. 441). Power can therefore dominate these relations, but it is never ‘in control’. Its mastery, what made it ‘strong, becomes used to attack it. Power, after investing itself in the body, finds itself exposed to a counterattack in that same body’ (Foucault, 1980, p. 56). Irony may be found for some who are familiar with both sets of works in the intersection between Foucault’s work, on the one hand, and several vitalist accounts of social action on the other. It is in cases where the Self of power embraces a vitalist account of security that the true vulnerability of aesthetic power is exposed, as detailed in the following section. 2

Vitalism, Action, and Vulnerability

I discuss here how vitalist perspectives of politics contain a built-in vulnerability for agents who embrace their instruction.3 Because of the central importance placed upon action, and the secondary importance placed upon aesthetic style, vitalist ideology sows its own seeds of collapse in its inherent dependence upon the search for the Self’s need to move against something, to act and react heroically. Further, I point out that the reason that action obtains such emphasis in these accounts is not necessarily because action successfully securitizes the subject, but rather due to the vitalists’ admiration for movement, specifically the intense celebration of the moment when the physique of power is revealed. Several vitalist accounts could be analyzed in this section, but for purposes of brevity, I focus upon the work by and on German jurist Carl Schmitt. This focus 3

The term ‘vitalism’ or ‘vitalist’ has been attached to Schmitt by several authors (Huysmans, 1998; Wolin, 1992). While both authors use the term as if its meaning is somewhat self-evident (although see the Huysmans’ definition in the following paragraph), let me begin by reference to the Merriam-Webster definition of ‘a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining’, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vitalism. As it relates to global politics, few of us would deny that human forces are at work in determining relations. But ‘vitalist’ views tend to take this assumption to another level, asserting that particular decisions or forceful events can overwhelm the agency of others and that these decisions can help shape history. Such views also focus on how such action re-vitalizes a particular community behind a common cause.

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on the latter arises not only from the rapid emergence of IR engagements with Schmitt’s work over the last decade, but also because there are certain interesting elements of his vitalism, which intersect with Foucault’s aesthetics of self-creation. Huysmans (1998, p. 585) has defined Schmitt’s vitalism as ‘political life as an act of pure will’. Like his conservative German contemporaries who were also somewhat inspired by Nietzsche, Schmitt’s is an intensely critical view of the inherent nihilism resulting from Western values (Wolin, 1992, p. 427). For Schmitt, politics had moved in the nineteenth century into a domain of ‘rationalization’ and depoliticization, a point which foreshadows the conduct of generations, in that generational change is predicated upon ‘shifting centers’ (Schmitt, 2007, p. 85). What is needed is an approach to politics and society, which opposes such rationalization and routinization with ‘life understood as a pure creative act of will not mediated by reason’. The need for the decision arises from the fact that in ‘spiritual spheres’ there is an ‘ambiguity of every concept and word’ (Huysmans, 1998, p. 582). It is the exceptional condition which produces the decision – he who decides also decides on the exception. It is in this defining moment, however, that the decision produces a rupture in the old order, which simultaneously produces a new order. Mika Ojakangas (2007, p. 210) titles this the ‘double function’ of Schmitt’s central concepts. Before discussing how Schmitt’s vitalist view becomes vulnerable to forms of counter-power, we might briefly consult the intersections between Foucault’s views of the Self and Schmitt’s vitalism, an intersection most impressively studied by Sergei Prozorov, who advanced several common components, two of which I will touch upon here. First, the emphasis on movement in both is apparent in Schmitt’s emphasis on the decision replacing an old order, and on Foucault’s insistence on the productive capacities of intrinsic transgression. The subject emerges not prior to the act but in the act itself (Prozorov, 2007, p. 231). The second intersection concerns Foucault’s mode of subjection, where individuals are ‘the mode of subjection . . . the way in which people are invited or incited to recognize their moral obligations’ (ibid.; cf. Foucault, 1984), which intersects with Schmitt’s view that decisions must be made independent of transcendental moral codes (whether they are divine or human in constructive origin). As Prozorov astutely notes, a vitalist ideology like Schmitt’s defies a grounded reference. But this vitalist view of the Self, centralized by a ‘void which conditions [the subject’s] being’ (Prozorov, 2007, p. 236), nevertheless exposes the Self of aesthetic power. Aesthetic rhythms derive their influence in their polyvalent abilities to work upon subjects in diverse ways – forcing the

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subjects to ‘connect the dots’ themselves on the meanings of power. If power has an aesthetic layer, its compulsive logic stems not from a decision but from a ‘balancing act’ between determinate substance (produced by the ‘decision’) on the one hand, and wholly indeterminate nothingness on the other. The balance is ambiguity. Intersubjectivity here is organic, a bottom-up process, which is generated and re-generated through time. The defining decision, however, removes this ambiguity – it objectifies what was once imagined. Let us return to Foucault for a moment, whose late work on aesthetics saw the power of pleasure, love, and eros in the concealing of the body. What makes the attraction to the ‘painting’ of the idea that is America so powerful for the citizen is to some degree its ambiguity. This allows the citizen to ‘love’ his/her country in a deeply personal manner. Foucault speaks of how powerful eros is when it occurs ‘in the dark’. The object of affection ‘could be wounded by the unloveliness of the images . . . the cruel image can be an excellent means of protecting oneself against passion or even a means of ridding oneself of it’ (1984, p. 138). Contrast this with Schmitt’s decision – because if that which was imagined was idealized as beauty, the decision to essentialize that ambiguity is a decision to discipline imagination. While gaining influence through securitizing a threat, the decision instead removes the engine of power’s aesthetic basis – the fantasy of the subject. There is a further precariousness within political vitalism. What Schmitt and some of his contemporaries recognize as an exception becomes an exceptional condition, which is itself normalized (Huysmans, 1998, p. 580). Indeed, the rules are dependent themselves upon the decision which ratifies and confirms them for society. Without it, such rules are translucent, even opaque – they are, in the word of Williams (2003, p. 517), ‘indeterminate’. But what is routinized in the exception? To begin – the sudden ‘rupture’ which justifies action is ‘manufactured . . . by fabricating an existential threat which provokes experiences of the real possibility of violent death’. This implies that what is perceived to be a security threat is not ‘really there’. But it is not solely the threat which is manufactured – it is the Self (friend) which must be established as well. Following a decision, the Self is also not ‘really there’ since the one identity of the Self which stems from the decision becomes isolated from the multiple identities a society could obtain. In noting this point, Williams (2003, pp. 517, 520) accurately describes this as ‘reality . . . being denied’. Vitalist accounts can be situated more broadly alongside social theories which emphasize action, especially in their philosophical (but not ideological) overlap with Arendtian notions of power. For Schmitt,

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certainty, leadership, and strength all follow logically from the action itself, an action which again ‘demonstrates’ strength and authority and mobilizes a decadent public for further action. Similarly in Arendt, as Anthony Lang (2002, p. 12) avers: ‘action does not just create spaces and institutions for politics, it creates the agents themselves’. Agents ‘realize’ their sense of Self through action, or as Lang states: ‘once they [agents] appear on a public stage . . . human agents become a definitive “who” as opposed to a “what”’. This is at the same time a collective, social act of the group. ‘Power,’ Arendt once wrote, ‘is never the property of an individual; it belongs to a group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together’ (Arendt, 1970, p. 43; see also Klusmeyer, 2005, p. 139). All these forms of vitalism assume that agency exists in action, and the social need to act makes powerful collectivities much like coiled springs, ready to react.4 So when the ‘who’ becomes uncertain, when ontological insecurity is generated, the collectivized agent finds an incredible incentive to react in order to re-orient their sense of Self, to re-establish the legitimacy of such agency (see also Steele, 2008, esp. ch. 3). This illuminates another particular vulnerability in Schmitt’s work in respect to the self-defeating logic of vitalist action. Far more vibrantly than simply sitting back and waiting for the exceptional moment, power goes in search of it – constructing it as the basis for ‘living’: ‘in the exception the power of real life breaks through the crust of a mechanism that has become torpid by repetition’ (Schmitt, 2006, p. 15). We are, so to speak, ‘dead’ until these moments and ruptures happen. More than this, if all we have to fear is death, we have no life, as Schmitt explained in 1929: A life which has only death as its antithesis is no longer life but powerlessness and helplessness. Whoever knows no other enemy than death and recognizes in his enemy nothing more than an empty mechanism is nearer to death than life. (Schmitt, 2007, p. 95)

The capacity to decide in any decisionist account leads to the thirst for a decision. The primary result of this is a need to act. When power is this poised to do so, time and again, it becomes the normal it so wishes to avoid, becoming routinized and so very much predictable. More troubling for a vitalist ideology which seeks control and independence, the result 4

For the wider differences between Arendt and modern neoconservatism, see Owens (2007). It should be noted that Foucault (1982, p. 222) also thought that instead of speaking about ‘an essential freedom, it would be better to speak of an “agonism” – . . . less of a face-to-face confrontation which paralyzes both sides than a permanent provocation’.

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is quite the opposite – complete dependence on the need to prove that it deserves the aesthetic plateau it so desires, it becomes devoid, in the words of Wolin (1992, p. 443), from any ‘intrinsic content’ in lieu of the ‘need of an external pretext of “occasion” to realize itself’. A secondary result of this thirst is that the execution of the ‘act’ itself must be done quickly, thus the emphasis on doing something rather than acting ‘correctly’ to attend to the problem. Here again, aesthetics are involved, as the decision-maker must fall back upon a ‘vivid’ memory or even image during a crisis when time is of the essence, as psychological accounts of decision-making suggest (Vertzberger, 1990, p. 62). 3

Self-Interrogative Imaging, the US Self, and the West

As intimated in the introduction to this chapter, self-interrogative imaging is a process by which the aesthetic basis of power is reflected, refracted, and re-oriented through images. Images imprint and objectify the ‘glory’ of group Selves, and they are representations of that Self. Self-interrogative imaging refers to the distribution of images which represent (and re-present) the subjectivity of power’s aesthetic basis. Both complimentary and critical forms of self-interrogative imaging spring forth to manipulate power by, like other forms of counter-power, engaging its aesthetically constructed sense of (in this case) national ‘Self’. Such images are not necessarily concerted ‘strategies’ – they manifest spontaneously like other forms of counter-power. Let us consider which elements of self-interrogative imaging can be considered a ‘Western’ achievement. A prudent way to engage this possibility is to break down the parts of this process, word by word, assessing the Westernized basis or effects of each, and then meld them back together as a whole. My point here is not to ‘confirm’, once and for all, that all of these parts are unique to the Western world, but simply that there are plenty of those who would make that case. Let us start with the ‘Self’. The Self has been and continues to be considered by many a uniquely Western notion (Clifford, 1986; Johnson, 1985). At other times, it is connected to liberal philosophy, which centers upon the autonomy of the individual. As Kratochwil (2006, p. 10) notes, ‘the whole Western tradition has always distinguished “true being” from different forms of being’. Of course, as I mentioned in the introduction, the inherent insecurity, which springs forth from the process of aesthetics and the counter-power qualities of ‘self-interrogative imaging’, itself attests to the likelihood that a ‘true Self’ will never be uncovered. What about ‘interrogative’? I consider interrogation to be both the formal and informal questioning of a particular subject or entity. In the

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archetypal interrogation, a questioner stands over a subject and asks them questions to acquire particular information. While interrogation in this and every sense is not Western in origin, some philosophers and commentators have made the case that there is a Western basis for self-criticism.5 The latter has been argued by some to be a unique characteristic of the West. For some, like French philosopher Guy Sorman, this is a positive development, one which enables self-correction and improvement for those in the West: Self-criticism, even more than innovation, is a defining characteristic of the West. In most if not all non-Western civilizations, pride and self love exclude selfcriticism or at least the criticism of one’s civilization as such . . . The Western scholar remains perfectly legitimate when putting to death Western values: there is no Chinese or Muslim Nietzsche claiming that his own God is dead. Is there a Chinese or a Muslim Montaigne ready to write that the “Indian savages” may be wiser than us, as Montaigne did in 16th century France? Of course there must be some Chinese or Muslim Montaigne or Nietzsche, but they would not be considered beacons of their civilizations. Self-criticism, not self-love, and cultural relativism are the nuts and bolts of the Western mindset. (Sorman, 2008)

Not all scholars would of course accept Sorman’s thesis – one glance at recent IR studies confirms that the notion of the ‘critical’ scholar extends past the West (see Shani, 2008). Whether it is unique or not, however, there is a certain irony to those who make this argument, if not the argument itself, that self-criticism is a unique Western achievement, and delving into this helps explicate how self-interrogative imaging, like that which occurred during the Fallujah debacle (discussed later), can have the effects that it does. This irony stems from the observation that some of the most vociferous defenders of Western superiority see the Western ability to critique the Self being subject to manipulation, and that more generally, self-criticism demonstrates weakness, division, and a lack of civilizational discipline. An example comes from the argument made, in the wake of 9/11, by neoconservative commentator William Bennett: ‘The habit of selfcriticism, which some in the West have admittedly made into a selfdestructive fetish, also happens to be the one irreplaceable engine of human progress’ (Bennett, 2002, p. 101). Therein lies the quandary for the West – self-critique is endemic to progress, yet progress is imperiled, disaster is even courted, if self-criticism flourishes too much. More than any other domain, Bennett and others have located this egregious ‘fetish’ in the West’s weak underbelly of academia. Bennett devotes an entire 5

As Molly Cochran’s recent study brought forth, certain members of the original ‘British Committee’, such as Donald Mackinnon, elucidated a deep-running skepticism as endemic to the ‘Western tradition’ (Cochran, 2009, p. 210, fn. 8).

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chapter, titled ‘Love of Country’, to confront what he calls the ‘countermovement of America-bashing’ (ibid., p. 133). Drawing vivid post-9/11 examples from a NYU history professor, a Columbia University history professor, and a pledge of allegiance controversy at Williams College, Bennett concludes that these examples show the need for today’s college students to be subject to a ‘vast relearning’ so that ‘a positive assessment of American history’ can begin to be taught in schools. While Bennett avers that this relearning would not necessarily be an ‘uncritical assessment’, he asks for the focus to be on how Americans have never ‘lost sight of our moral ideals’ (ibid., p. 150–151). Bennett is not the only commentator to identify this criticism as a weakness of the Western academic circles. Jean Bethke Elshtain devotes an entire chapter of her Just War against Terror to criticizing the academy’s ‘response to terror’ (Elshtain, 2003, ch. 5). Yale historian Donald Kagan, in a November 2001 lecture (also favorably cited by Bennett), focuses on the mendaciousness of this tendency: The assaults on patriotism, therefore, are failures of character. They are made by privileged people who enjoy the full benefits offered by the country they deride and detest, its opportunities, its freedom, its riches, but they lack the basic decency to pay it the allegiance and respect that honor demands.6

Two corollaries to this first irony reveal the further perceived weaknesses of the West. The first leads those who champion Western principles to be quite adamant about abandoning (at least temporarily) certain elements of those principles in the face of ‘World War III’, all in the name of avoiding, again, Western ‘weakness’. This is the moniker that Thomas Friedman used in the immediate days following the 9/11 attacks, noting: It pits us – the world’s only superpower and quintessential symbol of liberal, free-market, Western values – against all the super-empowered angry men and women out there. Many of these super-empowered angry people hail from failing states in the Muslim and third world. They do not share our values, they resent America’s influence over their lives, politics and children, not to mention our support for Israel, and they often blame America for the failure of their societies to master modernity. (Friedman, 2001)

Friedman concludes his column, however, noting that: ‘We have to fight the terrorists as if there were no rules, and preserve our open society as if there were no terrorists’. A second corollary is that the added dimension of democratic governance – and the role of public opinion – makes Western democracies even more seemingly insecure, for this is a hindrance with which many in the ‘non-West’ do not have to be bothered. Noteworthy here is the research 6

Lecture available at http://www.yalerotc.org/Kagan.html.

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which statistically suggests that, while they may be more likely to win wars (Reiter and Stam, 2002; Bennett and Stam, 2000), democracies are inherently vulnerable to protracted and drawn-out wars because the public, which presumably ‘calls the shots’ in a democracy, removes its support (Gartner, 1997). Further, ‘while autocrats can repress this dissent, democrats are forced to respond to it or face being replaced’ (Filson and Werner, 2004, p. 298). Others have pointed out how the free press of Western democracies allows hostile groups such as al-Qaeda an effective medium through which to manipulate public opinion. One scholar titles this a ‘virtual war’, one where the public opinion of democracies can be manipulated and undermined, while insurgent enemies ‘have time on their hands and they will use this time against the West in the true tradition of Mao’s protracted warfare’ (Williams, 2007, p. 274). While the purpose of these various arguments is quite different, of course, neoconservative writers have made the case (but in more ideological tones) that internal dissent makes a democracy inherently weak – and that terrorists not only exploit this but know this to be the case, and thus organize their strategies around this central ‘democratic weakness’ assumption.7 Yet here the second irony (a hypocritical one, but irony nonetheless) of the ‘self-criticism is weak’ argument comes in. As one review of the book, titled ‘William Bennett chases his tail’, noted, ‘How much self-criticism is enough, and how much is too much? It depends on who’s doing the selfcriticizing’ (Noah, 2002). Indeed, those who assail self-criticism actually spend much of their time practicing it. Bennett almost admits as much when he states that he had ‘not exactly been reticent when it comes to criticizing the flaws of American society’ (Bennett, 2002, p. 135). In fact, this form of self-criticism I would assert is closer to the self-interrogation at issue in the Fallujah illustration. It is the aggression in self-interrogative imaging that distinguishes it from self-critique. Such interrogation occurs with regard to those moments of weakness where the Western world failed to forcefully reassert power. Such moments, in a Western context, can be encapsulated by short phrased signifiers – Munich (or appeasement), the Fall of Saigon, the Iranian hostage crisis, Beirut, Black Hawk Down – signifiers which conjure up images of failure and retreat.8 Sometimes, however, there are moments that go largely unnoticed in the Western world for some time until they are resurrected by commentators as being 7 8

A good example is ‘The Logic of Weakness’, by James Arlandson, available at: http:// www.americanthinker.com/2004/06/the logic of weakness.html. Kratochwil (2006, p. 15) has most recently resurrected the Nietzschean insight that action and agency depends upon historical recollection, in how: ‘the fact that the past is deeply involved in constructing the individual as an agent. In order to be able to act, agents have to first recover their history’.

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quite iconic retrospectively. Again, Friedman’s column proves illustrative here: We have to prove that we are serious, and that we understand that many of these terrorists hate our existence, not just our policies. In June I wrote a column about the fact that a few cell-phone threats from Osama bin Laden had prompted President Bush to withdraw the F.B.I. from Yemen, a U.S. Marine contingent from Jordan and the U.S. Fifth Fleet from its home base in the Persian Gulf. This U.S. retreat was noticed all over the region, but it did not merit a headline in any major U.S. paper. That must have encouraged the terrorists. (Friedman, 2001)

These moments are, more than anything, aesthetically significant. The worry here is not whether there is some material ‘reality’ of a particular decadent turning point for the West, but that the perceived weakness inherent in the iconic image(s) of these moments will itself, without a forceful reaction, accelerate Western decline. The performative qualities of a representative of the West, in other words, are up for examination. It is interrogation, then, because it represents a highly volatile questioning of the particular subject – in a US context it is the decadent American Self. Yet even more troubling for the West is that these are all moments where ‘the West’ confronts an enemy, who is anything but weak – in fact, these are moments when the questionable fortitude of the West is called upon to halt a timeless, ruthless enemy from encroaching, infesting, or feeding off of its (again, aesthetically publicized) weaknesses. The lessons of this are so timeless that some commentators, such as Christopher Hitchens, go back even to the time of Thomas Jefferson in his ‘longmeditated ruthlessness’ dealings with the Islamic Barbary states, who were so named, according to Hitchens, not only because of their ‘Berber’ background but also because of ‘the handy euphony of the word with barbarism’ (Hitchens, 2005, p. 127). Two more points to note here. First, what makes this need for interrogation possible is not only a vitalist urgency to act and react, but a larger dual context. On the one hand, the West is indispensable to the world – its values are those which form the basis for civilization. On the other hand, the West always seems on the verge of collapse, precisely because of these values. Alastair Bonnett calls this the idea of the West’s ability to ‘thrive on contradictory usage’, where ‘the West is simultaneously pronounced to be all-conquering and defeated, both of the future and the past’ (Bonnett, 2004, p. 5). Finally, is the importance of the ‘image’ a Western creation? This is also hard to determine, although there are elements of the ‘decline and triumphant’ hydra which make possible three practices, including the

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need to gaze upon the image (do we appear to ourselves and others as decadent or successful?), the need to extrapolate from that image some grand lesson about the West, and what (re)action should follow from that lesson. It is this last practice that contains an important lesson, for the image itself is far more important than the material or strategic reality of Iraq to US security interests. A reaction to this image is not only prudent, but expected. If the image goes unanswered, decline will be further hastened. This helps explicate what would come to be known, in the Spring of 2004, as ‘Operation Vigilant Resolve’. Fallujah, the West, and Disorder Let us now view some of these issues with reference to the images of the burned contractors hanging from a Fallujah bridge in late March of 2004 as an example of a self-interrogative moment for US aesthetic power. By March of 2004, the United States, in fighting Operation Iraqi Freedom, was facing a raging insurgency in the so-called Sunni Triangle of Iraq, which included the cities of Ramadi, Samarra, Balad, Baqubah, and Fallujah. It was in the last where an iconic image would lead to a turning point in the US war effort – an image of two US contractors hung from a bridge after being beaten, burned and dismembered – with Iraqis celebrating nearby. Shortly before these events, US Marines took over responsibility of Fallujah from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Along with responsibility, the Marines intended to bring a new approach to rooting out the insurgents in the area, attempting to more rigorously engage ‘both the people and the enemy’ (Ricks, 2006, p. 331). This approach was meant to ‘wean Fallujahns from the insurgency’ (Ballard, 2006, p. 11). But on 31 March 2004, security personnel from Blackwater, a contracting firm, entered the city to patrol a route that a contractor convoy would take the following day. They did this by running a Marine roadblock. The two sport utility vehicles they road in were ambushed by insurgents. The contractors were beaten and burned, and two of the partially dismembered corpses were hung from a bridge spanning the Euphrates River. Video cameras close by captured the scene of Iraqis celebrating the ambush underneath the hanging contractors. The images here were disseminated through an added dimension – while it is not exactly clear which news outlet covered the event, the visions of the Fallujah bridge were televised and carried on major US cable networks such as CNN (Ricks, 2006, p. 332). They can be considered an interrogation of the US Self in the sense that the images were repeated, over and over, on cable news networks. The political message of the image was not lost on commentators and intellectuals at the

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time. Mark Bowden, author of the Somalia chronicle Black Hawk Down, wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal detailing, as it was titled, ‘The Lessons of Mogadishu’ (Bowden, 2004). Bowden wrote that ‘lynching is deliberate . . . it has a clear intent: to insult, to challenge and to frighten the enemy’. Not only the act, but the dissemination of the image, was important for Bowden – ‘the crowd, no matter how enraged, welcomes the camera . . . The idea is to spread the image. Cameras guarantee the insult will be heard, seen and felt’. Thus, as a weapon of warfare, images are powerful. But as a selfinterrogative moment, they are even more traumatic. The images ‘provoked a powerful response down the chain of command, starting from Washington, where the images of Muslim mobs burning Americans evoked memories of October 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia’ (Ricks, 2006, p. 332). Indeed, a LexisNexis search of print media accounts of the Fallujah bridge uprising produces more than 100 ‘hits’ when the words ‘Fallujah’ and ‘Somalia’ or ‘Mogadishu’ are included. Then–State Department spokesman Adam Ereli was asked at a 1 April 2004 press conference whether the incident would track with ‘the Mogadishu precedent that people will lose, sort of, the support or the stomach for staying in Iraq’? Ereli responded by stating, unequivocally, ‘The Mogadishu precedent was that, following attacks, we left. And that’s not going to be – that’s not going to happen here, I can tell you right now’.9 The vitality of ‘strength and will’ as a deterrent in the face of such ‘barbarity’ compelled the United States to recognize that ‘The worst answer the U.S. can make to such a message – which is precisely what we did in Mogadishu – is [to] back down’ (Bowden, 2004). By invoking the ‘haunting’ images of Mogadishu, commentators were more concerned with the ghosts of American ontologies past: weakness in the face of barbarity, lost ‘will’ in the face of a challenge, a ‘cut and run’ strategy that led to a perception that American democracy lacked the fortitude to ‘keep fighting’. And so US power reacted against the visions of current and past perceived instances of lost will, and, most importantly, an image of weakness. The US Marines were ordered to launch an assault – appropriately (for the purpose of the mission) dubbed ‘Operation Vigilant Resolve’. The operation included more than 2,500 Marines along with artillery and tanks entering the city in a slow-rolling assault. Yet in a (seemingly) bizarre twist, shortly after the operation began, an order came on 9 April 2008 for an American ceasefire. This led to a siege-like stalemate of the city and an eventual pull-back of the US forces. The city was handed 9

‘Daily Press Briefing, 1 April 2004,’ http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2004/31043.htm.

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over to the so-called Fallujah Brigade, which, according to Ricks (2006, pp. 342–343), ‘had far more in common with the insurgents than they ever would with the Marines’ and was led by a former Iraqi general in Saddam Hussein’s Republican guard. Ricks notes that this ending ‘was one of the lowest points of the entire U.S. military effort in Iraq.’ However, Ricks perhaps expects too much here, for the objective may not have been to root out insurgents, or even mainly vengeance. Rather the objective of the assault itself could be fulfilled if it demonstrated resolve in the moment when the aesthetic Self of subjective power was questioned and interrogated in the form of dismembered and charred bodies. If such an action helped to recreate that Self’s aesthetic integrity, then the operation was, at least, a qualified success. Of course, like any ambiguous goal of US aesthetic power, such an emphasis on vitality and strength facilitates even more challenges. Cutting into the Fallujah Scene There are several ‘layers’ we can enter into to analyze the Fallujah case. On the most grandiose, Fallujah is yet another flashpoint of a clash of civilizations – an example of the fight between the West and the rest, or, as the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority said at the time, an example of ‘despicable, inexcusable and barbaric acts’ which violated ‘the foundations of a civilization’.10 The aforementioned Christopher Hitchens issued his assessment at this time that ‘the mob could have cooked and eaten its victims without making things very much worse’ (Hitchens, 2004). Thus, Fallujah was a fault line between an emerging Islamo-fascism and a US-led vanguard of force to demonstrate to ‘thugs’ that their celebrations would not go unpunished (Bay, 2004). But we may also view the prevalence with which the ‘ghosts’ of Mogadishu were invoked by US policymakers, and investigate from which location this particular vulnerability arises – and if we can identify such a location, we might also ascertain its particular threat destination. But to do this we would need to engage the aesthetic subjective level of the US Self – the specter (in an almost literal sense) is not of an Iraqi insurgency, it is of a ‘wound’ of a past US Self, where ‘the pain is attributed not to the act of destruction, but to its memory’ (Zehfuss, 2007, pp. 124– 125). A US Self, whose aesthetic basis has been compromised, helps explicate the surprisingly large concern US policymakers, commentators, and military leaders invoked of American ontologies past rather than of an Iraqi insurgency of the (at that time) present. I would like to make the case 10

Paul Bremer, quoted in Rupert Cornwell (2004).

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in this penultimate section that the first and third of these ‘layers’ – the civilizational and the aesthetic subjective – are conjoined in the moment of Fallujah. They are conjoined in that in the moment where the US Self is de-aestheticized, the interrogated image refers to not only US weakness (US vs. insurgency) but to Western decline (West vs. ‘timeless’ Islam or non-West). In other words, while the self-interrogative imaging of the bridge forced the US to react, the added burden of Western insecurity, channeled through the prism of that US Self, may have provided further fuel to react in the manner of Operation Vigilant Resolve. It is, precisely, the flip-side of what we might title ‘Niebuhr’s coin’. For Niebuhr, it is an almost natural tendency of (especially) democratic regimes to invoke the language of universality (which itself sometimes arrived cloaked in the clothes of civilization), for the ‘religious or the rational culture to which [such regimes] are devoted helps them to realize that moral values are universal, if they are to be real’ (Niebuhr, 1932, 92). Perhaps the West itself was not explicitly invoked by commentators and those who craft policy. But there are civilizational elements of universality embedded in this narrative. When a foreign policy goes awry, this means that this regime is failing not only its own national security interests (in fact, its own power-based national security may not even be at issue), but also its own civilization. Such is the outcome of invoking universality. As I mentioned in the introduction, the insecurity we find in selfinterrogative imaging is made possible because of the conjunction of three processes: (1) the nature of aesthetics, (2) the nature of the vitalist need for ‘demonstrative action’, and (3) the perpetual insecurity attached to perceived ‘Western decline’. The first process is inherently unstable because aesthetics serve to make an object something it otherwise is not. In this case, the Fallujah pictures compromised an overly pristine picture that had been presented by the Bush administration regarding Operation Iraqi Freedom up to that time. As one commentator wrote at the time: For Bush, the pictures from Fallujah must have come as a terrible blow. This is, after all, a president whose White House has done so much to manage and manipulate the imagery surrounding the war in Iraq. From the embedded reporters beaming back scenes of conquest and heroism, to his flight-suited “Mission Accomplished” landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln, to the bodies of American casualties that arrive at Dover Air Force Base, unseen by the media because the Bush administration decided to enforce a previously ignored rule, Bush has striven to present the war in a brightly optimistic light, upbeat and unreal.11

In a second respect, there is another important move one finds in the conjoining of images like Fallujah with those of past decisive moments, 11

Dan Kennedy, (2004) ‘Heart of Darkness,’ The Boston Phoenix, 9–15 April 2004.

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which reveals the particular urgency behind a vitalist tendency to react. It is one of Mark Bowden’s further ‘lessons from Mogadishu’ but can really be considered a lesson from any past hole in the US aesthetic Self. As Bowden wrote regarding the importance of the Battle of Mogadishu, the reality was that by most indications, Aidid’s supporters were decimated and demoralized the day after the Battle . . . Some, appalled by the indecency of their countrymen, were certain the US would violently respond to such an insult and challenge . . . Instead the US did nothing, effectively abandoning the field to Aidid and his henchmen. (Bowden, 2004)

A similar ‘lost opportunity’ assessment has been issued regarding what some consider to be the key ‘turning point’ of the US involvement in the Vietnam War – the Tet Offensive, which was, like in Bowden’s assessment of Mogadishu, a strong victory by US forces that (because of the false portrayals of the antiwar US news media) came to be perceived as a crushing strategic defeat (Braestrup, 1994). This perception, the narrative goes, led to a loss of US public support for the war and, ostensibly, political ‘will’. Fallujah, however, could be different. Here the argument is that the image is incorrect – it always has been, and yet if the United States sits back and ‘does nothing’, shows a loss of will and fortitude, then the image can become a reality, just as the perceived (and false) defeat of Tet became a reality, and the perceived (and false) image of US weakness in Somalia, after the Clinton administration’s withdrawal of US forces, became itself a reality. This is the lesson the vitalists provide us with – the fault is never, dear Brutus, in the stars. It is always in ourselves. Thus, since US power was there to act and saw in Fallujah a decisive moment to do so, the assault was almost anticlimactic. Finally, we have the third element found in Fallujah – a home for a perpetual insecurity of the West. Any image that is considered to be symbolic of Western decline (or, even worse, a potential ‘cause’ of it) will generate insecurity. Since no image will ever match up to the idealized image of the ‘triumphant’ sketch of the West that is often made by commentators and political leaders alike, then almost any image which is interrogated will lead to an assumption that the West is in decline. That is, unless something is done to halt this decline – something active and creative which can serve to re-establish the aesthetic integrity of the Western and US subject. This, too, helps explicate the US reaction in the form of Operation Vigilant Resolve. And this is why Fallujah is so important – it embodies not only a moment of Western insecurity and impending collapse, but every moment where the West, and the US as its chief representative, had failed to

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show the resolve necessary in the face of an ‘unceasing’ enemy. Action is necessary; otherwise civilizational decay will follow and other civilizations (Islam, the non-West) will expand, especially if the image is not forcefully combated, as past examples prove. The US was acting against not only an Iraqi insurgency, but the ghosts of Somalia, a helicopter on a Saigon rooftop, a pullout of Marines in Beirut, and so forth. 4

Conclusions: Temporal and Technoclashes of a Future ‘West’?

The technological West is too infatuated with easy fixes. But tribally based peoples think in terms of centuries and millennia. They know how to wait us out.

These were Camille Paglia’s words in a recent column calling for the US to pull forces out of Afghanistan (Paglia, 2009). Her assertion is that non-Western civilizations have a different ‘conception’ of time. In some respect, this may be in line with those who critique Western ‘weakness’, like William Bennett, in that impatience and a culture of ‘instant gratification’ are part of a broader decadent culture. And yet, while Paglia is someone who thinks in terms of civilizations, she also represents the viewpoint that those civilizations are rather static through time, a viewpoint that explains her advocacy for a more restrained US foreign policy stance in the ‘War on Terror’. However, we might also take Paglia’s observation that modern technology itself may be responsible for this more rapid conception of time, for such technology has also increased the perpetual insecurity that is a characteristic not only of aesthetic power, but of one ‘idea of the West’ for some time. This insecurity stems, in part, from the inherently fragile nature that is any social arrangement. As Patrick Jackson notes in the conclusion of his book-length study on the Invention of the West, ‘social arrangements [like the West] are not things or even thinglike; they are instead relative stabilities in patterns of social action – relative stabilities that have to be ongoing and unceasingly reproduced from moment to moment’ (Jackson, 2006, p. 252).12 What we see in those counter-power moments of self-interrogative imaging is ontological – an engagement and evaluation of ‘what’ the West is, or is not (or is ‘up against’) in the image. As technology disseminates these images at speeds more breakneck than ever before, challenges will only increase to the relative stabilities of what we think of as ‘the West’. 12

Kratochwil (2006, p. 10) makes a similar observation, arguing that ‘we might, however, rather think about “things” and “objects” not as fixed entities, but as temporary stabilizations of various processes’.

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This is not a new event, for technological advances have always served to de-stabilize centralized power, that is, until such power (or rivals to power) become able to master these advances to further its own control. However, we may be at a point in history where power has met its match – twenty-first-century power is now at a point where it cannot corral the speed and vibrancy of the image. Advances in technology have made the gathering of the image, of ‘data’, at once both micro and surreal. The image can now be downloaded onto flash drives or ‘uploaded’ to online storage cottages. Such images, data, and accounts elide control – they can never be destroyed, and thus, their virtuality is their most potent constitutive element. This creates a condition where a centralized body of power (including national representatives of ‘civilizations’), dependent on images, is perpetually suspended because it cannot know when an image of its counter-aesthetics will emerge. In essence, counter-power has been democratized – anyone can disseminate the unfavorable image which unfastens power. In the case of a powerful ‘Western’ representative, one which takes on the mantle of halting the ever-present possibility of civilizational decline, and one which puts value in such images, insecurity now is both temporally more rapid – occurring at any time – and spatially diffuse – arriving from any point. Such insecurity may be aesthetic – even ‘cosmetic’ – in its origins, but it is hardly superficial, and will likely remain a reality as long as the vitalist emphasis on decisive moments, or the idea of the West, remains viable.

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7

Everyday Exceptions The Paradox of a Perpetual State of Emergency

Benjamin Herborth

Europe is coming to grips with the fact that al-Qaida’s opponent is the West, not just the United States. The interior ministers of the EU nations have been holding meetings to co-ordinate anti-terrorist measures. The outcome of these meetings is likely to determine how many of their civil liberties Europeans will have to sacrifice. Richard Rorty

‘Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman’, Winston Churchill once remarked. In Basle, Switzerland, less than two months after the 9/11 attacks, on November 2, 2001, at 6.30 AM, three policemen entered the hotel room of Pierre Boulez, a world-renowned conductor and composer of contemporary music. Confiscating his passport, they effectively precluded him from leaving the country, despite the fact that Boulez was scheduled to depart for Chicago to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Luckily, the matter clarified within a few hours, and Swiss authorities issued an apologetic statement regretting the ‘excessively zealous behaviour’ of the force. They maintained, however, that, given the circumstances, it would have been warranted to arrest Mr. Boulez. Apparently, the officers in charge refrained only from doing so because 75-year-old Boulez did not seem to pose an imminent threat to the Swiss public. The unlikely swoop was motivated by the fact that Boulez’ name appeared on a list of terror suspects maintained by Swiss authorities. In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel in 1967, Boulez had snapped at the contemporary opera scene, claiming that since Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Lulu, no opera worthy of discussion had been produced, and any way out of the misery seemed to be blocked by the inherent conservatism of the opera houses. Boulez concluded, ‘To blow them up might be the most costly way. But wouldn’t it be the most elegant one, too?’ Moreover, six years prior to the incident, a music critic had filed a complaint as he received threatening phone calls in response to a harsh review of Boulez’ work. As the caller was allegedly identified as Pierre Boulez, Zurich police added the name to a list of terror suspects, 136

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quickly dropping investigations, though, as Boulez had already left the country. Still, his name remained on the list as nobody cared to delete it. With a generally heightened awareness of terrorist threats since 9/11 looming in the background, these curiosities were good enough to raise flags among Swiss authorities, apparently unfamiliar with the finesse of aesthetic criticism, when Boulez returned to Switzerland in November 2001 (Henley, 2001). The incident not only pays testimony to the danger of exceeding surveillance and cutbacks to civil rights in the wake of 9/11, it also illustrates how threat perceptions align along the familiar dividing line of ‘the West and the Rest’ (Hall, 1992). Even prior to the al-Qaida bombings in Madrid and London, European Westerners shared with Americans an immediate sense of danger. Neither the US nor Western European states were the paramount target of al-Qaida attacks; rather, a presumably ‘decadent’ Western civilization at large became the undiscriminatory foil against which the 9/11 attacks were symbolically directed – thus illicitly appropriating the multitude of voices from the ‘non-Western Rest’. If freedom and security have always stood in a delicate relation, sweeping threat constructions of this kind inadvertently aggravate the dilemma. The idea that the war on terror impinges on civil rights is not a new one. However, it places ‘the West’ in a curious double-bind. It is in the name of the defense of ‘the West’ that Western democracies, in an effort to defend their Western way of life, resort to an array of measures – ranging from a resurgence of racial profiling to extraordinary renditions and torture – commonly construed as diametrically opposed to the idea of the West. Hence, when Richard Rorty contends that to an American liberal like himself John Ashcroft would be more of a threat than Osama bin Laden,1 a common denominator between Rorty and Ashcroft remains. Both frame the current situation as a threat to ‘the West’. Their respective uses of ‘the West’ differ, however, not only along political cleavages, they also differ in terms of the practical grammars invoked: ‘the West’ is used variously as the subject and the object of the threat constellation emerging from the 9/11 attacks. Both the practical grammar of security and the de-democratizing repercussions of measures undertaken in the name of security and defense are theorized explicitly by the Copenhagen School of security studies (Buzan, Wæver, and de Wilde, 1999). Here, security is conceptualized in terms of 1

Rorty, 2004a, 2004b, see also Prantl, 2008. For the inside perspective of a lawyer defending Guant´anamo inmates see Wax, 2008, for thorough journalistic accounts see Hersh, 2004; Mayer, 2008. For an affirmative account, see Yoo, 2006.

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a speech act of securitization, which legitimizes extraordinary measures in the name of the defense of a referent object (state, society, environment, or ‘the West’) subjected to what is construed as an existential threat. As the referent object must be protected by all means, abrogating the due process routines of ‘normal politics’ becomes thinkable, acceptable, and doable. Speaking security thus is to performatively engender a state of emergency. The Global War on Terror evidently constitutes a showcase example. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001, are commonly held to have shattered the self-understanding of Western societies like no other event since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Where ‘11/9’ had evoked the hope of a New World Order, ‘9/11’ has become the chiffre of a new, dawning threat, which cannot be countered by conventional means. Hence, this chapter is not about establishing or show-casing once again that there is a tension between civil rights and the rule of law on the one hand, and the Global War on Terror on the other, a constellation neatly fitting a standard image of securitization processes. Rather, the analytical challenge is to tease out the consequences of the particular forms and patterns of securitization taking place in the wake of global terrorism. The focus of this chapter lies not on the question of whether dynamics of securitization have taken place, but on the question of how they played out. It lies not on the antecedent conditions of (successful) securitization, which has been at the center of many theoretical engagements (Balzacq, 2005; Stritzel, 2007), but on the institutional consequences of securitizing moves in terms of both the legitimation of specific measures and more general transformations of the broader fields of security and Western order (Bigo, 2008). In order to explore the links between securitization, democracy, and the transformation of Western order, I will proceed in three steps. First, I will explore the semantic field of securitization, democracy, and order. How and to what extent are securitization and democracy conceptually intertwined? Does securitization necessarily presuppose the idea of a ‘normal’ democratic politics? How can we reconstruct the conception of political order, which securitization theory seems to presuppose? In a second step, I use the example of torture to demonstrate how the transformation of political order plays out at the micro-level by providing snapshots of an interpretive reading of the torture memos. Finally, I discuss some of the broader theoretical implications of the interpretation of the torture case in the light of the problems outlined in the first section. The transformation of Western order, I conclude, runs parallel to a transformation of the field of security where the logic of security is gradually being replaced by a logic of risk.

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Consequences of Securitization: Order and Democracy

Securitization theory tears down the disciplinary boundaries between social science and political theory – and notably so without creating much noise in the process. It allows us to cast a critical glance at practices of security, because it creates an analytical distance to its object of study.2 From the point of view of securitization theory, it becomes possible to observe what securitizing actors fail to observe, namely that they are engaged in a performative process of switching from one mode of political order to another. Through processes of securitization, routinized rules of political conduct can be abrogated. To the extent that we associate these routinized rules of political conduct with democracy, processes of securitization are processes of de-democratization. Securitization theory thus rejects a view of political order as something pre-constituted and external to political practice. It implies a distinctive view of the social, the political, and the relation of the social to the political. Both need to be explicated in order to better understand what it means to analyze the transformation of Western security dynamics in terms of securitization theory. A successful securitization move performatively engenders a state of emergency. The apparently overwhelming immediacy and urgency of an existential threat necessitates (and thus legitimates) extraordinary measures (Buzan et al., 1998, pp. 23–26). The notion of the extraordinary, however, presupposes an understanding of the ordinary, which is only rarely explicated. Even if we can only infer the understanding of the ordinary ex negativo, i.e. in terms of what is abrogated when a successful move of securitization takes place, the image of what is lost and why that is problematic is relatively straightforward. Securitization shifts the domestic balance of powers in favor of the executive, thus foreclosing the possibility of democratic control, let alone the bottom-up programming of political decisions through a democratic chain of legitimation. The kind of de-politicization triggered by successful moves of securitization would then constitute a de-democratization of real-existing democracies, which applies, first and foremost, under circumstances where democracy is firmly institutionalized. Rather than a universal grammar of security, securitization thus appears to be a contextual vernacular, presupposing a distinct set of formal and informal rules, institutions, and procedures against which the image of a state of exception becomes meaningful (cf. Balzacq, 2005). After all, the critical punch line of securitization theory does not refer to the success of the extraordinary measures thus rendered possible (or 2

On analytical distance see also Bartelson, 1995, chap. 2; on securitization as political theory see Huysmans, 2006.

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the lack thereof), but to the political dynamics of reshuffling the relation between speaker and ‘audience’. Successful securitization may replace democratic politics with a pre-democratic idea of charismatic leadership, where the immediate situation of existential coping is delegated away from the democratic sovereign to a centralized authority that legitimates itself by promising to lead the way out of the crisis. At first glance, this does not seem necessary where an autocratic form of political leadership is already in place. Hence, in an ideal-typical autocracy, there would seem to be no need for securitizations in the first place. On the other hand, one may object that ideal-typical, stable autocracies don’t exist – that is, indeed, implied as soon as we refer to them as ideal-typical rather than real-typical. Real-existing autocracies are inherently unstable because they continuously have to ward off demands for more inclusive participation. Under these circumstances, securitization can be a powerful mechanism to ensure the level of public paranoia which is necessary to maintain autocratic regimes. This becomes most apparent in a quotation ¨ from Hermann Goring used by Ole Wæver at the beginning of a chapter on ‘Self-referential concepts of security’: ‘Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism’ (quoted in Wæver, 1995, p. 348). Again, however, this argument presupposes that demands for more inclusive participation in political decision-making can be articulated in the first place. Securitization dynamics in an absolutist monarchy legitimated in terms of divine right are likely to look quite different. Still, any securitizing actor will have to justify his securitizing moves vis-`a-vis someone, and in any case, a successful securitization allows switching to a different modality of political conduct, which is more reclusive and less open to (public) criticism. The task of a ‘historical sociology of securitization’ would thus not be the delineation of a definitive set of contextual factors, which need to be present in order for securitizing moves to be effective, but rather a reconstructive inquiry into changing patterns of justification. The question becomes: Who owes justification to whom? rather than: What antecedent conditions does a securitizing move require to be successful? This implies, however, that the more specific consequences of securitization can only be analyzed by taking into account contextual factors.3 3

The securitization literature has discussed this problem mainly by calling for a broadening of the social-theoretical scope of the theory (cf. e.g. Balzacq, 2005, on the pragmatics of securitization, Stritzel, 2007 on externalism). I take a slightly different approach by focusing on the institutional consequences of securitization rather than its socialtheoretical presuppositions.

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A tentative exploration of the contextual factors which need to be present in order to make securitization moves possible does not stop at the level of domestic patterns of legitimation. Europe, transatlantic relations, and ‘the West’ constitute historically unprecedented zones of asecurity, which seem to have undergone an ever-deepening process of desecuritization since the end of the Second World War (Wæver, 1998). At the same time, contrary to the democratic peace hypothesis, resecuritization among democracies does remain possible (Hellmann and Herborth, 2008). Zones of asecurity are precious rarities in international politics; hence there is an obvious tendency to defend them against external intrusions. Such a defense of, say, the Western zone of asecurity is not necessarily restricted to the military and political sector. In particular, the securitization of migration and the build-up of a ‘Fortress Europe’ come to mind (Roe, 2004; Huysmans, 2006). In short, while it seems fair to say that securitization theory has traditionally been geared towards practices of national security, nothing stands in the way of bringing in ‘the West’ as a referent object operating by and large at the transnational level. Yet, as an unconventional, transnationalized referent object, ‘the West’ confronts us with a number of conceptual challenges. As long as we remain on the familiar terrain of nation-state politics, it may seem less problematic to presuppose an implicit understanding of order, normal political conduct, and exception as firmly established and unproblematic. Ousting the familiar framework of the national security state, however, then forces us to unpack many of the assumptions on political order tacitly underlying both securitization theory and the traditional understanding of national security. In the name of national security, the use of extreme measures could be legitimized both in the international and in the domestic realm. To legitimize here not only means to authorize, to render possible, but also to institute a clear-cut barrier. To the extent that the use of extreme measures is legitimized in conventional terms of national security, the domestic use of military power is ruled out as categorically inappropriate, much as the use of police forces beyond the jurisdiction of a sovereign state is unthinkable. The military power of a state is to be used to protect its people from outside threats; hence, it must not be used against them. Consequently, police force, which is meant to be used domestically, not only underlies a separate and different set of rules and regulations but also involves lesser degrees of violence. Practices of ordering international political conduct thus seem normatively deficient when compared to the experience of the nation-state. Means of violence are excessive, legal constraints seem comparatively weak. Hence, progressively

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internationalizing the limitations to the use of violence which have been achieved at the level of the liberal-democratic nation-state has been the political project of modern international law, which ascribes to itself the role of a ‘gentle civilizer of nations’ (Koskenniemi, 2002; see also Albert et al., 2000). On the dark side of the civilizing project, however, the internal and external dimensions of security have gradually interpenetrated each other, thus creating a new field of transnational security. The enmeshment of domestic and international forms of using violence, Didier Bigo (2001) has argued, assumes the form of a Moebius ribbon, a band of curiously twisted geometric shape, which has a single surface, thus obscuring a clear distinction between inside and outside. If the inside/outside distinction blurs, however, so do the limitations on the use of violence that come along with it. To the extent that a transversal field of transnational security emerges, an alternative semantics of security becomes available, which no longer maintains a hard and fast line between domestic rule and international anarchy. To analyze transformations of Western order in terms of processes of securitization and desecuritization thus means to remain agnostic when confronting the question of whether either the normative self-image of a progressive civilization of international conduct or the gloomy prospect of the emergence of new channels of authorizing political violence are likely to materialize. From the point of view of securitization/desecuritization theory, the future of the West hinges on contingent processes of signification rather than trans-historical macro-dynamics. Hence, instead of partaking in pundit-like speculations as to where the West may go, get stuck, or eventually end up, the analytical challenge is to trace particular instances of signification, in which implicit or explicit references to the West are being made. Western order cannot be plausibly conceived of as a pre-constituted, relatively fixed entity, but only as the result of historical, contested and intersubjective processes of ordering (Bially Mattern, 2005; Jackson, 2006). 2

Reading the Torture Memos

Among the broad array of consequences of post-9/11 securitizations, the issue of torture stands out as the prototypical example of abrogating normative accomplishments of Western democracy. The literature on torture and terrorism since 9/11 is vast already.4 Rather than providing 4

For an overview of the debate see Greenberg, 2005a. Greenberg, 2005b, provides a valuable collection of original documents.

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a literature review, the chapter thus opts for a reconstructive strategy of inquiry and starts right from the material in order to trace how the use of violence is justified and legitimized. The now infamous term ‘torture memos’ refers to four documents which the Obama administration made accessible to the public in April 2009.5 The first document is dated from August 1, 2001, and drafted by John Yoo on behalf of the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. It is addressed to John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, and responds to a request on the occasion of the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, held in Guant´anamo Bay and suspected to be ‘one of the highest ranking members of the al Qaeda terrorist organization’. Asked to specify the ‘Office’s views on whether certain proposed conduct would violate the prohibition against torture found at Section 2340A of title 18 of the United States Code’, the ‘letter memorializes our previous oral advice, given on July 24, 2002, and July 26, 2002, that the proposed conduct would not violate this prohibition’. The memo was revoked later, in December 2003, when Jack Goldsmith, then leading the Office of Legal Counsel, found its legal reasoning to be deficient.6 Three additional memos drafted by Stephen Bradbury are addressed to Rizzo in May 2005. Two of them, dating from May 10, address the possibility of the use of ‘Certain Techniques’ and the ‘Combined Use of Certain Techniques’ under U.S. Code. The fourth memo discusses the possibility of using such ‘techniques’ in the light of Article 16 of the Convention against Torture. In the present context, the memo on ‘Combined Use’ serves best as an illustration. The document is entitled ‘Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency. Re: Application of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A to the Combined Use of Certain Techniques in the Interrogation of High Value al Qaeda Detainees’. The top and the bottom of the Office of Legal Counsel’s official letterhead indicate the classification of the document as ‘TOP SECRET’, and ‘NOFORN’ (not for release to foreign nationals), both crossed out. A third classification located between these two is blackened. We may thus infer that the document falls into a particular class of documents of which at least several must exist, and which should remain unknown to the public. The existence of a particular class of documents is an indication of a 5

6

The memos are publicly available on the website of the American Civil Liberties Union at http://www.aclu.org/accountability/olc.html. See also the invaluable collection of documents at the Torture Archive maintained by the National Security Archive, http://www .gwu.edu/∼nsarchiv/torture archive/index.htm. Another one of Yoo’s memos on torture was repudiated in June 2004 following its unauthorized publication in the press.

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bureaucratic routine. We may thus further infer that the document at hand falls into broader category of legal-bureaucratic activities, the nature of which is not to be released with the document. We can already infer from the material at hand that its significance reaches beyond an isolated, occasional request for clarification. The memorandum begins by explaining how it expands on another one, sent out the very same day, and how the two relate to each other: In our Memorandum for John A. Rizzo, Senior Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, from Steven G. Bradbury, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Re: Application of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340– 2340A to Certain Techniques that May Be Used in the Interrogation of a High Value al Qaeda Detainee (May 10, 2005) (“Techniques”), we addressed the application of the anti-torture statute, 18 U.S.C., §§ 2340–2340A, to certain interrogation techniques that the CIA might use in the questioning of a specific al Qaeda operative.7 There we considered each technique individually. We now consider the application of the statute to the use of these same techniques in combination.

The specific problem addressed here results from the combined use of several different ‘interrogation techniques’. While each of these techniques individually may not constitute a violation of the anti-torture statute, their combined use may do so. This gives us a very clear idea of the issue at stake. Apparently, there is a specific threshold up to which such techniques may be used without constituting a violation of law. Hence, the question arises, how far things can be pushed without crossing that threshold. Specifically, the memo on Techniques had listed thirteen methods of enhanced interrogation: dietary manipulation, nudity, the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap or insult slap, the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, water dousing, sleep deprivation (more than 48 hours), and the waterboard. Some of these techniques are considered to be more effective when used in combination. Dietary manipulation, for instance, is considered to increase the efficiency of sleep deprivation. The description of these techniques highlights the necessity to avoid the infliction of long-term physical injury. A different goal is specified in the section on the technique called ‘walling’, where the interrogator pushes an individual into a flexible wall. A crashing sound is to be used to exploit the fact that the individual does not know that the wall is flexible. The idea is ‘designed to wear down the detainee and to shock and surprise the detainee and alter his expectations about the treatment he believes he will receive’. The rationale of the memo 7

Note that it is apparently clear who that operative is, yet unlike in the case of Abu Zubaydah, here the name is not included in the document.

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on Techniques is to describe each of these techniques in a way which, from the point of view of the Office of Legal Counsel, ensures that they remain below the ‘torture threshold’. Hence, the argumentative challenge is to define a particular intensity of application which is considered acceptable. This becomes infinitely more complex with the combined use of several techniques; a memorandum could not possibly specify in an exhaustive manner the particular combinations of techniques which are deemed acceptable, let alone those where an adding-up effect leads to crossing the threshold. Hence, the argument takes a different turn. The memorandum on Combined Use states that: Subject to the conditions and limitations set out here and in Techniques, we conclude that the authorized combined use of these specific techniques by adequately trained interrogators would not violate sections 2340–2340A.

As the particular mix of ‘techniques’ to be administered obviously needs to be adapted to the particularities of the situation, it is supposed to be ‘authorized’ and handled by ‘trained interrogators’. Operating on the premise that even though the definitions of the anti-torture statue include the ‘threatened [!] infliction of severe physical pain or suffering’, walling, waterboarding under conditions of, say, dietary manipulation, sleep deprivation and nudity might not constitute torture, the Office of Legal Counsel thus specifies two remarkable enabling conditions. First, whatever is done must be authorized. The emphasis on a particular notion of due process and an appropriate procedure of authorization seems to deviate from the emphasis on immediacy and urgency in securitization theory. While the grammar of securitization does operate as a legitimatory background, as the references to the interrogation of ‘high-value al Qaeda detainees’ indicate, what we observe here is the bureaucratic routinization of extraordinary measures, which obviously are not expected to solve the given existential threat anytime soon. Apart from a proper procedure of authorization, such a routinization involves the availability of ‘adequately trained interrogators’. Hence, apart from a routine process of authorizing, say, a combination of facial slaps, cramped confinement, and water dousing, there needs to be a training program producing individuals competently capable of administering a dosage which ensures that the imaginary threshold is not crossed. The routinization and institutionalization of particular forms of torture, as those less convinced by these peculiar nuances of legal reasoning may put it, obviously involves a great risk. To the extent that routines are established, the practices at stake become an easier target for outside and public criticism. It becomes more difficult to discard them as

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merely local events confined to a particular extraordinary situation. It is, however, precisely such a logic of risk which is at stake here.8 By framing the problem of torture in such a way that a particular threshold must not be crossed, the calculation of that threshold and the potential ways of working with such calculations becomes the key issue. Rather than a spontaneous outburst of extraordinary means of violence, whatever is done on the basis of the memos is the result of careful legal-rational calculation. The administrative handling of emergency measures becomes a problem of risk management, where the calculation of a dosage of combined techniques which can be framed as not-quite-torture is weighed against potential costs such as either missing out on crucial information or having to justify the institutionalization of such practices in front of a broader public. The logic of risk is thus not to be understood as the defining characteristic of a particular historical juncture – as Ulrich Beck and the proponents of the term ‘risk society’ seem to suggest. Following Luhmann and Foucault, we can, instead, conceptualize risk as a distinctive strategy of dealing with uncertainty (on different approaches to the study of risk along these lines see Kessler, 2010). Unlike Luhmann, however, who considers the logic of risk to establish links between situations of uncertainty and political decisions, which can be ascribed to a decider, the kind of risk management we can observe in the torture memos notoriously shies away from pinpointing any kind of accountability. What stands out, rather, is precisely the disjuncture between decision and decider, the assertion of a merely technical solution to the problem of uncertainty. The semantics of risk makes the unknown and radically uncertain manageable by imposing on it a framework of rational calculation. Only in a situation of genuine uncertainty, where even the probability of success of a particular course of action remains unknown, does the problem of political decision arise; only in a situation of genuine uncertainty can the nexus between decision, power, and accountability be addressed. Once genuine uncertainty has been translated into the language of calculable risk, the problem of decision evaporates, for there is already a technical solution to the decision-making problem at hand. This is exactly what happens in the torture memos. Exceptionality and uncertainty, as negotiated here, do not point to a distinct location of authority. They are, on the contrary, instrumental in blurring the lines of political authority and responsibility. The transition to a technocratic logic of risk becomes apparent already in the Orwellian re-description of practices of torture as ‘enhanced 8

On the logic of risk see Kessler, 2008; Kessler and Daase, 2008; Kessler, 2010; Petersen, 2008; Aradau and van Munster, 2007; Aradau and van Munster, 2008.

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interrogation techniques’.9 The careful wording anticipates the risk of future public justification – which in fact did materialize with the release of the memos. It is interesting to see how this plays out in the document at hand. Having emphasized once more that the memo on Combined Use builds on the one discussing the individual Techniques, thus denying the need to repeat the specifications contained therein, the memo emphasizes that: One overarching point from Techniques bears repeating: Torture is abhorrent and universally repudiated, see Techniques at 1, and the President has stated that the United States will not tolerate it. Id. at 1–2 & n.2. (citing Statement on United Nations International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture, 40 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1167–68, July 5, 2004)

The delicacy of negotiating the exact location of the torture threshold, the problem of risk management, becomes all the more obvious in the light of the President announcing in the cited statement that ‘[t]he United States also remains steadfastly committed to upholding the Geneva Conventions, which have been the bedrock of protection in armed conflict for more than 50 years’, and that ‘[t]orture is wrong no matter where it occurs, and the United States will continue to lead the fight to eliminate it everywhere’. On the same occasion, Bush can refer to the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib as a horrifying aberration, a situational deviation from a general rule. Routinizing and institutionalizing practices commonly described as torture forecloses this possibility. Hence the delicacy. The Office of Legal Counsel is, however, not only worried about deviating from the administration’s official declarations. It also addresses the issue of the accountability of those involved in the process of routinization. A footnote on the first page of the memorandum on Combined Use specifies: Nothing in this memorandum or in our prior advice to the CIA should be read to suggest that the use of these techniques would conform to the requirements of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that governs members of the Armed Forces or to United States obligations under the Geneva Conventions in circumstances would apply.

The remarkable strategy of preemptive self-immunization continues as relevant provisions of the UN Convention Against Torture as well as any regulation not applying specifically to the issue of interrogation (such as conditions of confinement or detention) are explicitly excluded. On top 9

That such ‘techniques’ could indeed constitute a potentially adequate means of obtaining information is, at best, highly dubious. For an extensive, critical discussion see Rejali, 2007.

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of that, the document states that, even within the confines of its relevance, there are curious limits to its relevance: ‘We stress that our advice on the application of sections 2340–2340A does not represent the policy views of the Department of Justice concerning interrogation practices’. At the first glance, this looks like a self-contradictory statement – ‘We say it, but we do not mean it’. Applying the hermeneutic principle of charity, one may suspect, though, that the author means to emphasize the purely legal nature of the document – ‘You may combine these techniques, for there is no legal provision against it (apart from those explicitly excluded) such as the Geneva Convention or the Code of Military Justice, but the political decision whether or not you go for it is really yours and not ours’. Again, the logic of self-immunization in the process of risk calculation becomes even more obvious if we apply the more charitable interpretation. While ‘not-quite-torture’ is thus firmly embedded in a set of routinized legal and administrative practices, the relevant authority, while authorizing those practices, explicitly exculpates itself from any responsibility. It is precisely this strategy of exculpation which brings the tacitly underlying notion of ‘the West’ that is to be defended back in. Again, this is precisely how the political logic of risk management operates, by delegating away political responsibilities to anonymous layers of technocratic and expertocratic competency, all the more clandestine if intelligence agencies are involved. The depoliticizing effect of securitization is thus routinized and tacitly institutionalized by creating a durable basis of the consequences of securitization by translating the hyper-political logic of security into the bureaucratic logic of risk management. 3

Securitizing the West: Routinizing the Exception

The attacks of ‘9/11’ constituted an existential threat not only to the U.S., but to ‘the West’ at large. Throughout Western societies the immediate horror soon gave way to the disconcerting question of how to estimate the risk of subsequent attacks. Whatever the result of such estimations turned out to be, it pertained to ‘the West’ in its diffuse entirety, not to a more specific sub-category that could be clearly delineated. Combining a fuzzy threat with a fuzzy referent object had a catalyzing effect on excessive dramatizations of the general ‘threat level’. While continuous existential threats are generally difficult to ‘de-existentialize’ (Wæver, 2009, pp. 24–30), it becomes all the more difficult as both the threat and the referent object are virtually impossible to localize. Much as there is no clear-cut indicator as to when the war on terror may be won, it is impossible to pinpoint when exactly ‘the West’ is sufficiently secure.

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Hence, in response to the existential threat, and as was to be expected from the point of view of securitization theory, a wide range of extraordinary measures was put into effect. Not only did ‘9/11’ serve as a legitimatory pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it also prompted a series of ‘security packages’ throughout Western liberal democracies, which meant to adapt domestic counter-terrorism infrastructures to the new situation. The contrived acronym behind the USA PATRIOT Act effectively conveys the official rationale: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.10 Rather than resting with the observation that this evidently constitutes an instance of securitization, the focus of the analysis presented here has been to tease out how precisely bringing in ‘the West’ as a referent object may help to better understand dynamics of securitization and desecuritization. So far, securitization theory, having developed out of the field of security studies/peace research, has by and large focused on single events. Securitization is an almost spontaneous, situative, genuinely political act, whereby extraordinary measures are rendered possible.11 There is much less of a discussion as to what happens after a securitization move has succeeded. In the abstract, the theory leaves us with two options: In the first, the extraordinary measures are successful, and we find ourselves in a state of security. Once the threat is warded off, there is no further need for extraordinary measures, and it seems safe to return to everyday political conduct. In the second, if the extraordinary measures are unsuccessful, we find ourselves in a state of insecurity (still securitized, though), which basically repeats the original scenario of securitization. Hence, it seems likely that extraordinary measures are pushed to the extreme until a state of security is reached. The diffuse, de-centered nature of terrorist threats makes both of these scenarios implausible. Precisely because it remains uncertain whether or not we find ourselves in a situation of security, the war on terror assumes the quality of an ongoing, permanent trigger of securitization processes. This is precisely what happened in the case of torture. While the notoriously vague nature of terrorist threats by itself sets into motion a dynamic of escalation, which makes it almost impossible to put a stop to ongoing processes of securitization, bringing in ‘the West’ as a notoriously vague referent object only aggravates the problem. Behind the normative self-image of the West (as not engaging in practices of torture, as President Bush publicly declared amid the drafting of the torture memos), 10 11

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ56/content-detail.html See, though, Buzan and Wæver, 2003, 2009.

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practices of torture have effectively become routinized to a degree which can be adequately described as an informal institutionalization. The routinization and institutionalization of practices of torture can in turn be understood in terms of a semantic transformation of the field of security, in which the emergency logic of security is gradually being replaced by an administrative logic of risk management. From the point of view of risk management, it is not the present threat, but rather the future possibility of repercussions, which motivates a legal-rational calculation of costs and benefit. The concept of risk is thus introduced not as a theoretical alternative to the concepts of security or securitization, but rather as an extension which makes it easier to discern the effects of ‘durable securitizations’. Risk is the mechanism through which securitization, and thus emergency rules, are being routinized. While continuous existential threats are generally difficult to ‘de-existentialize’ (Wæver, 2009, pp. 24–30), it becomes all the more difficult as both the threat and the referent object are virtually impossible to localize. Much as there is no clear-cut indicator as to when the war on terror may be won, it is impossible to pinpoint when exactly ‘the West’ is sufficiently secure. While the indeterminacy of the terrorist threat effectively keeps the securitization dynamics running, the politics of shifting blame and responsibility back and forth among Western states and security agencies helps to sustain the technocratic logic of risk management. Where the concept of securitization accounts for the initial authorization of extraordinary means of violence, the concept of risk accounts for their prolonged availability. Rather than constituting theoretical alternatives or belonging to different schools, securitization and risk thus depict different moments in the process of authorizing new forms of political violence, among which torture is the most pertinent example. Yet, to the extent that the possibility of a future legal indictment is already woven into the justification of torture, exceptional practices remained tied to, and in fact expressive of, a legal-bureaucratic modus operandi. Schmitt and Agamben are wrong. States of exception, durable or otherwise, are not the originary incarnation of ‘the political’, but simply the result of political practices rooted firmly within the legalbureaucratic apparatus of Western liberal democracies. Hence, the authorization of extreme forms of violence in the name of the defense of the West is woven into the normative fabric of the West rather than standing outside of it. This is not to say that such authorizations of violence were necessary or inevitable. However, in order to understand how the normative self-understanding of the West collapses in on itself, it will not suffice to treat violent transgressions as external to a normative

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self-understanding which may thus remain unshattered and pristine.12 The normative self-understanding is itself a site of contestation, it is only through its contentious character that we are able to understand the simultaneity of indicting practices of torture in the Feinstein Report on CIA torture to the U.S. Senate and the perpetrators’ continuing immunity from prosecution. 4

Conclusion

In defense against the threat of transnational terrorism, abrogating Western bedrock principles is often portrayed in standard terms of securitization theory: as an extraordinary measure intended to ward off the threat. However, to the extent that the war on terror constitutes a new kind of political conflict lacking self-evident criteria for success, extraordinary measures tend to become routinized – thus re-defining the West in the process of defending it. Exceptions from the rule become an everyday phenomenon. Similarly, fundamental civic rights which are seen as constitutive principles of Western democracy are called into question. Can we actually still afford to keep the state out of private communications, when these negative liberties might be exploited to attack the very social order that is granting them? The securitization of democracy is inherently paradoxical. If democratic institutions are successfully portrayed as insufficiently effective in the war on terror, are Western states willing to soft-pedal on democracy? When it comes to the example of torture, it seems impossible to deny such a tendency. Democracies do torture (Rejali, 2007). The norms against torture, which are an integral part of their self-image, do not hinder them from doing so. Yet, these norms are not without effect. They alter the practices of torture, favoring techniques which are easier to conceal and leave no trace. This imposes a limit on the use of violence. At the same time, however, it favors the autonomization of gray areas of routinized exception. With the autonomization comes a distinct code of euphemisms reframing extraordinary measures as quotidian affairs. The ‘frequent flyer program’, moving detainees to different cells again and again after only a short period of time in order to prepare them for interrogation, is one of the most notorious examples. Still, the strengthening of legal constraints and the active promotion of such constraints through civil society channels seems to be the only promising way to work against torture. The fact that such constraints 12

Sikkink (2013) concedes the obvious tension between a liberal account of norms and practices of torture. However, the concession remains a merely empirical one, which is of little consequence to her conceptualization of norms and normativity.

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are at times interpreted quite flexibly, at times flat-out ignored, does not render them ineffective or superfluous. On the contrary, norms against torture become ever more important as violations against them become more pertinent. It is only in the response to such violations that norms need to prove whether or not they are of practical consequence. Alan Dershowitz disagrees with such a view and sides with John Yoo’s (and Jack Bauer’s) strategy of adapting to the enemy. ‘Want to torture? Get a warrant’, Dershowitz demands in a widely debated article published in the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2002. By emphasizing both the necessity to employ torture in emergency situations and the need for a legal framework which imposes ‘due process’ limits on the practice of torture, Dershowitz positions himself as a sober voice, defending the rule of law against the danger of unlimited torture. ‘The warrant would limit the torture to nonlethal means, such as sterile needles, being inserted beneath the nails to cause excruciating pain without endangering life’ (Dershowitz, 2002). Torture becomes legitimate only by virtue of its embeddedness in a complex legal framework. The emergency situation thus becomes less of a spontaneous and temporary excess but rather a distinct legal and institutional practice of its own.13 Dershowitz demands the adaptation of legal norms to the facticity of torture as an observable pattern of behavior. In a fervent attack against such a behavioralist conception of norms, Martti Koskenniemi (2009) has recently explicated its consequences by means of an analogy with the ‘miserable comforters’ (Grotius, Vattel, Pufendorf, i.e. the natural law tradition) in Kant’s philosophical sketch of a perpetual peace. According to a view shared by Koskenniemi, Kant, and securitization theory, political processes can generally be characterized in terms of a tension-filled dynamic in which alternative options stand in a contentious relation of position and opposition. Once a particular option considers itself to be victorious, it may describe itself as being without alternative and demand that normative self-images be aligned accordingly. Norms would then appear to be nothing but behavioral regularities. Alternatively, one may emphasize the counter-factual validity of norms (Onuf, 1989; Kratochwil, 1989). Norms are then conceived of not as behavioral regularities but as creative ways of denying reality in order to improve on it. This is only possible if we refrain from prematurely accepting the self-description of states of securitization as necessary and inevitable. Contra Dershowitz, the analysis presented here provides us with the means of creating an analytical distance to such self-descriptions. 13

Note that this is at odds with the standard image that institutionalization in the field of security is generally problematic, and having security institutions is generally desirable.

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Only then can they be observed as self-descriptions. Only then does it become possible to criticize them.

REFERENCES Adler, Emanuel and Michael Barnett, eds. (1998) Security Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Albert, Mathias, Lothar Brock, and Klaus Dieter Wolf (2000) Civilizing World Politics: Society and Community beyond the State (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield). Aradau, Claudia and Rens van Munster (2008) ‘Insuring Terrorism, Assuring Subjects, Ensuring Normality. The Politics of Risk after 9/11,’ Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 33, 2, pp. 191–210. Aradau, Claudia and Rens van Munster (2007) ‘Governing Terrorism through Risk: Taking Precautions, (un)Knowing the Future,’ European Journal of International Relations 13, 1, pp. 89–115. Balzacq, Thierry (2005) ‘The Three Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Context,’ European Journal of International Relations 11, 2, pp. 171–201. Bartelson, Jens (1995) A Genealogy of Sovereignty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Bially Mattern, Janice (2005) Ordering International Politics: Identity, Crisis, and Representational Force (New York: Routledge). ¨ Bigo, Didier (2001) ‘Internal and External Security(ies): The Mobius Ribbon,’ in Mathias Albert, David Jacobson and Yosef Lapid, eds., Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), pp. 91–136. (2008) ‘Globalized (In)security: the Field and the Ban-Opticon,’ in Didier Bigo and Anastassia Tsoukala, eds., Terror, Insecurity and Liberty: Illiberal Practices of Liberal Regimes after 9/11 (London: Routledge), pp. 10–48. Buzan, Barry and Ole Wæver (2003) Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). (2009) ‘Macrosecuritisation and Security Constellations: Reconsidering Scale in Securititisation Theory’, Review of International Studies, 35, 2, pp. 253– 276. Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver, and Jaap de Wilde (1998) Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner). Council of Europe (2006) Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution 1507, ‘Alleged Secret Detentions and Unlawful Inter-state Transfers of Detainees Involving Council of Europe Member States’, available at http://assembly.coe.int/main .asp?link=/documents/adoptedtext/ta06/eres1507.htm. Dershowitz, Alan (2002) ‘Want to Torture? Get a Warrant’, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 January 2002. Greenberg, Karen J., ed. (2005a) The Torture Debate in America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Greenberg, Karen J., ed. (2005b) The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

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Hall, Stuart (1992) ‘The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power’, in Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben, eds., Formations of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press), pp. 275–320. Hansen, Lene (2006) Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London: Routledge). Hellmann, Gunther and Benjamin Herborth (2008) ‘Fishing in the Mild West: Militarized Interstate Disputes in the Transatlantic Community’, Review of International Studies 34, pp. 481–506. Henley, Jon (2001) ‘Swiss Terror Swoop Discomposes Boulez, 75’, The Guardian, 5 January 2001. Hersh, Seymour M. (2004) Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (New York: HarperCollins). Huysmans, Jef (2006) The Politics of Insecurity: Fear, Migration and Asylum in the EU (London: Routledge). Jackson, Patrick Th. (2006) Civilizing the Enemy: German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press). Kessler, Oliver (2008) ‘Is Risk Changing the Politics of Legal Argumentation?, Leiden Journal of International Law 21, pp. 863–884. (2010) ‘Risk,’ in Peter Burgess, ed., The Routledge Handbook of New Security Studies (London: Routledge), pp. 17–26. Kessler, Oliver and Christopher Daase (2008) ‘From Insecurity to Uncertainty: Risk and the Paradox of Security Politics,’ Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 33, 2, pp. 211–232. Koskenniemi, Martti (2002) The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870–1960 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge). (2009) ‘Miserable Comforters: International Relations as New Natural Law,’ European Journal of International Relations 15, 3, pp. 395–422. Kratochwil, Friedrich (1989) Rules, Norms, and Decisions: On the Conditions of Practical and Legal Reasoning in International Relations and Domestic Affairs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Mayer, Jane (2008) The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (New York: Doubleday). Neumann, Iver B. (1999) Uses of the Other: ‘The East’ in European Identity Formation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Onuf, Nicholas (1989) World of Our Making: Rules and Rule in Social Theory and International Relations (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press). Petersen, Karen Lund (2008) ‘Terrorism: When Risk Meets Security,’ Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 33, 2, pp. 173–190. Prantl, Heribert (2008) Der Terrorist als Gesetzgeber. Wie man mit Angst Politik ¨ macht (Munchen: Droemer). Rejali, Darius (2007) Torture and Democracy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Roe, Paul (2004) ‘Securitization and Minority Rights: Conditions of Desecuritization,’ Security Dialogue 35, 3, pp. 279–294. Rorty, Richard (2004a) ‘Post-Democracy: Richard Rorty on Anti-terrorism and the National Security State,’ London Review of Books, 26, 7, pp. 10–11.

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(2004b) ‘Anti-Terrorism and the National Security State,’ Online Talk at the Einstein Forum, available at: http://www.content-tv.com/NewFiles/Rorty .html. Sikkink, Kathryn (2013) ‘The United States and Torture: Does the Spiral Model Work?’, in Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink, eds., The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 145–163. Stritzel, Holger (2007) ‘Towards a Theory of Securitization: Copenhagen and Beyond,’ European Journal of International Relations 13, 3, pp. 357–383. Wax, Steven T. (2008) Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror – A Public Defender’s Inside Account (New York: Other Press). Wæver, Ole (1995) ‘Self-Referential Concepts of Security as an Instrument for Reconstruction of an Open-Ended Realism in IR,’ in Ole Wæver, Concepts of Security (Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen). Wæver, Ole (1998) ‘Insecurity, Security, and Asecurity in the West European Non-war Community,’ in Emmanuel Adler and Michael Barnett, eds., Security Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 69–118. (2009) ‘What Exactly Makes a Continuous Existential Threat Existential – and How Is It Discontinued?’ in Oren Barak and Gabi Sheffer, eds., Existential Threats and Civil-Security Relations (Lanham: Lexington Books), pp. 19–35. Yoo, John (2006) War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account of the War on Terror (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press).

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Re-constituting NATO Foundational Narratives of Transatlantic Security Cooperation in the 1950s and 1990s

Gabi Schlag One could imagine that the saying ‘There is life in an old dog yet’ fits quite well for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Many serious challenges threatened its cohesion, such as the Suez crisis in 1956, the disputes over the so-called double-track decision in 1979, and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1993. While the history of the alliance has often been told as a history of crises (e.g. Stanley Hoffman, 1981), neither internal disputes over the war in Iraq nor the disappearance of a ‘communist threat’ have led to a break-up of NATO. The transatlantic alliance lives on. It has even expanded in size and tasks after the end of the Cold War. Recent tensions between ‘the West’ and Russia over Crimea and Ukraine make clear that the Atlantic alliance is anything but dead. As Stephen Walt put it: ‘NATO owes Putin a big thank-you’ (Walt, 2014). In International Relations (IR), debates on the Atlantic alliance have witnessed ups and downs as well. While realist, liberal, and institutionalist scholars strove to explain the existence and persistence of NATO by referring either to an alliance against threat (Walt, 1990, 1997), an alliance of democracies (Risse-Kappen, 1995, Risse, 1996), or a security manager (Wallander, 2000), other approaches have advocated a more critical and reflective understanding of the discourses and practices which constitute(d) the alliance in the first place (Klein, 1990; Bially Mattern, 2005; Behnke, 2013; Hellmann, 2006; Jackson 2003; Neumann and Williams, 2000; Pouliot, 2010; Adler, 2008). NATO’s lasting ability to overcome internal and external challenges to its cohesion, I will argue, directs our attention exactly to the discursive practices which enabled a continuous re-constitution of a Western security community. By re-constitution I refer to the Janus-faced process of activating and transforming foundational narratives which justify the existence and continuity of NATO. This process commonly includes constructions of threats and a sense of a shared identity which are both ingrained in symbolic orders and mobilized by articulations of a common security strategy. Of further interest, therefore, is how the allies answered the question why NATO 156

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should exist, how they invented and used a common notion of identity, interests, and threats in order to justify a deep and lasting pattern of military cooperation between North America and (Western) European states. Such a critical constructivist approach directs our attention to the political dynamics whereby a Western security community is invented in the first place instead of already presuming it as taken for granted (cf. Tilly, 1998; Bartelson, 2009; Herborth, 2009). It emphasizes that the practical usage of meaning imbues an act of political power with quite tremendous institutional consequences. Invented as a geopolitical community of solidarity in the early 1950s with a clear distinction of friends and enemies, NATO symbolized more than a classical military alliance. Compared to the ‘pledge’ of collective defense in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, Article 4 emphasized that the allies ‘will consult together whenever . . . the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened’. Exactly this invocation of a political community made NATO’s evolution possible and enabled a smooth reorientation towards out-of-area missions and Eastern enlargement in the 1990s. This chapter continues with a brief conceptual discussion of the relationship between identity and security by focusing on critical constructivist approaches in IR. In the second section I turn to NATO’s strategic discourse in the late 1940s/early 1950s and the 1990s. In these two periods, the Atlantic alliance seemed to be tenuous, but its (continued) existence could be restored by the declaration of a common strategic concept. In conclusion I show how these discursive foundations of a transatlantic alliance relate to the overall theme of this volume, the (re-)constitution of ‘the West’. 1

Foundational Narratives: Securing a Western Community

In the last twenty years, a turn to discourses and practices has altered the field of security studies in many ways (Buzan and Hansen, 2009). While security studies were traditionally dominated by paradigmatic approaches many scholars have problematized such a rigid fixation on grand theories and a positivist epistemology. In particular the liberal accounts on NATO’s taken-for-granted identity and its normative attractiveness as a democratic alliance, as well as realist and institutionalist explanations of NATO’s likely or unlikely continuity (Risse-Kappen, 1995, 1996; Wallander, 2000; Waltz, 1990), were targeted as expressions of a rationalist fixation on causation and macro-structural phenomena (Hellmann, 2006; Sjursen, 2004; Jackson, 2003). Identities, interests, and threats, however,

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neither signify distinct causes and effects nor do they describe static objects one could easily ‘observe’; they are constructed inter-subjectively and they are only meaningful in the sense that people make use of references to ‘identities’, ‘interests’, and ‘threats’ in specific ways (Weldes et al., 1998, p. 13; Wæver 1995, p. 55; Jackson, 2006, chapter 2; Bially Mattern, 2005, p. 92). For critical constructivists, therefore, all our knowledge about social facts is dependent on communicative processes where people produce meaning and knowledge through the practical usage of language (Guzzini, 2005, p. 498). Critical constructivist and poststructuralist approaches are interested, in particular, in understanding these discursive practices – i.e. how people make sense of their worlds, how they create and mobilize a common identity or threat assessment and how such references unfold institutional consequences. While some critics have argued that constructivists might underestimate material conditions of power, a critical approach takes power quite seriously (Guzzini, 2005; Bially Mattern, 2006; Barnett and Duvall, 2000). Despite a material fixation on capabilities, the concept of power in critical constructivism indicates ‘the realm of political action and its justification’ (Guzzini, 2005, p. 508), including the institutional consequences made possible by these acts. Power, then, is part of distinct discourses understood as symbolic orders which constrain and enable what can be meaningfully said (Doty, 1996, p. 6; Hansen, 2006, p. 19). While discourse approaches pose the most forceful challenge to more traditional approaches in security studies, scholars occasionally overemphasize the macro-structural level of symbolic orders in general and the disciplinary power of discourses in particular. However, it is always the practical invocation, mobilization, and transformation of structures of signification whereby people make sense of their world and justify why they act the way they do (cf. Jackson, 2006, p. 15; Tilly, 2006; Boltanski and Thevenot, 2006). An assumed ‘shared’ identity between North America and Europe, composed of historical, social, and normative patterns of interaction, is nothing but the actualization of a common discourse where ‘the West’ figures as a powerful yet notoriously vague signifier. Bearing these arguments of critical constructivist approaches in mind, it is of central interest, then, how NATO is ‘able to mobilize its longstanding identity as the expression and military guarantor of Western civilization’ closely connected to the democratic and capitalist bonds among its member countries (Neumann and Williams, 2000, p. 361; italics added). It goes without saying that a common threat perception during the heydays of the Cold War has tightened these bonds. However, it does not explain how Western security cooperation was made possible

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in the first place and why it lasted for over 60 years, including the phase of d´etente in the 1970s. Hence, the key shortcoming of realist, liberal, and institutionalist approaches to NATO is that they take the actor’s articulations of threats and interests at face value, while a critical approach directs our attention to how actors invoke threats, interest, and identities and to what kind of institutional consequences are made possible by these acts (Klein, 1990, pp. 315, 317; Jackson, 2003, p. 224). Such a perspective on the usage of concepts and their meaning is interested in the ways and forms of inscribing plots, characters, relations, and motives for action. As Trine Flockhart (2012, p. 80) writes, ‘[n]arratives describe the history, purpose and achievements of a collective entity such as NATO, and they contribute in the process towards its unity and facilitate its continuous transformation’. These I will call foundational narratives. Foundational refers to two related aspects characteristic of most political narratives: first, it directs our attention to the justifications why something exists. In NATO’s case this refers to the justifications mobilized by the allies in order to found and keep an ‘alliance’, i.e. to construct meaningful stories about what ‘NATO’ is and how its past, present, and future are to be described. Foundational narratives are answers to ‘why’questions – questions such as ‘why do we still need NATO?’. Second, the term ‘foundational’ emphasizes the taken-for-grantedness of these narratives. Narratives are foundational when they restore unity in the light of (more or less) serious ‘identity crises’ where constructions of common representations appear as problematic. References to a ‘global war on terrorism’, for example, where military intervention and preemption is articulated as necessary, altered the organizational design of NATO in many ways. Within these discursive patterns the continuing relevance of a transatlantic alliance was never really questioned, irrespective of whether NATO was defined as a system of collective defense or a forum for political consultation. Understood in this way, foundational narratives are powerful and consequential in the sense that they enable and constrain the re-constitution of political subjects. Foundational narratives come in different forms. In this chapter I argue that they materialize in NATO’s strategic documents where the allies agree on a highly symbolic assurance of their mutual trust and shared identity. They frequently invoke a common purpose, mobilize a shared threat assessment, and rearticulate a collective defense assurance as laid down in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. Official strategic concepts during the Cold War included M.C. 3 (1949), M.C. 14/2 known as ‘massive retaliation’ (1957), and M.C. 14/3 known as ‘flexible response’ (1968) and were accompanied by more detailed strategic guidance and planning documents. In the 1990s, NATO’s strategic concept became an

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issue of public declaration, symbolized by the Alliance’s ‘New Strategic Concept’ (1991) and its follow-up documents in 1999 – NATO’s fiftieth birthday – and 2010. All strategic concepts reflected changing security perceptions and restored the unity of the alliance by codifying one strategy. In the late 1940s/early 1950s, the foundations for a transatlantic alliance were laid down in the North Atlantic Treaty and the following strategic concepts and guidance. Forty years later, the dissolution of the Soviet Union made a public revision of NATO’s strategy necessary in order to re-orient the alliance after the ‘end of the Cold War’ had been declared. Although many commentators doubted that NATO would survive this period of transformation, the alliance counts twenty-eight members today and seems to be ‘very much in business’, as former General Secretary ¨ Manfred Worner once stated.1 2

The Formation of the Transatlantic Alliance and the Beginning of the Cold War

When tensions between the Western powers and the Soviet Union intensified after the defeat of Nazi Germany, the formalization of a transatlantic alliance was perceived as an obligation to counter and deter an apparent Eastern threat.2 The purpose of the alliance, NATO’s first Secretary General Lord Ismay has often been cited as saying, was ‘to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down’. While France and Britain, the driving forces behind the initiative to form a military alliance, strongly called for a lasting presence of the US in European affairs, the Truman administration, supported by isolationist sentiments in Congress, had more reservations about pursuing such a project (Kaplan, 1999, pp. 7–28; Osgood, 1962).3 Most controversial was the issue of military assistance. While the US government preferred a nonbinding and declaratory formulation, French diplomat Armand B´erard and British diplomat Sir Frederic Hoyer-Millar, both delegates to the so called exploratory talks, insisted on a reliable and forceful assurance of US military assistance (Kaplan, 1999, pp. 16–17). When the Truman 1

2

3

¨ Worner refers to Senator Lugar’s metaphor of ‘out of area or out of business’ (A New ¨ NATO for a New Era, speech by the Secretary General of NATO Manfred Worner at the Press Club Washington D.C., 6 October 1993). The document is available at http:// www.nato.int/docu/speech/1993/s931006a.htm. For historical accounts of the formative years of the alliance, consult Heller and Gillingham (1992), Kaplan (1984, 1999, 2007), and Trachtenberg (1999). See also Hopf (2012) for a more recent study on the early years of the Cold War focusing on the Soviet Union. Such an isolationistic position was most explicit in the Vandenberg resolution, drafted by Senator Arthur Vandenberg, which passed the Senate in June 1948.

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government drafted a compromise formula, US objections to a formalized alliance were overcome. In a memo to President Truman in 1948, his advisor Clark Clifford remarked that the preamble of a transatlantic declaration should make clear that ‘the main object of the instrument would be to preserve western civilization in the geographical area covered by the agreement’.4 The North Atlantic Treaty, signed on 4 April 1949 by ten Western European states, the US, and Canada, outlined the principles of the new alliance – consultation (Article 4) and collective defense (Article 5) – and called for the development of an organizational structure (Article 9). The preamble of the treaty states: The parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and governments. They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area. (North Atlantic Treaty, 1949; italics added)

The contractual language (‘parties’, ‘Treaty’) of the preamble postulated a community based on shared principles as laid out in the Charter of the United Nations and closely linked to democracy, liberty, and the rule of law. In the late 1940s such an equivalence between these principles and the North Atlantic area is not surprising given the overall perception of a clash between antagonistic identity constructions, a ‘free world’ on the one side and ‘communism’ on the other side. However, the preamble included a puzzling formulation: it assumes that a community of likemined states is already in existence due to the act of ‘re-affirming’ a common faith expressed in another legal document, the Charter of the United Nations, as well as ‘re-affirming’ a shared desire to live in peace. Such a community is then explicated by referring to freedom, common heritage, and civilization as well as principles of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law. All these signifiers have, for some time, commonly been associated with ‘the West’. Here NATO materializes as an actualization of an already existing community, not as a newly created military alliance. Hence, NATO was justified as the means to promote stability and well-being between the contracting parties instead of a goal in itself. While many commentators would presume that NATO is the institutional core of what we commonly call ‘the West’, the term itself is 4

Memo by Clark Clifford to Harry S. Truman, ca. 1948; for the document, contact http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study collections/nato/large/documents/ pdfs/16-10.pdf#zoom=100.

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surprisingly absent in the North Atlantic Treaty and the following strategic concepts. The central subject of every strategic document during the Cold War is the ‘North Atlantic treaty area’, specified as the defense of ‘America and Europe’ (North Atlantic Treaty, Article 5). The name to be given to the institutionalized security cooperation between the US and their Western European allies was of central concern for both sides. While the foreign ministers of France and Britain, Bidault and Bevin, preferred a ‘European’ title for the treaty, US delegates refused such a narrowly defined subject. The ‘‘North Atlantic’, which developed as a compromise, symbolized a geographic and political bond which connected the US, Europe, and some geostrategically important members such as Portugal and Iceland (Kaplan, 2004, p. 30). The insistence of the Truman administration on integrating Canada, Portugal (Azores Islands), and Iceland also pleased those isolationists in the US Congress who rejected NATO as a ‘European’ alliance (Kaplan, 2004, p. 33). The goal of containing communism made it even possible to include an autocratic member such as Portugal, which hardly counted as a reliable candidate for ‘safeguarding the freedom of their people’, as one of the preamble states. Invoking the alliance primarily as a loosely defined geopolitical entity signaled a willingness to distance oneself from the specific political circumstances in 1948/49. It united the geographic and political project of a ‘Western’ alliance between North America and (Western) Europe. While the term ‘area’ evoked associations of space and territory, the boundaries of this entity remained rather vague due to the geographical fuzziness of the ‘North Atlantic’ (Franke, 2010).5 How the notion of a ‘North Atlantic area’ is used within NATO’s strategic concepts, nevertheless, illustrates a crucial point. By reading NATO’s strategic concepts, one gets the impression that such an ‘area’ – however materially and ideationally unbounded it may remain – is not defended against a specific, identifiable threat but is constructed as a political space with various social and cultural relations worthy of being secured in a broad sense. The treaty title and preamble do not primarily mobilize a military purpose but a notion of geopolitical unity and durability to be taken for granted. Despite the imagination of an already existing and geopolitically bounded community, NATO is generally described as a system of collective defense. For most Western European states, Article 5 formalized 5

The Truman archive has a copy of a revised draft from 14 January 1949 available. In this document, alternative descriptions of the area are indicated ranging from ‘Europe or America’ to ‘the sea and air space of the western Mediterranean, West of longitude 12° East’. See http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study collections/nato/ large/documents/pdfs/4-1.pdf#zoom=100.

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the (military) assistance of its transatlantic partner and the economic support of the US government to rebuild Western Europe as well as to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. Military assistance, though, was not inscribed as a necessity; rather it was invoked with a strong notion of solidarity: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. (Article 5, North Atlantic Treaty, 1949; italics added)

Article 5 was perceived as a ‘pledge’ made by the US to defend their Western European allies who were alarmed by the superior number of Soviet conventional forces.6 Framing this pledge in terms of a mutual assurance of assistance implied a strong symbol of solidarity. The compromise formula that active assistance would not be an automatic demand pleased all sides due to the different interpretations it made possible. For the US Congress, the strongest opponent of the ‘entanglement’ of the US with a European alliance, it expressed the freedom of choice isolationists insisted on. For Western European states, Article 5 confirmed the solidarity and military assistance of US conventional and in particular nuclear forces if such assistance would become necessary. Article 5 is mostly seen as the source of collective defense. Its consequences, though, were ambivalent: on the one hand, it expressed the defensive purpose of the alliance (‘restore’); on the other hand, it made possible a policy of planning, preparation, and precaution in order to ‘maintain the security of the North Atlantic area’ (emphasis added). In relation to the geopolitical imagination of a community, regional defense planning was one central institutional consequence which constituted NATO as a military as well as political enterprise. Although Article 5 is mostly seen as the ‘heart’ of NATO, it was only in combination with Article 4 (consultation) and Article 9 (Council) that an integrated military command structure, the standardization and modernization of forces, and even a common nuclear policy developed so quickly. Through the invocation of this geopolitical community of solidarity, NATO 6

Kaplan writes that the notion of a pledge was used by the Canadian diplomat Escott Reid (Kaplan, 2004, p. 3). The adjective ‘military’ used in former drafts was substituted by the more circumspect formulation of ‘including the use of armed forces’ (Kaplan, 2004, p. 4).

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transformed into a military organization and assured the presence of US forces in Europe. During the formative years of the alliance this foundational narrative of a geopolitical community of solidarity was consolidated in the strategic concepts and guidance via a clear distinction between the ‘Western allies’ on the one hand and the ‘Soviet Union’ with its satellites on the other. NATO’s first strategic concept – at least the first document entitled ‘strategic concept’ available in the archives – was drafted in October 1949 and intended to ‘ensure unity of thought and purpose’ as stated on the cover page (M.C. 3; Wheeler, 2001, p. 123; Pedlow, 1997).7 The kind of community imagined by the signatories put strong emphasis on unity understood in a broad sense. As a highly confidential and mandatory text, the strategic concept authorized the national executives and the intergovernmental committees of NATO to take any measure in order to provide for the defense of the North Atlantic area. The integration of ‘political, economic, and psychological as well as purely military means’ was articulated as a central requirement for efficient defense. Deterrence and, if necessary, collective defense were set up as a core strategy of prevention and preparation. Hence, the insignia of the Allied Command Europe reads ‘vigilance is the price of liberty’. Key to the implementation of the defense concept was to ‘[i]nsure the ability to deliver the atomic bomb promptly’ as the primary responsibility of the US government and the strategy of ‘forward defense’. The main purpose of NATO was to effectively coordinate and integrate collective defense planning in order to ‘unite the strength of the North Atlantic Treaty nations’. This policy included the standardization of military doctrines, combined training exercises, exchange of intelligence information, and ‘cooperation in the construction, maintenance and operation of military installations of mutual concern’. M.C. 3, however, invoked neither a strong concept of ‘the West’ nor a clear description of an ‘Eastern threat’. It referred to ‘the enemy’ only as an abstract source of insecurity and uncertainty. 7

Memorandum by the Standing Group to the North Atlantic Military Committee transmitting the strategic concept for the defense of the North Atlantic area, M.C. 3, 19 October 1949, available at http://www.nato.int/archives/strategy.htm. The initial draft prepared by the Standing Group (SG 1), a three-nation executive body composed of the British General Morgan, the French General Ely, and the US-American General Bradley as senior military representatives of the states, was circulated to the national Chiefs of Staff for comments. The status of the document was highly confidential. After a brief negotiation process this strategy paper was approved as D.C. 6/1 by the defense ministers of the member states meeting in the North Atlantic Defense Committee on 1 December 1949 and finally set up by the NAC in January 1950.

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The strategic concept and every subsequent revision of it are accompanied by guidelines for strategic planning. The first official strategic guidance in 1950, M.C. 14, emphasized ‘the necessity for developing methods to compensate for numerical inferiority’ compared to Soviet (conventional) forces.8 Entitled as a ‘directive’, regional planning groups, NATO’s core institutional structure in the 1950s, were authorized to develop ‘detailed regional defense plans which . . . will ensure the unity of defense of the North Atlantic Treaty nations’. Until 1 July 1954 NATO member states were instructed to implement a medium term defense plan ‘for building up the overall military capabilities of the North Atlantic Treaty nations’. NATO allies should be prepared for ‘war’ with the Soviet Union, which had ‘maintained, if not increased, her technical, military and economic capabilities’. Anticipating a potential war with the Soviet Union, NATO’s military planning was justified as an act of defense which was based on several ‘assumptions’ about Soviet intentions, for example ‘[t]hat the USSR will initiate air attacks on the North Atlantic Treaty nations in Europe and the Western Hemisphere’ (italics added). The Soviet Union was invoked as an expansionist and aggressive adversary with stronger and larger conventional forces than those of the Western allies. Therefore, a common nuclear policy was justified as the primary mean to prevent war. It symbolically marked the beginning of the Cold War when assessments of ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ alignment invented a global conflict with mainly two competing ideological camps. NATO’s defense policy, as stated in M.C. 14, was based on a distinction between peacetime and wartime as two operational modes of security: In peacetime the objectives of the defense policy of the North Atlantic Treaty powers are to convince the USSR that war does not pay, and, should war occur, to insure a successful defense of the North Atlantic area. This policy requires the development of adequate military strength and a close coordination of the political, economic and psychological efforts of member nations. (M.C. 14, 1950; italics added)

Effective deterrence and collective defense ‘required’ military modernization and political coordination. Hence, as a geopolitical community of solidarity, NATO was re-constituted as a military and political enterprise, including economic and psychological efforts. It re-affirmed a sense of ‘Western we-ness’ which reached far beyond the specific historical circumstances of responding to a Soviet threat and developed a 8

The document is available at http://www.nato.int/archives/strategy.htm.

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comprehensive approach to security. Deterrence and precaution were only two sides of the same coin, namely securing ‘the West’. The continuing debates between the NATO allies in the early 1950s centered on questions of effective defense planning, deterrence, and nuclear policy. A ‘Report by the Military Committee on the most effective pattern of NATO military strength for the next few years’ in 1954 (M.C. 48) explicated the concept of ‘massive retaliation’ including a ‘forward defense’ of Europe on West German territory (Kaplan, 2004, p. 63f., 80f.; Kugler, 1993, p. 101). It formalized the ‘New Look policy’ of US president Eisenhower, the former SACEUR, in order to guarantee an economically efficient deterrence (Trachtenberg, 1992). US nuclear air capacities were the cornerstone of ‘massive retaliation’, NATO’s strategic concept until 1968. The nuclearization of the alliance gave the European member states a strong voice in the development of a common nuclear strategy and shifted the ‘balance of power within NATO’ in the 1960s from the USA to European member states (Tuschhoff, 1999, p. 159). Self/other depictions culminated in a stylized presentation of a monolithic Soviet system on the one hand and a democratic alliance on the other hand: The Soviet political system, with its power of immediate decision and its advantage of strict security, as compared with the free and democratic system of the NATO type which must obtain decisions through group action, provides an initial advantage of great importance in achieving surprise. (M.C. 48, 1954; italics added)

While the Soviet Union held the advantage of surprise, Western allies were convinced that they had only one choice: nuclear planning. The prevention of war, in particular the ‘overrun of Europe’ by Soviet conventional forces, legitimized effective deterrence based on a numerical and qualitative superiority in nuclear capacities which had to be integrated in the so-called forces in being, i.e. forces being held in a state of readiness. The enclosure, the most confidential part of M.C. 48, listed those measures ‘necessary to increase the deterrent and defensive value of NATO forces’: integrated atomic capabilities, early warning and alert systems, a German contribution to ‘forces in being’, and measures to ensure the survival of NATO forces after a Soviet first strike. NATO’s forward defense strategy, including the Rhine-Ijssel line, made a military contribution of Germany even more necessary and provided an early justification for a German membership (cf. Jackson 2006). In the next 35 years, NATO had to weather turbulent times of ups and downs: the Suez crisis in 1956, the withdrawal of France from the integrated military command structure in 1966, the invocation of flexible response as the new strategic concept in 1968, the policy of d´etente in

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the 1970s, NATO’s controversial double-track decision in 1979, and the changing political constellations in the Soviet Union beginning with Gorbachev’s reform policies in the mid-1980s. The list of crises and renewed routines, however, is much longer and certainly one reason why research on NATO, its histories and policies, characterized security studies for many decades. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a re-orientation of the alliance seemed to be necessary, even inevitable in order to explicate why NATO should continue to exist. 3

The Re-orientation of the Alliance after the Cold War

With the announcement of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1985, Soviet ‘new thinking’ of transparency (glasnost) and domestic reform (perestroika) tremendously changed the established discursive patterns of self/other relations and threat constructions. The London Declaration, following the NATO summit in July 1990, symbolically proclaimed the end of the Cold War, and the allies invited the members of the Warsaw Pact to declare that ‘we are no longer adversaries’.9 With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact in the early 1990s, most commentators expected that NATO’s strategy of flexible response, forward defense, and nuclear first strike capabilities had lost its validity as well, even that the alliance would suffer the same fate of disappearance (Waltz, 1990, 1993; Snyder, 1990; Mearsheimer, 1990). Nevertheless, there seemed to be a strong consensus between the member states that NATO should persist. For the allies, NATO still played a significant internal and external role: externally, in preventing, containing, and controlling instabilities and militarized conflicts in Central and Eastern Europe, including the neutralization of a renewed Russian threat (Duffield, 1994, pp. 767–770; see also Pouliot, 2010); internally, in providing an institutional mechanism to overcome the classical security dilemma by practices of reassurance, transparency, and de-nationalization of forces (Duffield, 1994, pp. 772–775; see also Adler, 2008).10 While neorealists predicted a slow but inevitable decline of the transatlantic alliance, a variety of institutionalist approaches explained the looming continuity of the Atlantic alliance through institutional adaption and its inherent political function (Wallander, 2000, p. 717; Haftendorn, 9

10

London Declaration ‘On a Transformed North Atlantic Alliance’, Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council, 5-6 July 1990, London; available at http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/49-95/c900706a.htm. For historical accounts of the 1990s, consult Yost (1998), Kaplan (2004, Chapter 6 and 7), Rynning (2005), Moore (2007), Kay (1998), Sloan (2005).

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1996; Duffield, 1994). New ‘partnership programs’ evolved that were intended to ‘persuade the partners that learning the practices of a community of the like-minded and coming to share an identity with its members will make them part of this community’ (Adler, 2008, p. 207; see also Gheciu, 2005). Bearing these multiple assets and cooperative security practices of NATO in mind, new strategic concepts and military directives developed hand in hand with the declaration of new challenges and missions in the 1990s. While previous strategic concepts had been highly confidential and drafted by military experts within the alliance, the alliance’s concepts in 1991, 1999, and 2010 were unclassified and – in the case of the last concept in 2010 – the work of an appointed political expert group.11 Today, NATO’s strategic concept represents a new kind of public diplomacy which is primarily directed at national publics in order to explain why NATO should continue to exist, expand, and intervene in conflicts far beyond the ‘transatlantic area’. In 1991, shortly after the proclaimed end of the Cold War, the new strategic concept was an expression of an unexpected crisis caused by the rapid transformations in Europe (Kay, 1998, p. 61). The first years of the 1990s were mainly experienced as a period of uncertainty regarding the future direction of security relations between ‘the East’ and ‘the West’. Already the title of the new strategic concept introduced the subject as a well-known entity, i.e. ‘The Alliance’s new strategic concept’. The term ‘Alliance’, written in capital letters, re-confirmed the positive connotations of the World War II alliance against Hitler Germany and liberated Western security community from the geographical notion of the ‘Transatlantic’. Nevertheless, it coevally reactivated the geopolitical connotation of former times by focusing primarily on Europe’s territorial and political transformation in the East. One central question the new strategic concept was intended to answer was what aim the Atlantic alliance could serve in a world where a territorial threat had ceased to exist for the better part. Turning away from the depiction of a communist Soviet aggression of territorial expansion, Europe’s transformation was presented as the main referent object of security, including a ‘vision of Europe whole and free’ (SC, 1991). Clear distinctions of military and ideological alignment as articulated in the early 1950s had disappeared; new but still uncertain formations of political unity were developing. The strategic concept therefore distinguished between the Soviet Union on the one hand, and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the ‘USSR’s former satellites’ which ‘have 11

The accompanying military guidelines (M.C. Directive for Military Implementation of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept; MC Guidance for the Military Implementation of the Alliance Strategy) are still classified.

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fully recovered their sovereignty’ (SC, 1991) on the other hand. Because of political changes in ‘the East’, there were also ‘significant changes’ in ‘the West’: German unification and the development of a European security identity in the context of the European Community. The document, however, articulated ‘the West’, now explicitly named, as an expanding project which already expected to incorporate CEE: All the countries that were formerly adversaries of NATO have dismantled the Warsaw Pact and rejected ideological hostility to the West. They have, in varying degrees, embraced and begun to implement policies aimed at achieving pluralistic democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and a market economy. The political division of Europe that was the source of the military confrontation of the Cold War period has thus been overcome. (SC, 1991, italics added)

The invention of CEE symbolically bridged the dissolution of the Eastern bloc and opened a range of new political, diplomatic, but also military relations for the Western allies with the former members of the Warsaw Pact. NATO policies of dialogue and cooperation were created as instruments of incorporation closely associated with notions such as democracy, human rights, and market economy. Neumann (2001) argues that the invention of the category CEE and how it was used by both sides was quite important in order to open up the road for NATO’s as well as EU’s eastern enlargement (see also Behnke, 2013; Schimmelfennig, 2003). Such a split of the ‘Eastern bloc’ made it possible to conceive of the CEE as being liberated from communist rule and returning to a democratic and free Europe where the Cold War period and their association with Russia seemed to be just a transitory coincidence. A geopolitical narrative was once again mobilized in order to integrate Europe, ‘whole and free’, into the Transatlantic community of solidarity. The perception of a vanishing Eastern threat and the invention of the CEE, however, also pushed for a revision of NATO’s flexible response strategy, including a justification of why NATO should persist at a time when a major war was becoming ever more unlikely. The document continues: In contrast with the predominant threat of the past, the risks to Allied security that remain are multi-faceted in nature and multi-directional which makes them hard to predict and assess. NATO must be capable of responding to such risks if stability in Europe and the security of Alliance members are to be preserved. (SC, 1991)

Such a diffuse presentation of ‘risks’ which are ‘multi-faceted’ and ‘multidirectional’ emphasized NATO’s planning capabilities and a renewed concept of precaution. In many ways, the focus on non-military challenges ‘dislodged the distinction between the possible and the probable’ (Williams, 2009, p. 1). While some scholars argue that ‘[r]isk is becoming the operative concept of Western security’ since the 1990s (Rasmussen

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2001, p. 285), it was only before the background of NATO’s existing planning capacities that such an invocation of risks could be worked on. Already in the 1950s, the allies laid the foundation for an institutional structure which was dominated by practices of military and strategic planning and the management of different scenarios of attack and defense. The allies planned in detail for a prospective war in Europe if prevention would fail. This renewed and now more explicit emphasis on risks and precaution highlighted the relevance of Article 4: Any armed attack on the territory of the Allies, from whatever direction, would be covered by Articles 5 and 6 of the Washington Treaty. However, Alliance security must also take account of the global context. Alliance security interests can be affected by other risks of a wider nature, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disruption of the flow of vital resources, and actions of terrorism and sabotage. Arrangements exist within the Alliance for consultation among the Allies under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty and, where appropriate, coordination of their efforts including their responses to such risks. (SC, 1991; italics added)

Internally, Article 5 guaranteed alliance solidarity and the indivisibility of transatlantic security; externally, such an assurance of military support was intended to deter a Soviet attack, e.g. ‘convincing the USSR that war does not pay’. With the proclamation of an end of the Cold War, the external function of Article 5 had to be re-interpreted due to the invocation of new non-territorial risks and challenges. In a world where classical inter-state wars and conflicts were vanishing, deterrence was increasingly perceived as an anachronistic strategy of the old times. ‘However’, as the new strategic concept explicitly cautioned, dangers had not disappeared but turned into more diffuse risks. The invocation of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘risks’ thus strengthened Article 4 as a mechanism of political consultation and initiated NATO’s transformation towards enhanced practices of security management. Bearing this discursive shift from Article 5 to Article 4 in mind, outof-area missions were the most explicit expression of institutional consequences, including new consultation and cooperation practices. The rationale for non-article 5 and out-of-area missions, though, was already inscribed in the 1950s when the strategic concept outlined that ‘[i]n order to preserve peace and security in the NATO area, it is essential that, without disregarding the security of the NATO area, hostile Soviet influence in non-NATO regions is countered’ (M.C. 14/2, 1957).12 NATO’s 12

Some years later, the allies declared: ‘Although NATO defense planning is limited to the defense of the Treaty area, it is necessary to take account of the dangers which may arise for NATO because of developments outside that area’ (MC(56)138, December 1956).

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active military engagement began when the Allied Mobile Force (AMF), a small multinational force which was founded in 1960, was deployed in the southeast of Turkey during the Gulf War in 1991. The violent fragmentation of Yugoslavia in the following years was perceived as a test case for providing regional stability and security. Hence, the ‘Partnership for Peace’ program initially originated as a ‘Partnership for Peacekeeping’ (Wallander, 2000, p. 721). With the air strikes against Serbia in 1999 and even more explicitly in reaction to the attacks on 9/11, NATO’s selfimage as a defender of human rights manifested its confirmed self-image as an ‘alliance of democracies’.13 The new emphasis on ‘political means’, as stated in the strategic concept in 1991, already relied on a wide conception of security, including ‘dialogue’, ‘cooperation’, and ‘collective defense’ for the purpose of ‘protecting peace in a new Europe’. While the allies distinguished between peacetime and wartime in the 1950s, a third operational mode of security was now added: crisis. Peace should be ‘protected’, war should be ‘prevented’, and in the event of crisis NATO forces should ‘contribute to the management of such crises and their peaceful resolution’. Combined with the invocation of new uncertainties and risks, the notion of crisis helped to justify the development of rapid reaction forces and multinational forces in order to prevent (or at least contain) a crisis. Compared to this new emphasis on NATO’s ability of crisis management, the fear of war still loomed in the back of any risks assessment. In the light of uncertainties – crisis, risks, and war – the alliance had to be prepared for anything. Nuclear forces, therefore, continued to play a significant strategic and political role: The fundamental purpose of the nuclear forces of the Allies is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war . . . Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the Alliance. (SC, 1991, italics added)

Strategically, nuclear forces signaled a posture of deterrence; politically, they ensured the cohesion and unity of the allies despite the material inequalities between the US and their European allies. US nuclear forces stationed in Europe symbolized a strong political bond of solidarity. 13

Statement on Kosovo, Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, on 23 and 24 April 1999. The document is available at http://www.nato.int/docu/comm/1999/9904-wsh/ 9904-wsh.htm; Opening Statement by NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson at the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council on 26 September 2001. The document is available at http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/2001/s010926a.htm.

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While dialogue and cooperation in uncertain times were now the buzzwords of a ‘new world order’, this uncertainty about the future also provoked a sense of insecurity and an urge to be prepared for the worst. The continued stationing of nuclear forces in Europe and the development of multinational as well as rapid reaction forces were a response to this uncertainty. NATO’s central message boiled down to: ‘we are prepared’. This confidence in the continued relevance of the alliance was newly inscribed in its foundational narrative of a geopolitical community of solidarity which now expanded geographically to the East and was functionally expanded into a political community according to Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. This re-constitution of NATO continued through the strategic concepts of 1999 and 2010, solidifying these discursive shifts in several ways. Most explicit is a strengthening of Article 4 and the political power of the alliance, the global perspective on NATO’s mission, and the functional re-organization of the military command structure. While NATO’s foundational narrative of a geopolitical community of solidarity had initially enabled a regionally organized military command structure (regional planning groups, then SACEUR and SACLANT) as well as the deployment of US nuclear forces in Europe, the appearance of new risks and uncertainties beyond the realm of territorial defense in the 1990s enabled a functional transformation: SACEUR became Allied Command for Operations (ACO) and SACLANT became Allied Command Transformation (ACT). While the old military structure symbolised the transAtlantic bond – Supreme Allied Command Europe and Supreme Allied Command Atlantic – the new division between operations and transformations dissolved such a narrow geographical representation. In this sense NATO re-constituted itself as a Western global alliance, ‘Western’ in its identity and global in its mission. 4

Conclusion

Debates over the future of NATO easily transform into debates about whether ‘Western civilization’ and ‘the West’ as a whole might be in decline or whether they are the winner of the Cold War’s ideological battles (cf. Huntington, 1993; Fukuyama, 1989). Compared to NATO, however, a Western security community seems to be quite prosperous despite continuing conflicts between NATO members (Cox, 2005; Pouliot, 2006). In this chapter I have tried to show that a transatlantic alliance was (re-)constituted via the mobilization and re-articulation of foundational narratives by the allies in order to justify the existence, continuity, and transformation of NATO. Foundational narratives, then,

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direct our attention exactly to the politics of security and identity where political subjects are formed in the first place and help to understand how security communities are constituted instead of postulating that they are already existing (Adler and Barnett 1998, p. 3; contrary: Deutsch et al., 1969). In conclusion, I want to highlight how NATO’s re-constitution relates to the overall theme of this volume, ‘the West’. It is not surprising that NATO allies often referred to ‘democracy’, ‘individual liberty’, or ‘the rule of law’ in order to justify NATO as a geo-political community of solidarity with defensive and peaceful intentions. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the Soviet Union was repeatedly accused of modernizing its military capacities, harboring expansionist intentions, and being an aggressive opponent in an ideological struggle between ‘freedom’ and ‘communism’. This rather plain self/other construction, however, was quickly modified in the early 1990s by declaring an ‘end of the Cold War’, invoking the CEE as a distinct political subject, and by focusing on new risks and challenges different from the past focus on territorial defense. Moreover, NATO had ‘gone global’ in order to ‘bring stability to other parts of the world’ (Daalder and Goldgeier, 2006, p. 105; Brzezinski, 2009). While this global NATO is depicted as a result of changing security politics, in particular as a consequence of a globalized terrorist threat, it is short-sighted to argue that these transformations are merely a reaction to external pressures. Grand narratives about a ‘Cold War’ and a ‘War on Terrorism’ are as much produced by a transatlantic security discourse intended to make sense of the world as they serve to justify political decisions. It is a moot question whether the global projection of power by ‘the West’ caused violent opposition around the globe or whether ‘new wars’ and terror networks such as Al Qaida caused a transformation of NATO. It is puzzling, though, that NATO has managed to secure its survival and to transform. I have argued that the creation and repetition of foundational narratives – in particular the invention of a geopolitical community of solidarity and a political community according to Article 4 of the Washington Treaty – made such a two-sided re-constitution of continuity and transformation possible. This also implies that NATO will persist and at once change as long as the allies carry on re-articulating this foundational narrative. Such a foundational narrative serves its integrating function only against the background of ‘the West’ as a shared yet unspecified signifier, which is implicitly represented as a threatened referent object of security. ‘Europe’, the ‘transatlantic area’, respectively ‘the West’ are the endangered subjects of NATO’s strategic discourse justifying

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a durable and institutionally dense military cooperation of its member states and a nuclearization of its defense strategy. Whenever allies pursued (national) security policies without consultation, conflicts and crisis within the alliance were foreseeable. It was only through NATO that ‘the West’ could utilize its power position through a specific form of selfauthorization. NATO, respectively Western states, presented ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’, the ‘rule of law’, and ‘market economy’ as normatively unquestioned principles they had already realized. Others had only one choice: to comply or to resist. The normative attractiveness of ‘the West’, thus, also implies the temptations of self-authorizing and securitizing practices where a culture of legal formalism is marginalized (Wæver, 1995; Koskenniemi, 2001). Yet ‘Others’ might only be known as defectors to a Western project of modernization and democracy. After two decades of academic and political debate about NATO’s growing irrelevance and likely or unlikely dissolution, the military escalation on the Crimean peninsula and in Eastern Ukraine has definitely revived the alliance. Some commentators even predict the dawn of a new Cold War based on well-known patterns of enmity between ‘the West’ and ‘the East’. This is not the place to reflect on the current political situation and its impact on NATO’s future. Given its history, however, NATO General Secretary Stoltenberg’s recent remark should be taken seriously that ‘one of our greatest strengths is our ability to adapt’.

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9

Transatlantic Policies towards China and Russia Self-Conceptions and Contradictions of a Universalizing West

Christian Weber

The question of how a community or a political project like ‘the West’ is formed and transformed cuts across the image of an international system that is populated by states as separate autonomous units.1 Transcending this container view of international relations is not only necessary for grasping post–Cold War transnational processes. It is also useful for making sense of world political dynamics in the preceding decades. The Cold War was a confrontation not merely between the United States and the Soviet Union, but between two opposing ‘blocs’ which remained to some degree integrated for several decades (Milliken, 1999, p. 91). Sticking to the container view, structural realist theories have conceptualized these blocs as military alliances of states that chose to cooperate in order to defend against a more powerful threatening enemy. Stephen Walt (1985) has posited geographical proximity, material capabilities, and hostile intentions as the main factors that produce such a threat perception. This line of reasoning interprets transatlantic alignment after World War II as a logical reaction to a correctly perceived ‘Soviet threat’, justified by the size of the Red Army and the expansionist ambitions Stalin had demonstrated by the annexation of Eastern European countries. But this kind of explanation does not address the ensuing question as to why North American and West European governments happened to have largely similar definitions of the international security situation, i.e. why their interpretation of the current geographical constellation and also of the capabilities and intentions of other actors actually converged. Structural realists have no conclusive answer to that question. Leaving unconsidered the communicative processes in which ascriptions 1

See the introduction by Benjamin Herborth and Gunther Hellmann in this volume. For a powerful plea to analyze processes and relations instead of entities and their putative substances, see Jackson and Nexon (1999).

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of threat are created and sustained, they ultimately eschew theorizing precisely those processes which tied each of the opposing blocs together. In this sense, Thomas Risse has argued that ‘a closer look at realism as the dominant alliance theory reveals its indeterminacy with regard to the origins of, the interaction patterns in, and the endurance of NATO’ (Risse-Kappen, 1996, p. 364). Liberal constructivists like Risse argue that similar perceptions of a ‘Soviet threat’ had rested on the ‘liberal collective identity’ of an already existing transatlantic ‘community of values’ (Risse-Kappen, 1996, pp. 378, 370–371). This assertion certainly sounds plausible, and it might point to an important difference between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Still, the ‘community of values’ thesis only slightly shifts the problem, as it naturally entails the question as to how this ‘community’ then came about (Jackson and Nexon, 1999, p. 297). After all, it was not self-evident in the aftermath of World War II that the Germans belonged to such a community when only few years before they had been regarded as barbarian enemies of civilisation (Jackson, 2006a). So it becomes necessary to address the question how such collectivities come into being in the first place. The studies of Patrick Jackson and others suggest that transatlantic policies of alignment were enabled by the situational employment of widely accepted ‘rhetorical commonplaces’ like that of ‘Western civilisation’ in postwar foreign policy debates (Jackson, 2003, 2006a; cf. also Klein, 1990; Milliken, 1999). Taking this suggestion as a starting point, the first section of this chapter proceeds by briefly outlining how ‘the West’ has functioned as the central category of self-description in transatlantic relations during the Cold War. The second section elaborates on how this might have changed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Taking the debate about lifting the EU weapons embargo as an example, and interpreting contending claims about how to deal with China as a ‘rising power’, allows me to reconstruct the prevalent self-conceptions of transatlantic political elites. In the third section I point out some similarities of today’s self-conceptions to nineteenth-century European attitudes. A brief look at the contemporary reactions of Chinese and Russian ruling elites finally suggests that no matter how fervently transatlantic policies are legitimized in universalist terms, they are still denounced as particularistic by their addressees. While the concept of ‘the West’ might not be used all that much for attracting support internally, it continues to play an important role in ascriptions from the outside, in which it serves as a marker to counter universalist pretensions.

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The Notion of ‘The West’ and the Formation of a Transatlantic Political Project

The idea that societies in Western Europe and North America formed a distinctive cultural community emerged by the end of the nineteenth century and established itself as a widespread belief in the following decades (Bonnett, 2003, pp. 332–341). It was popularized by the writings of Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee, who accredited ‘the West’ with certain essential features that distinguished it from other culturally defined communities. Both authors outlined a philosophy of world history that was focused on the development of ‘civilisations’ as discrete units (see O’Hagan, 2002, pp. 59–108). Since then, the idea that there is such a thing as ‘Western civilisation’ has referred to similarities in religious affiliation, political organization, and economic development, and more generally to shared liberal values. However natural it may seem today, subsuming such features under the concept of ‘the West’ – and not under those of ‘Christendom’ or ‘Europe’ as before – presupposed the nineteenth-century notion of ‘civilisation’ and the later conception that humanity was divided into different cultural spheres (see Jackson, 2006a, pp. 72–111). Only in this imagination did it become meaningful to conceive of a ‘comprehensive transatlantic model of civilisation’ (Osterhammel, 2011, p. 143). In this sense, the idea of ‘the West’ is an invention. Against conventional wisdom, it is only ‘real’ to the extent that claims to the existence of a ‘Western civilisation’ or a ‘transatlantic community of values’ are accepted as valid. It is a ‘tool to think with’ that allows one to ‘characterize and classify societies into different categories – i.e. “western”, “non-western”’ (Hall, 1992, p. 277). The notion of ‘Western civilisation’ had a strong impact on how policy makers in North America and the Western part of Europe interpreted the global constellation after the victory over the Axis powers. It was its widespread acceptance which enabled politicians to justify and implement a policy of alignment that included the former German enemy and was directed against the Soviet Union. It only made sense to reconstruct and later even rearm Germany when it could be argued that the people of the former Nazi state shared a cultural heritage with the other ‘Western’ powers that had to be defended against Soviet communism (see Jackson, 2006a, pp. 112–148). Through the enmeshment of anti-communism with occidentalist rhetoric, the former Russian ally was redefined into being a threat itself. Members of ‘the West’, in turn, were portrayed as belonging to a political community of destiny (see Jackson, 2006a, pp. 149–238).

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In other words, referring to ‘the West’ as the common ground for political action allowed for the integration of very different positions by actors in Western Europe and North America throughout the Cold War. It was the symbolic representation of the common good that political actors could invoke in order to legitimate their policies and mobilize against ideological and military threats from ‘the East’. Democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law – all these concepts were brought into equivalence and grouped around the notion of a ‘Western civilisation’ that symbolized their commonness (cf. Laclau, 1996, pp. 36–46; St¨aheli, 2001, pp. 197–209). Such chains of equivalence derived their strength and plausibility through the construction of the Soviet Union and its allies as standing for the exact opposite – totalitarianism instead of democracy, repression instead of freedom, and so on. In this sense, the securitization of the Soviet Union after World War II and the ensuing relations of enmity were constitutive for the formation of ‘the West’ as a political project. The observation that such processes of collective identification are connected with the ascription of differences does not presuppose that the Other is necessarily an antagonistic, threatening enemy. Collective identities are defined in relation or in comparison to other subjects, not necessarily in opposition to them (Hansen, 2006, pp. 37–51; Diez, 2005, pp. 628–629). Representations of others do not need to be antagonistic but only different enough to draw a boundary around ‘the West’ that resonates in public discourse. A ‘Western community’ can thus be constructed without completely demonizing ‘non-Western’ collectivities. Still, and analogous to the level of national identification, such notions of collective affiliation are never innocent. They hold the potential of being exploited for exclusionary practices as they provide ‘criteria of evaluation against which other societies are ranked and around which powerful positive and negative feelings cluster’ (Hall, 1992, p. 277). The disintegration of the USSR and the dissolution of the Eastern military bloc raise the question of how the self-descriptions of ‘the West’ might have transformed since its constitutive Other has ceased to exist. This question bears some resemblance to the expectation of some structural realists that cohesion between Europe and the US will slowly wane after the disappearance of the ‘Soviet threat’ (Mearsheimer, 1990; Waltz, 1993, pp. 75–78). However, the future development of transatlantic relations is far from being as determined as their thesis suggests. It should rather be understood as an ongoing process whose outcome depends on how political elites in North America and Europe interpret the positions of their respective countries towards each other and how they categorize their relations with allegedly non-Western countries.

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Therefore, questions about transformations in transatlantic relations should be approached methodologically by interpreting changing discursive practices and various ‘Uses of the West’ in specific cases. The next section accordingly focuses on foreign policy debates over competing approaches towards China and Russia, which are often depicted as rivals and upcoming antagonists. It is in such foreign policy debates that ‘facts have to be attributed meaning: discourses have to “explain the facts”, construct the identities of those involved, and, crucially, generate a policy response’ (Hansen, 2006, p. 182). Thus, a thorough analysis of the categories and representations that feature prominently in struggles over diverging policy choices should provide some clues for the question if ‘the West’ is still invoked as a symbol, covering up differences between transatlantic partners and unifying them in a common approach vis-`a-vis allegedly non-Western ‘rising powers’.

2

Forging a Transatlantic Policy towards a ‘Rising China’?

A general look at the dominant narratives in the United States and Europe makes clear that in the near future China will not simply replace the Soviet Union as the antagonist against which ‘the West’ rallies. The narrative of a ‘China threat’ and the according policy recommendation to ‘contain China’ today still represents a minority position in the United States (see e.g. Gertz, 2002) and finds only little adherence in Europe. It ascribes to China the capacity to seriously ‘challenge’ the United States or ‘the West’ as a whole. This assertion rests upon the hypothesis that intense conflict between two aspirants to hegemony is virtually inevitable, at least if one of them is a ‘revisionist power’ whose interests are not satisfied by the present status quo (Schweller, 1999; Mearsheimer, 2004, 2001, pp. 396– 402; Tammen and Kugler, 2006). Most accounts contend that China would appear less threatening if its regime type happened to change. However, the ‘China threat’ narrative usually discounts the probability of democratic reforms in China. In the eyes of Richard Bernstein and Ross Munro (1997, p. 27), for example, ‘that would be contrary to Chinese culture’: In its entire 3,000-year history, China has developed no concept of limited government, no protections of individual rights, no independence for the judiciary and the media. The country has never operated on any notion of the consent of the governed or the will of the majority. Whether under the emperors or the party general secretaries, China has always been ruled by a self-selected and self-perpetuating clique that operates in secret and treats opposition in treason.

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Such essentialist ascriptions about an alleged authoritarian nature of China and the assumption that it is unable to change are typical for a line of reasoning that has been frequently employed in the description of non-European or ‘non-Western’ Others. The ‘stagnation thesis’ belongs to a repertoire of representations that construct a fundamental difference between ‘modern’ and ‘civilised’ societies on the one hand and ‘traditional’ and ‘barbarian’ societies on the other (Osterhammel, 1989, p. 30; Suzuki, 2009, p. 16). Refreshing this pattern of thought, and applying it to contemporary images of a declining West, China is sometimes stylized as the potential leader of an informal but nevertheless dangerous ‘association of autocrats’ that prepares for a struggle against Western dominance (Kagan, 2008, pp. 25–36, 53–80; Gat, 2007). In this narrative, ‘the West’ is invoked as a bulwark against a rising tide of authoritarianism. Much more influential than this minority position has been the ‘rising power’ narrative, in both the United States and Europe. It starts from the presupposition that a ‘rising China’, while being a potential challenger, is able to change. In this perspective, demonization and a policy of containment could court nationalist resentments and thus turn the ‘China threat’ into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, ‘rising powers’ should be socialized into the existing international order through a policy of ‘engagement’ in order to ensure that China will use its growing power in accordance with already established rules. Take as an illustration John Ikenberry’s (2008) essay in which he equates ‘the future of the West’ with the survival of the ‘liberal system’. He depicts China’s ascendency as a possible source for opposition to a liberal world order that deserves to be protected. In order to ensure its continuity, he suggests making deliberate attempts at socializing China and its leadership into the present rules and institutions. Ikenberry, like other proponents of ‘engagement’, thus pins his hopes on the eventual transformation of a potential rival. He describes the current ‘Westerncentered system’ as an open and rule-based order that is ‘hard to overturn and easy to join’. Its maintenance might be ensured by strengthening the ‘rules and institutions that underpin that order’ and by giving China ‘greater incentives for integration than for opposition’ (ibid., p. 23). Such a view begs the question, however, as to what would happen if Chinese officials did not respond as expected and if they even were to demand fundamental changes. In this case, from the point of view of the engagement proponents, nothing less than the ‘survival’ of the system would be at stake. The scenario of a ‘volcanic struggle with the United States over global rules and leadership’ (ibid., p. 33) would materialize, the one sought to prevent with ‘engagement’ policies. At this point, it becomes clear how easily the ‘rising power’ narrative could switch into

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that of a ‘China threat’. The danger of warlike escalations of previous power transitions keeps looming in the background (cf. ibid., pp. 26– 27, 36–37). It is evoked by the scenario of a ‘rising China’ that will not democratize and cannot be accommodated within the present order: The insular and defensive character of Chinese politics and nationalism suggests that China will be reluctant and difficult to engage and to integrate into the existing international order. However, here is no alternative but to try. The potential costs of not doing so are too high. China’s capacity to disrupt and destabilize international security, the world economy, global environment, and human welfare are substantial. The world and China will be far better off if one-quarter of mankind becomes a cooperative partner in the international community. (Shambaugh, 1996, p. 209)

This quote shows clearly how much China is conceptualized as a problem, and how strongly the ‘rising power’ narrative favors the preservation of existing international norms and institutions. The policy of engagement is a means to that end, a defensive strategic necessity vis-`a-vis an apparently unstoppable ‘rise’ of China with the ‘capacity to disrupt and destabilize’ everything (cf. also Johnston and Ross, 1999, p. xi). In fact, realist scenarios of rising powers provoking conflicts over global rules and leadership form the backdrop against which the strategy of engagement has initially been designed (see Nye 1995). The central difference to the ‘China threat’ narrative thus consists in the confidence that China can be transformed into a supporter of the status quo. Finally, there is a third position which could be called the ‘great power’ narrative.2 It emphasizes the necessity to cooperate with all great powers on the basis of ‘national interests’ even if they are authoritarian regimes. It is the only narrative in which China and Russia are not represented as a problem. They appear as important actors in global politics that must be approached as potential partners in the formation of a post–Cold War international order. This also involves choosing alliance partners according to tactical calculations, not on the basis of alleged common values. This narrative quite consistently follows the classical paradigm of a state system in which governments respect each other’s ‘national sovereignty’ and don’t intervene in the ‘internal affairs’ of other countries. Take as an example Fred Bergsten (2008, p. 68), who has proposed a ‘G2’ condominium between the United States and China: Washington would need to accept China as a true partner in managing global economic affairs, the development of an intimate working relationship with an Asian country rather than its traditional European allies, and constructive collaboration with an authoritarian political regime rather than a democracy. 2

I thank Brent Steele for this suggestion.

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Far from being considered a dangerous rival, China is rather depicted as pursuing moderate and legitimate goals in the international system and as being occupied with internal reforms. Violations of human rights or the lack of democratic change play only a minor role here. China appears as a great power that represents a large part of the world’s population and is available as a partner in the formation of a post–Cold War international order (cf. also Blume, 2008). It was this ‘great power’ narrative that underpinned European efforts to lift the EU weapons embargo that had been imposed on China in 1989 as a reaction to the Tiananmen massacre. Whereas the European Council’s declaration of 1989 had constructed a split between the ‘Chinese authorities’ on the one hand and those parts of the Chinese population that ‘legitimately claim their democratic rights’, the European Commission in 2003 respectfully addressed the Chinese government as legitimate representative of a country which had emerged as a ‘major player’ in world affairs with whom the European Union should develop close ties.3 Members of the French and the German government contended that the embargo was a largely symbolic measure that did not reflect the current state of relations between the EU and China.4 The People’s Republic had assumed a ‘major and responsible place in the international system’ and should be encouraged to pursue its current path.5 Officials of the European Commission argued that lifting the arms ban would clear the way for a more comprehensive partnership between the EU and China as ‘emerging global players’.6 As in the Commission’s Policy Paper, mentioning the importance of a ‘strategic partnership’ involved the prospect of promoting ‘shared visions’ of a world order in which multilateral organizations would play a key role. The ensuing transatlantic debate provides an interesting example of how the aforementioned narratives played out in a concrete situation that put the coherence of transatlantic relations to the test. In the United States, the initiative to lift the arms embargo encountered fierce opposition. Members of the US government expressed their 3

4 5 6

European Council Declaration on China, 26–27 June 1989; European Commission, A maturing partnership – shared interests and challenges in EU-China relations, Commission Policy Paper for Transmission to the Council and the European Parliament, Brussels, 10/09/03, COM(2003) 533 fin. ¨ See German Chancellor Schroder’s speech in the German Bundestag, April 14, 2005, Plenarprotokoll 15/169, pp. 15791–15792. See the remarks of French foreign minister Villepin, Point de Presse du Ministre des Affaires Etrang`eres, Conseil Affairs Generales, Brussels, January 26, 2004. EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner cited in Chris Buckley, ‘EU offers China hope on embargo. Human rights issue cause for contention’, International Herald Tribune, May 12, 2005.

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irritation that some of their European allies obviously considered selling arms to a country which they saw as one of the main challengers of the US power position in East Asia. China’s development was assessed primarily from a regional security perspective. The ‘rise of China’ and its military modernization was regarded as destabilizing factor for the balance of power in East Asia and as a potential threat to US troops in the region. The newly appointed US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said to the Chinese press that lifting the embargo ‘might actually alter the military balance in a place where the United States, in particular, has very strong security interests because, after all, it is American forces here in the Pacific that have played the role of security guarantor’.7 Both the position of France and Germany and the argumentation of the US government rested primarily upon strategic calculations about changes in the distribution of power. The first welcomed a more powerful China not only as a trading partner but also as a possible ally in shaping world-order arrangements; the latter regarded China’s economic growth and its rapprochement with the EU as a potential threat to the US power position in East Asia. But objections did not come only from the United States but also from within Europe. Scandinavian countries and the European Parliament opposed a quick abolishment of the weapons embargo on different grounds. They argued that China had not made progress in the field of human rights and should therefore not be encouraged by the abolishment of European sanctions. The European Parliament most fervently contended that ‘a genuine strategic partnership’ with China ‘must be based on shared common values’. The embargo should not be lifted ‘until the situation regarding human rights and civil and political freedoms . . . has been properly addressed.’8 The British government, at first open minded, later also demanded to link a lift of the embargo to improvements of the human rights situation in China and to make it dependent on an enhanced code of conduct for European arms sales. The controversy within the European Union was not easy to resolve. Because of Scandinavian and British objections to lifting the embargo, the decision was delayed various times. Proposals for compromise circled around the questions of what improvement in the human rights situation could be expected from the Chinese government, how the EU could strengthen its 1998 code of conduct, and how the United States could be reassured. The agreement in the EU, reached at the European Council in 7 8

Condoleezza Rice, Remarks to the Press in China, China World Hotel, Beijing, March 21, 2005. European Parliament 2005, Resolution on EU-China Relations (2005/2161(INI)).

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Brussels in December 2004, was characterized by a compromise between those who were eager to enhance cooperation with China as a strategic partner and those who opposed any changes in the European Union’s arms trade policy as long as the human rights situation in China had not improved significantly. The European Council ‘reaffirmed the political will towards lifting the arms embargo’. At the same time, it stipulated China’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a precondition for carrying out this political will. Furthermore, it made clear that even if China was to ratify the Covenant, an increase in weapons exports would still be ruled out.9 While the EU showed itself determined to stick to its plan, albeit only under certain conditions, the US House of Representatives now summoned the Bush administration to take a tougher stance on the issue. A resolution that was passed almost unanimously in February 2005 developed an exemplary securitizing move, representing China as an unjust regime that was ‘preventing the Chinese people to think, assemble, and worship freely’ and at the same time kept pursuing an extensive military buildup in all military areas.10 The House resolution suggested a clearcut antagonism between the United States and China, divided East Asia into friends and enemies, and then amounted to the accusation that the European Union was on the verge of making common cause with a potential US enemy. This charge was consistently sharpened to the warning that both an increase in arms sales to China and the plan to lift the arms embargo ‘place European security policy in direct conflict with United States security interests’. The Parliamentarians unmistakably offered the European Union the choice either to refrain from their plans or to face the consequences of ‘limitations and constraints’ in transatlantic defense cooperation. Such a securitization of China as a potentially dangerous rival encountered almost no resonance in Europe. There was thus no transatlantic consensus that China might pose a security threat which would have made a unified position mandatory. However, a normative consensus was emerging on the need to address the human rights situation in China. Furthermore, when advocates of lifting the embargo worked towards a final decision in spring 2005, the Congress of the Chinese Communist Party passed a law that threatened to use ‘non-peaceful means’ against Taiwan should it declare itself independent. This anti-secession 9 10

Council of the European Union, Brussels European Council, December 16/17, 2004, Presidency Conclusions, 16238/01/04, Brussels, February 1, 2004, p. 19. US House of Representatives, 109th Congress, H. RES. 57, Urging the European Union to maintain its arms embargo on the People’s Republic of China, February 2, 2005.

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law seemed to confirm American warnings and made it more difficult to justify why the embargo should be lifted at this point. Ultimately, the plan to lift the EU arms ban was put on ice. Instead of an escalation of transatlantic conflict, in September 2005 officials from Europe and North America even began meeting on a regular basis for a ‘strategic dialogue’ on China and East Asian issues (see Shambaugh and Wacker, 2008, p. 7). This particular end of the conflict seems rather astonishing given that at the outset, different approaches toward a more powerful China had openly clashed. For more than a year, the dispute seemed to indicate a deepening alienation between ‘old Europe’ and the United States. Some observers had even predicted the emergence of a ‘new axis in world affairs’ between the EU and China (Shambaugh, 2004, p. 248). So, how do we make sense of the final twist of this episode? Why did three of the most influential actors in Europe not prevail in a matter that supposedly was of strategic importance for the European Union? Besides the heavy and almost unanimous American pressure, advocates of abolishing the embargo had not been able to argue convincingly that the initial reason for imposing it had become obsolete. Some Tiananmen protesters were still in prison and China had still not ratified one of the most important human rights treaties. Opponents could effectively employ the notions of human rights as a ‘cultural resource’ to legitimize their position in public debate (see Jackson, 2006b). The power of this rhetorical move might have been even more important than the threat of US sanctions. To argue that ‘we cannot jeopardize defense cooperation with the US’ might convince European defense experts, but it certainly unleashes less persuasive power in the constituencies of politicians than the appeal that ‘we need to stand up for human rights in China’. At least in the European Parliament and in the German Bundestag, the latter was the main argument. In this sense, claims that China still had to accomplish certain normative standards before it could be treated as an equal partner in all respects were effective in preventing strategic military cooperation between the EU and China. Even the proponents of great power cooperation with China had to prove their commitment to the promotion of human rights when critics pressed them to do so. In other words, the ‘rising power’ narrative was the rationale of transatlantic agreement. Differences could be bridged by vaguely invoking a normative benchmark which both sides felt obliged to defend against challenges. This discursive practice seems to be the decisive rhetorical mechanism for solving conflicts between European and North American governments. The pattern probably applies not only to the relations with China but also vis-`a-vis other countries that are regarded as lacking liberal standards.

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Notably, the concept of ‘the West’ was employed neither by American nor by European policy makers as a central category for self-description. Transatlantic policies were instead justified in the name of universal, global values. Still, as I intend to show in the next section, the concept of ‘the West’ is used quite frequently in ascriptions from the outside where it is pasted on US and European governments like a sticker when they engage in the promotion of certain norms and institutions. 3

Bringing Human Rights and Democracy to China and Russia

During the Cold War, ‘the West’ was a ‘collectivity in whose name great powers presumed to act’ (Watson, 1984, p. 72) in defense against a commonly perceived ‘Soviet threat’. With the fading of this threat perception, transatlantic policies towards China and Russia are justified not primarily in the name of ‘Western civilisation’ but rather in the name of universal values. These policies are characterized by a particular normative agenda and a self-conception of being morally superior agents. The confidence in the universal applicability of their own experiences and their firm belief in the superiority of a particular definition of norms is characteristic of both European and American foreign policy elites (cf. Muppidi, 2004, pp. 8, 16). The US National Security Strategy of 2002 most clearly expressed this belief by stating that the ‘great struggles of the twentieth century’ have ended with the victory of ‘a single sustainable model for national success’.11 This model is primarily informed by the doctrine that a capitalist economic system goes hand in hand with a democratic political system.12 ‘In the twenty-first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity’.13 China’s continuous economic growth despite its one-party rule directly contradicts this doctrine and sits uneasily in the patterns of thought that inform it. The resolution of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, one of the few transatlantic documents on the weapons embargo episode, accordingly displays some fractures in an otherwise untarnished self-consciousness. Trying to draw some conclusions from the conflict, the authors aim at 11 12 13

National Security Strategy of the United States of America 2002, Washington DC. For a similar interpretation of the NSS and underlying tenets in U.S. ‘imaginaries of the Self’, see Muppidi (2004, pp. 59–75). National Security Strategy of the United States of America 2002, Washington DC.

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‘forging a transatlantic policy towards China’.14 They acknowledge that the country’s development was ‘changing many underlying assumptions that long shaped the post-war international system’. Without specifying which ‘underlying assumptions’ had been changed by China’s economic trajectory and without spelling out what kind of adjustments this would entail, the parliamentarians of NATO member countries emphasize the importance and universal validity of democratic institutions and human rights. Thus, the preferred model of political organisation is ultimately reaffirmed as being the only reasonable alternative. ‘Concerned’ about the ‘lack of democratic dialogue’, about corruption and ‘human rights abuses’ in China, the authors argued that these grievances could lead to ‘enormous social pressures that could ultimately limit China’s development potential and even undermine its stability’. The resolution thereby adheres to the assumption that economic growth and a market economy can uphold themselves in the long run only if they are accompanied by democratization and civil rights reforms. NATO parliamentarians primarily seem to reassure themselves that China’s present growth will not change too many ‘underlying assumptions’ in the end. China would still have to successfully complete the next steps of an ultimately inescapable path of development. Self-consciously, they assume the role of the benevolent instructor of the Chinese authorities and build an educational agenda into the intended transatlantic approach. Transatlantic governments are urged to ‘encourage China and its people to build a more open, pluralist and ultimately democratic political system commensurate with the ever more open society and liberal economic system that is swiftly emerging in China, and to make Western financial resources and know-how available for those purposes’ (emphasis added). These claims and the benevolent rhetoric in which they are couched can best be explained by the self-conception of transatlantic elites as being the agents of progress and the vanguard of modernization (cf. Bowden, 2004). Their transformationalist stance towards non-liberal great powers along the lines of the ‘rising power’ narrative could be characterized as the contemporary version of a ‘civilising mission’. Being one of the prime legitimations for nineteenth-century colonialism, this concept is rightly discredited today and is now only used in a rather polemical ¨ fashion. Nevertheless, historian Jurgen Osterhammel maintains that ‘the civilising mission far transcends the boundaries of direct colonial rule’. By abstracting some common features of French, British, and other 14

NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution 338 on forging a transatlantic policy towards China, 15.11.2005. The subsequent quotes also refer to this document.

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historical ‘civilising missions’, he establishes it as a useful analytical concept that can still be applied to contemporary international practices (Osterhammel, 2005, pp. 422–425; cf. also Bowden, 2004, p. 63). And indeed, his definition of a ‘civilising mission’ suits the transatlantic selfconception vis-`a-vis China and Russia rather well. He defines it as a ‘special kind of belief’ which includes the self-proclaimed right and duty to propagate and actively introduce one’s own norms and institutions to other peoples and societies, based upon a firm conviction of the inherent superiority and higher legitimacy of one’s own collective way of life. Note that ‘mission’ here is not restricted to the spreading of a religious faith. It denotes a comprehensive Sendungsbewusstsein, a general propensity to universalize the Self. (Osterhammel, 2006, p. 8, emphasis in the original)

The ‘most important precondition’ for civilising missions, he adds, ‘is a basic trust in the malleability of the Other. He or she who is undergoing civilising treatment must be considered capable of being educated’ (ibid., p. 33). Exactly this belief in the malleability of China is what distinguishes the ‘rising power’ narrative from that of a ‘China threat’. The conviction that China can be transformed into a liberal democracy and that it must adopt international human rights norms is a central feature of the transatlantic approach. The idea that there was one standard of civilisation that every state must live up to dates back to the nineteenth century (see Gong, 1984a). It might therefore be helpful to take a look back and put contemporary practices in historical perspective. Interestingly enough, the characterization of political ideas or practices in a geographic vocabulary as ‘Western’ is the result of domestic social struggles in Russia, China, and other countries over earlier universal pretensions of a European ‘standard of civilisation’. ‘Indeed, the idea of the West had been debated in Russia, in East Asia and in the Middle East, for at least a century before it entered into the West’s own lexicon of key geo-political categories’ (Bonnett, 2006, p. 2). The notion of ‘the West’ was first coined in China and Russia in the middle of the nineteenth century, when Europeans, and later also Americans, gradually developed a standard of ‘civilisation’ which operated as a criterion for admittance to the ‘Family of Nations’ and was consequently employed as a yardstick for judging which non-European political communities were entitled to enjoy privileges like ‘sovereign equality’ that European states had granted to themselves. It was in reaction to such universalist claims and constant interventions that Chinese and Russians began to speak of ‘Western reforms’ and ‘Western policies’ in order to mark their particularity. Thus, decades before ‘Western civilisation’ became a layer of collective identification in

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Europe and North America, they had already been designated as a collective actor by non-European countries confronted with the European project of ‘uplifting mankind’. When British troops ‘opened’ China in the middle of the nineteenth century, they justified their actions with reference to an informal European standard of ‘civilisation’ whose universality they took for granted. They started the Opium Wars with demands for ‘equality of diplomatic representation, judgement by their own legal concepts and courts, and freedom of trade, conditions assumed granted by all “civilised” countries’ (Gong, 1984b, pp. 175–177). After the British gunboats had demonstrated their superior firepower, Great Britain, the United States, and France enforced a number of ‘unequal treaties’ which ‘became the basis of a unified Western approach to China’ (Gong, 1994a, p. 138). These treaties established far more than a ‘civilised’ treatment of foreign nationals. Among other things, they prescribed the opening of ports for trade and residence, extraterritorial jurisdiction, and fixed tariffs. The inclusion of most-favored-nation treatment ensured that the trading privileges granted to individual European countries equally applied to all others (see Kuhn, 2002, p. 54; Gong, 1984a, pp. 138–146; Osterhammel, 1989, p. 149). By 1860, Europeans and North Americans could dictate the conditions of their relations with China. Beginning with the Nanking and Tientsin treaties, the imposition of what gradually became formalized as a ‘standard of civilisation’ forced China to trade on European terms and to conduct its relations according to the patterns of international law and diplomatic representation familiar within the European states system. The Chinese could very well distinguish between different European and American nationalities, but similarities in their claims and actions allowed to refer to them as ‘the West’ (Osterhammel, 2004, pp. 21–23). So at a time when Europeans and Americans at the most regarded themselves as jointly belonging to what they called ‘the civilised world’, they were credited with being part of the same ‘Western’ coalition of imperialist states (Fairbank, 1976, p. 35). As much as China had to struggle until it was accepted as a truly ‘civilised’ member of the ‘Family of Nations’, Russia had been struggling at least since the beginning of the nineteenth century with its relations towards Europe. Traditionalists fought for sticking to an alleged ‘Slavic’ essence of Russian culture and emphasized the difference to a ‘Germano-Latin civilisation’ that the Russian ‘Westernizers’ were propagating as a model for their country (Neumann, 1996, pp. 28–39; Gong, 1984a, pp. 105–106). Today’s transatlantic policies aiming at the transformation of other countries’ internal organization can be seen as a contemporary version

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of what was then referred to as ‘civilising’ non-European countries and integrating them into the rules and institutions of European international society. There are three important transformations that distinguish the enforcement of unequal treaties on the basis of a standard of ‘civilisation’ from today’s promotion of democracy and human rights. First of all, the mechanisms to achieve compliance have changed considerably. European and North American governments don’t threaten countries like China and Russia with the use of military force. They impose sanctions, incriminate them in international forums, and try to convince them in bilateral human rights dialogues. Second, these efforts are no longer directed primarily at obtaining privileges for European companies and protection of European citizens. They are aimed at guaranteeing the rights of Chinese or Russian citizens; rights which – in the words of the aforementioned 1989 European Council declaration – ‘naturally belong to them’. Third, universal membership of the United Nations has banned the legal distinction between ‘civilised’ and ‘uncivilised’ countries from international law. If Chinese and Russian governments reject certain ‘Western’ claims, they usually do so within the framework of international rules and institutions they have accepted as valid. Disagreements are negotiated in the UN, of which Russia and China are powerful members. They can effectively refer to the principles of non-interference and sovereign equality as the cornerstones of international law. Thus, the reference to human rights and democracy does not operate as an explicit formalized barrier to the membership of today’s international organizations. It works rather informally as a ‘yardstick to great power standing’ (Deng, 2009, p. 91). The contemporary standard of human rights and democracy is used as a criterion for the positioning of states on an informal hierarchy. Of course, those sympathetic to these efforts can allude to the fact that human rights are indeed universally accepted and that a vast majority of the current UN member states have signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Thus, today there is no logical necessity to qualify the reference to human rights and democracy as a ‘Western’ position. In this vein, Hedley Bull and Adam Watson maintain that universal membership in the United Nations and the integration of newly independent states after decolonization have transformed the once European international society into a global one. In their view, both developments concluded a process of expansion in which most countries became part of an international society of states in the sense that they – by insight or by force – accepted diplomatic rules and institutions that had been initially developed in Europe (Bull and Watson,

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1984). But can we really speak of a ‘universal international society’ in the sense that its members ‘share common interests’ (Bull, 1984)? At least from the external perspective of states like China and Russia, there is still a separate group within this international society that selfconsciously assumes a vanguard role. In a joint statement on the ‘21st century world order’, the presidents of Russia and China insisted that the international community ‘should not divide countries into a leading camp and a subordinate camp’. They confirmed that ‘human rights are universal’ but at the same time added the qualifier that ‘international human rights protections should be based on the principles of firmly safeguarding the sovereign equality of all countries and not interfering in each other’s internal affairs’.15 The fact that human rights are widely accepted and have been codified in international law should not obscure that the meaning of such fundamental norms remains highly contested (Wiener, 2008). For example, it is no coincidence that, while having signed both human rights covenants, China has so far only ratified the one on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Since the 1990s, Chinese diplomacy has tried to reduce its ‘human rights stigma’ by steering attention ‘toward its own areas of comparative advantage in social and economic rights’, trying to relativize the importance of norms of democratic participation (Deng, 2009, p. 91). In his book ‘China’s struggle for status’, Yong Deng summarizes that ‘mainstream Chinese views have always suspected Western intent in using humanitarianism to justify power politics. While more open than ever before to reinterpretation of sovereignty, they have emphasized sovereignty as the precondition for human rights’ (ibid.). Coming back to the initial point, the fact that most states have ratified the UN human rights conventions must be complemented by the fact that they are discussed in an asymmetrical way. Some states’ particular definition of universal norms is obviously more influential than the definition of others. North American and European political elites tend to claim the prerogative of interpretation when it comes to human rights issues. This claim often rests on the implicit assumption that their home states had already implemented universally valid norms for the achievement of which the so-called developing countries still required their guidance. Propagating a particular model of social and political organization as universal, be it through criteria for ‘good governance’, IMF ‘adjustment programs’, or access criteria of the European Union, they effectively define a new standard of civilisation to which countries 15

Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao, China-Russia Joint Statement on 21st century world order, July 1, 2005, Moscow.

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must live up if they want to be recognized as full members of the ‘international community’ (cf. Bowden, 2004; Donnelly, 1998; Mozaffari, 2001; Gong, 2002). Thus, what we call ‘the West’ today is more than ever a political project with a transformationalist agenda towards authoritarian regimes. These efforts are disapproved by their respective addressees as a particularistic agenda whose aim was ‘that the world must gradually become a Greater West through the adoption of Western values’.16 Influential voices in Russia reject the promotion of specific values and a particular model of development as interference in internal affairs. The notion of ‘the West’ is omnipresent in this counter-narrative, figuring as the negative point of reference for constructing a great power identity for oneself. Universalist pretensions are not only rejected by an official realist counter-narrative that stresses sovereign equality and the plurality of development models. They have also been fiercely attacked by a nationalist counter-narrative that emphasizes the uniqueness of ‘Russian civilisation’ which ‘stubbornly resists becoming a piece of the West’: a ‘West’ that is accused of intentionally taking advantage of current Russian weaknesses.17 Conclusions Whereas in relation to China and Russia ‘the West’ has largely ceased to be a central signifier of self-description it is still present in external ascriptions where it serves as a marker of difference. From the internal perspective, there is a heterogeneous and often discordant transatlantic subject held together by the abstract reference to human rights and democratic institutions. It seems that these references are a necessary condition for upholding transatlantic cooperation vis-`a-vis China and Russia. One could say that it is the contemporary version of a ‘civilising mission’ that still unites European and North American governments and contributes to cover up internal differences. The foreign policy debates about lifting the EU weapons embargo on China between 2003 and 2005 as well as the other examples mentioned earlier suggest that European and American policy makers see themselves as the vanguard in the promotion of norms and institutions, the validity of which they claim to be universal. 16 17

Sergey Lavrov, ‘Russia and the World in the 21st Century,’ Russia in Global Affairs No. 3, July-September 2008. See e.g. Andrej Isaev, Russia’s Mission: Justice, 16 February 2009, published in English without naming the author at http://www.premier.gov.ru/eng/pda/premier/press/ru/ 2185.html [20.10.2009].

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Authors writing from a postcolonial perspective have interpreted this attitude as an expression of a Eurocentric pattern of thought in which other countries are ‘defined, framed, and judged within a framework of categories that takes the Western experience as the universal norm’ (Muppidi, 2004, p. 16). When it comes to China, however, this certainty about the universal validity of Western norms and institutions furthermore combines with diffuse fears of a shrinking material power basis for projecting them. As the earlier illustrations show, in this case a morally superior but declining ‘West’ is called upon to safeguard the preservation of the liberal international order before it falls prey to ‘rising’ authoritarian great powers. The attribution of this being specifically ‘Western’ is rarely made by political actors in the North Atlantic area themselves. Rather, it is an ascription by the addressees of these practices. The strengthening of nationalist discourses in Russia in response to NATO expansion, and to the universalist claims of transatlantic policies in general, supports those critics who warn against the dangerous effects of such modern civilising missions. Brett Bowden (2004, p. 65) argues that enacting Fukuyama’s vision of a universalized West might in fact produce a Huntingtonian ‘clash of civilisations’ because it establishes and reaffirms a boundary between countries that ‘are’ democracies and those that are subsumed under the label ‘autocracy’, both highly presumptuous simplifications that establish normative hierarchies between states. In the terminology of Chantal Mouffe, the universalization of the Western model that does not ‘make room for a plurality of legitimate alternatives’ forecloses the possibility of legitimate dissent and thereby creates ‘the terrain for the emergence of violent forms of antagonisms’ (Mouffe, 2009, p. 552). According to her, a peaceful and stable world order could be created only on the basis of a mutual recognition of legitimacy. Even if one does not fully endorse her alternative of a ‘multipolar’ world divided into ‘several big regional units with their different cultures and values’ (ibid., p. 553), her conclusions remain instructive. In her view the idea of human rights should be ‘reformulated in a way that permits a pluralism of interpretations’. There might be ‘functional equivalents’ in other cultures that also provide ‘criteria for the recognition of human dignity’ even though they may not be conceptualized as rights of the individual (ibid., p. 557). Similarly, each society should be free to develop ‘vernacular models of democracy’ (ibid., p. 560). Politicians and theorists in the United States and in Europe did not have the privilege to decide which forms of political organization are legitimate and which are not.

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Along the same lines, a number of postcolonial theorists, following Spivak, have claimed that the task of academics was not to provide arguments for the enforcement of a specific model of social and political organization but to make the contextual and contingent character of universalistic claims visible. They have emphasized that researchers should be conscious of the particularity of their own worldview instead of claiming the moral high ground on the basis of a putative ‘higher stage of development’. This practice of judging others from a position of strength tends to patronize the affected persons instead of giving them a voice (Dhawan, 2009; Ehrmann, 2009). This points to another effect of civilising missions. As Thomas Diez (2005) has pointed out in the debate about ‘normative power Europe’, the claim to embody certain normative standards is a very effective way of warding off attention from unpleasant deficits in one’s own polity. Referring to worse conditions in other countries makes it easier to present the situation at home in a brighter light. Self-characterizations of whole countries as ‘being’ democracies generously brush over e.g. the increasing loss of parliamentary control capabilities in Europe (see Klein, 2004; Wagner, 2005). Equally, North American and Western European countries can only be presented as models for human rights if massive infringements in European immigration policies or the US campaign against terrorism are blinded out (see e.g. Buckel and Wissel, 2010; Herborth, in this volume). All of this suggests caution when political elites make claims about human rights and democracy. As Ingeborg Maus (1998, p. 89) reminds us, civil and political rights in their historical genesis have been wrested from the executive in social struggles by the population. They were claimed as rights to be protected from the state. If governments employ them to legitimate their policies, civil rights and liberties easily change into ‘norms of authorization for state apparatuses’ so that ‘individuals are in danger of degenerating from subjects and interpreters of their rights’ to mere material of implementation from above.

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“Europeˮ and the “Westˮ’, 2–3 February 2006, Tampere, Finland, available at http://www.norface.org/files/s1-bonnett.doc, last accessed July 20, 2015. Bowden, Brett (2004), ‘In the Name of Progress and Peace: The ‘Standard of Civilisation’ and the Universalizing Project’, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 29, 1, pp. 43–68. Blume, Georg (2008) China ist kein Reich des B¨osen. Trotz Tibet muss Berlin auf ¨ Peking setzen (Hamburg: Edition Korber Stiftung). Buckel, Sonja and Jens Wissel (2010) ‘State Project Europe: The Transformation of the European Border Regime and the Production of Bare Life’, International Political Sociology 4, 1, pp. 33–49. Bull, Hedley (1984) ‘The Emergence of a Universal International Society’, in Hedley Bull and Adam Watson, eds., The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 117–126. Bull, Hedley and Adam Watson, eds. (1984), The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Deng, Yong (2009) China’s Struggle for Status: The Realignment of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Dhawan, Nikita (2009) ‘Zwischen Empire und Empower: Dekolonisierung und Demokratisierung’, Femina Politica 2, pp. 52–63. Donnelly, Jack (1998) ‘Human Rights: A New Standard of Civilisation?’, International Affairs 74, 1, pp. 1–24. Diez, Thomas (2005) ‘Constructing the Self and Changing Others: Reconsidering “Normative Power Europe”,’ Millennium 33, 3, pp. 613–636. Ehrmann, Jeanette (2009) ‘Traveling, Translating and Transplanting Human Rights. Zur Kritik der Menschenrechte aus postkolonial-feministischer Perspektive’, Femina Politica 2, pp. 84–95. Fairbank, John King (1976) China Perceived: Images and Policies in ChineseAmerican Relations (London: Andr´e Deutsch). Gat, Azar (2007) ‘The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers’, Foreign Affairs 86, 4, pp. 59–69. Gertz, Bill (2002) The China Threat: How the People’s Republic Targets America (Washington, DC: Regnery). Gong, Gerrit W. (1984a) The Standard of Civilisation in International Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press). (1984b) ‘China’s Entry into International Society’, in Hedley Bull and Adam Watson, eds., The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 171–183. (2002) ‘Standards of civilisation today’, in Mehdi Mozaffari, ed., Globalization and Civilisations (London: Routledge), pp. 77–96. Hall, Stuart (1992) ‘The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power’, in Stuart Hall and Bram Gieben, eds., Formations of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press), pp. 275–320. Hansen, Lene (2006) Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London: Routledge). Ikenberry, G. John (2008) ‘The Rise of China and the Future of the West. Can the Liberal System Survive?’, Foreign Affairs 87, 1, pp. 23–37. Jackson, Patrick Th (2003) ‘Defending the West: Occidentalism and the Formation of NATO’, The Journal of Political Philosophy 11, 3, pp. 223–252.

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Nye, Joseph (1995) ‘The Case for Deep Engagement’, Foreign Affairs 74, 4, pp. 90–102. O’Hagan, Jacinta (2002) Conceptualizing the West in International Relations: From Spengler to Said (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). ¨ Osterhammel, Jurgen (1989) China und die Weltgesellschaft. Vom 18. Jahrhundert ¨ bis in unsere Zeit (Munchen: C. H. Beck). (2004) Europa in der atlantischen Welt – Zeitschichten einer Krise (Wien: Picus). (2005) ‘“The Great Work of Uplifting Mankind” Zivilisierungsmissionen und ¨ Moderne’, in Boris Barth and Jurgen Osterhammel, eds., Zivilisierungsmissionen. Imperiale Weltverbesserung im 18. Jahrhundert (Konstanz: UVK), pp. 363–425. (2006) ‘Europe, the “West” and the Civilising Mission’, The 2005 Annual Lecture, German Historical Institute, London. ¨ (2011) Die Verwandlung der Welt: Eine Geschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Munchen: C. H. Beck). Risse-Kappen, Thomas (1996) ‘Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO’, in Peter Katzenstein, ed., The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press), pp. 357–399. Schweller, Randall (1999) ‘Managing the Rise of Great Powers. History and Theory’, in Alastair I. Johnston and Robert Ross, eds., Engaging China. The Management of an Emerging Power (London: Routledge), pp. 1– 31. Shambaugh, David (1996) ‘Containment or Engagement of China? Calculating Beijing’s Responses’, International Security 21, 2, pp. 180–209. (2004) ‘China and Europe: The Emerging Axis’, Current History, September, pp. 243–248. Shambaugh, David and Gudrun Wacker (2008) ‘Introduction’, in idem, eds., American and European Relations with China. Advancing Common Agendas, SWP Research Paper, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin. St¨aheli, Urs (2001) ‘Die politische Theorie der Hegemonie: Ernesto Laclau und Chantal Mouffe’, in Andr´e Brodocz and Gary S. Schaal, eds., Politische Theorien der Gegenwart II. Eine Einfu¨ hrung (Opladen: Barbara Budrich), pp. 194–223. Suzuki, Shogo (2009) Civilisation and Empire: China and Japan’s Encounter with European International Society (London: Routledge). Tammen, Ronald L. and Jacek Kugler (2006) ‘Power Transitions and China-US Conflicts’, Chinese Journal of International Politics, 1, pp. 35–55. Wagner, Wolfgang (2005) ‘The Democratic Legitimacy of European Security and Defence Policy’, European Union Institute for Security Studies, Occasional Paper 57, Paris, April 2005. Walt, Stephen (1985) ‘Alliance Formation and the Balance of World Power’, International Security 9, 4, pp. 3–43. Waltz, Kenneth N. (1993) ‘The Emerging Structure of International Politics’, International Security 18, 2, pp. 44–79.

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10

Russia Becoming Russia A Semi-periphery in Splendid Isolation

Ted Hopf 1

The identity of Russia has been entwined with that of Europe for at least five centuries and with that of America since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 (Neumann, 2008, pp. 13–34). In 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, and Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev were explicitly committed to making Russia part of the West. By 1993, and for the next ten years under Yeltsin and Putin, Russia increasingly identified itself in opposition to US hegemony, but remained open to participation in some kind of multi-polar collective hegemony led by the West. Since 2003, however, a New Russia has emerged, interested neither in participating in Western hegemony, nor in actively balancing against or undermining it. Instead, the New Russia, committed to being authentically Russian, and not some kind of Western or Eurasian hybrid, seems to have taken the exit option, a strategy of selective disengagement with the West and non-participation in its hegemonic order. There are different ways to go about thinking of Russia’s place in the world. In this paper, I discuss Russia’s place in a world of Western hegemony. Hegemony here is understood along lines made familiar by Robert Cox, that is, a systemic model of domestic economic and political governance. In the current era, this is a hegemony of neoliberal democratic capitalism. Following Cox, one might think of three different dimensions of reproduction of, or resistance to, hegemony: material, institutional, and ideational. I would like to modify Cox in suggesting a neo-Gramscian constructivism, one that puts more emphasis on ideas than Cox’s more materialist version of Gramsci, but that, at the same time, puts more emphasis on the material than conventional constructivists. At the same time, I wish to revisit Gramsci’s account of hegemony, in particular, to re-examine Gramsci’s understanding of ‘commonsense’, especially its multiple sites and substantive concerns (Cox, 1981).

1

This chapter builds on Ted Hopf (2013), ‘Common-Sense Constructivism and Hegemony in World Politics’, International Organization 67, 2, pp. 317–354.

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The material dimension figures prominently in many accounts of international hegemony. In Cox’s world, any potential hegemonic challenger must have a material base that can sustain that challenge, and so, I will lay out the contemporary array of material power in the world in some detail. I would like to introduce a world systems theory spin to the issue, however, by exploring whether Russia is situated in the core, semi-periphery, or periphery of the world capitalist economy (Wallerstein, 1974). In realist accounts of hegemony, whether Gilpin or Krasner, ideas are parasitic on pre-given and taken-for-granted material interests (Krasner, 1976; Gilpin, 1981). Hegemonic decline is marked by other rising states, who challenge the hegemon because their objective interests are no longer being served. Despite Wallerstein’s more complicated theory, he too, ultimately buys into the materialist generation of ideas. He stipulates that three major mechanisms enable a world system: (1) concentration of military power in the core, (2) an ideological commitment to the system as a whole, and (3) the existence of a semi-periphery that is both exploiter and exploited. In raising ideology, Wallerstein quickly robs it of any autonomy by asserting that ‘I don’t mean the legitimation of the system . . . I mean rather the degree to which the cadres of the system feel that their own wellbeing is wrapped up in the survival of the system as such’ (Wallerstein, 1974, p. 404). So, it is just material self-interest, as in the realist world. The institutional dimension of hegemony concerns the international mechanisms by which the hegemon’s material power and ideas are reproduced by acquiescent partners. Cox’s model of hegemony treats institutions as transmission belts for economic dominance and the authoritative ideology that justifies the regnant vision of global and domestic economic order. I also think this is critical, but want to expand the parameters of institutions to include the reproduction of hegemonic power more broadly construed. It is not just ideas about how the economy works, or should work, that cement a hegemonic order. There are more than economic institutions, such as the WTO, at work. Participation in security institutions, such as NATO, is also of interest, but is a lot of what we are trying to explain, namely Russia’s place in Western hegemony, as it is an indicator of such participation. Hegemonic orders are also reproduced through the myriad interactions that occur among states and their citizens in cultural, educational, and informational sites. Beyond both economic and security institutions are institutions that are not so tailored to specific functions, but do systematically cultivate hegemonic ideas in their participants. I have in mind here university and graduate education, cultural productions, media-scapes, tourism, and other structures of ideational exchange and contact. According to Gramsci, hegemonic ideas are those that advance the interests of the dominant classes, but are veiled in language that presents

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them as if they were advancing the universal interests of the people in general. Hegemonic power is maximized to the extent that these ideas become taken for granted by the dominated population. A taken-forgranted truth is one that people assume to be so without questioning its empirical or normative validity. A legitimate truth is one that people consciously regard as ‘right’ in a given context. Hegemonic theorists, to the extent that they treat ideas at all, as Cox certainly does, limit themselves to assuming that the only ideas that matter are ideas about political economy. Ikenberry goes further in assuming that the ideas that matter are those about the legitimacy of the hegemonic order (Ikenberry, 2001). Both are certainly important – but I do not think they get to Gramsci’s notion of commonsense. Two problems accompany Cox’s translation of Gramscian hegemony into IR: First, it privileges the material in that even the ideas that matter to Cox are ideas about economic order and class arrangements. Non-material ideas about the good life, justice, political or social order, religion, values, norms, family relations, gender, and such are simply excluded from what matters. And all the latter are the substance of political governance. Moreover, this is not consistent with Gramsci’s understanding of commonsense. In addition, Cox’s ideas are situated exclusively in the minds of ruling elites; publics are absent from Cox’s account of hegemony.2 But Gramsci’s notion of commonsense was all about the masses. I hope to add these two elements, nonmaterial ideas and commonsense, to the account of how hegemony works. For Gramsci, one could not explain whether or not a hegemonic ideology on offer would resonate with the masses/proletariat without an investigation of their everyday commonsense. He asserted that ‘one cannot but start in the first place from common sense’ when analyzing a social setting (1971, p. 425). There are two steps here, one of intelligibility, and one of legitimacy.3 Gramsci addressed both of them. Commonsense is not reducible to popular beliefs about political economy. Gramsci conceptualized it much more broadly, linking it, ultimately, to popular receptivity to different ideas about political economy and its attendant social and political order. Gramsci (1971, pp. 198–199) asked, ‘[c]an modern [revolutionary] theory be in opposition to the “spontaneous” feelings of the masses, what has been formed through everyday experience illuminated by “common sense”, that is, by the traditional popular conception of the world . . . ?’ He 2 3

Andrew Robinson points out that the entire community of Gramsci scholars is guilty of ignoring the masses (Robinson, 2005, p. 470). The editors of Gramsci define commonsense as ‘the uncritical and largely unconscious way of perceiving and understanding the world that has become “common” in any given epoch’ (1971, p. 322).

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answered unequivocally: ‘It cannot be in opposition to them’. It cannot be in opposition, that is, if it ever expects to be, first, understood by them, and second, taken up as the legitimate way to think about the world. Commonsense is ‘closely linked to many beliefs and prejudices, to almost all popular superstitions’ (Gramsci, 1971, p. 396). Gramsci (1971, p. 165) places so much emphasis on these ‘popular beliefs’ that he calls them ‘material forces’ in and of themselves. ‘Commonsense is “the philosophy of non-philosophers”, the conceptualization of the world that is uncritically absorbed’ (Gramsci, 1971, p. 419). What we are speaking here is of the ‘discursive fit’ between the Western hegemonic ideology of neoliberal democratic free market capitalism and Russian popular ideas about how their own local worlds work, and should work. Of course, since ‘every social stratum has its own common sense’ (Gramsci, 1971, p. 326), Russian elites probably have a commonsense that differs from that Russian masses. It might be more or less resonant with Western ideological hegemony. But unless that elite is somehow meaningfully unsocialized by its upbringing, and so doesn’t share the same life-world as most of the Russian people, or, alternatively, fashions such an authoritarian state that it may ignore this popular commonsense, it is the latter that, in the last instance, will determine whether Western hegemony ever takes root in Russia. The question here is how any particular order comes to be seen as legitimate and/or taken for granted, as opposed to illegitimate and/or contestable. To apprehend these different Russian ‘common-senses’, I have sampled a selection of President Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev’s speeches, four eleventh-grade high school history textbooks, a bestselling novella by Viktor Pelevin, a bestselling ‘neo-Soviet’ novel by Aleksandra Marinina, and a single issue of a provincial newspaper from Krasnoiarsk. If we apply these three dimensions of hegemony—the material, the institutional, and the ideational – to contemporary Russia, we have the following tasks: First, establish Russia’s place in the configuration of material power that constitutes Western hegemony today. Second, situate Russia in the institutions that reproduce that hegemony. Third, assess Russia’s elite and commonsensical views on the legitimacy and the taken for granted quality of the contemporary economic, political, and cultural order that we call Western hegemony today. What emerges from this kind of analysis is a Russia materially situated in the semi-periphery, or even periphery in some respects, of the world capitalist economy – hardly a hegemonic competitor. This material semiperipherality tracks closely with only the most selective engagement with

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Western institutions, as if Russia were trying to avoid participating in the reproduction of that Western hegemony of which its economic position makes it a subordinate, and supportive, part. This semi-peripherality is paradoxically accompanied by an elite discourse that aspires to become a neoliberal democratic part of the core, or of Western hegemony. This would make no sense at all if it weren’t that other Russian commonsenses track nicely with a semi-peripheral, neo-Soviet, self-isolating Russia offering social protection to a people loath to tolerate what acceptance of Western hegemony would mean for their daily lives. So, elite declaratory policy is confounded by a broad popular commonsense that resists a future in the West. 1

The Material World

Russia’s material reality situates it securely within the semi-periphery, if not periphery, of Western hegemony. At the same time, however, many material indicators show a Russia that is isolating itself from that hegemony. While of course it cannot escape from reproducing this hegemony, as it remains a raw material appendage of the core and even the semiperiphery, it does play a smaller role in Western hegemony than one would expect. Russia’s Semi-peripherality On most measures, Russia is located squarely in the semi-periphery, ranked above or among peripheral and semi-peripheral players like China, India, and Brazil, but far behind core states like the United States. Russia’s population of 143 million is less than half that of the US, declining at a rate of almost half a percent per year. It is projected to continue declining, at nearly five times the projected rate for Europe in general (Population Division, 2009). Russia’s infant mortality rate was over twice that of the US in 2007, at 13 per 1,000 live births, and life expectancy at birth in 2007 was tragically and notoriously low, 68 (comparable to India, at 65), 10 years less than the US, and 15 years less than the world-leading Japan (World Bank, 2009). As is well known, the US dwarfs the rest of the world taken together, let alone any individual country, in military power. With one important exception: survivable strategic nuclear second strike capability. In that realm, only Russia is its competitor, with about 4,800 operational warheads to the US’s 5,200 (National Resource Defense Council, 2006; Norris & Kristensen, 2008a, 2008b, 2009a, 2009b). While we don’t know what that means in terms of coding the world for polarity, let alone

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hegemony, it does mean that Russia, alone among all contenders, can be confident that its homeland is secure from US military encroachment, and enables a Russian choice of secure isolation. In 2008, Russia’s military budget was $38.2 billion, a mere 7% of the US’s $548 billion (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2009). The Russian GDP of $1.3 trillion in 2007 is about 10% of the US, equal to Brazil, and only slightly more than India. Its per capita GDP of $9,000 is less than 20% of the US. Even when using purchasing power parity (PPP), Russia’s GDP recalculates to $2.1 trillion, still only 14% of the US, and per capita, still only one-third (World Bank, 2009). By 2007, Russia had accumulated $324 billion in DFI. The US leads with just over $2 trillion, or 14% of the world’s total (UNCTAD, 2009). Among Russia’s great assets are its natural resources. It has the largest oil and natural gas reserves outside the Middle East.4 In 2008, total export earnings were $468 billion, of which mineral fuels and their derivatives accounted for almost two-thirds.5 In 1998, such exports had earned only $28 billion. Over 80% of Russian income from exports in 2005 came from only hydrocarbons and metals.6 Russia’s exports in 2008 ranks them 9th globally. Levels of productivity and competitiveness in Russia lag far behind other states. In 2007, for example, Russia produced approximately two metric tons of cereals per hectare harvested, whereas the US produced 6.7, Japan 6.1, China 5.3, Brazil 3.6, and India 2.6 (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2009). Direct foreign investment into Russia continues to grow, but remains concentrated in extractive industries. From 2003 to 2007, net FDI inflows were 8.0, 15.4, 12.9, 29.7, and $55.1 billion, respectively (World Bank 2009). In per capita terms, Russia’s 2007 FDI was $388, Brazil’s $181, China’s $103, and India’s $18. In the OECD, however, it was $1500, almost four times greater than Russia’s (World Bank, 2009; Foreign Investment Advisory Council, 2008, p. 2). Russia is emerging as a significant source of foreign direct investment abroad, especially in the former republics of the Soviet Union and eastern and central Europe. In 2007, Russia’s total DFI abroad amounted to $255.2 billion. The US had $2.8 trillion, Brazil $129.8 billion, China $95.8 billion, and India $29 billion (UNCTAD, 2009). 4

5 6

In 2008, it had the largest proven natural gas reserves, 23.4% of the total, ahead of Iran’s 16% and Saudi Arabia’s 4.1%, and 6.3% of proven oil reserves, against Iran’s 11% and Saudi Arabia’s 21% (British Petroleum, 2009). United Nations Statistics Division, UN Comtrade Database. These figures might even be underestimated, given Russian accounting practices applied to natural resource pricing (Bradshaw, 2006, p. 725).

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Russia’s overseas investments are dominated by the same sectors that dominate its economy, state budget revenues, and foreign trade: energy and metals, accounting for about half Russia’s foreign investment in 2006 (Nestmann, 2008). As of 2007, its top-ranked foreign investor, Lukoil, had foreign assets of $20.8 billion, followed by Gazprom’s $17.2 billion, Norilsk Nikel’s $12.8 billion, and Evraz’s (steel, mining, and vanadium) $6.2 billion (Moscow School of Management Skolovo and Vale Columbia Center, 2008, p. 3). Boston Consulting Group, however, includes only seven Russian companies as ‘global challengers’, based on revenues, international presence, and overseas investments, compared to 44 from China, 21 from India, and 12 from Brazil (Aguiar et al., 2006, p. 9). Russian foreign investment began in the 1990s and concentrated mostly in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), all of which are former Soviet republics. Armenia, Belarus, and Uzbekistan accounted for over three-quarters of that investment and included Russia’s electricity supply monopoly RAO UES’ investment in energy distribution systems in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine; Gazprom’s investments in energy infrastructure in Kazakhstan and Moldova; and Russian cell-phone competitors VimpelCom and AFK Sistema controlling 40% of the CIS market (Nestmann and Olova, 2008, p. 4). In several measures of technological prowess or potential, Russia also is significantly outranked. In 2007, while Japan filed 333,000 resident patent applications, the US 241,000, and China 153,000, Russia managed only 27,000 (World Bank, 2009). In terms of number of scientific journals, the US and UK were first and second (not unrelated to linguistic dominance of English), with 2400 and 1400 journals, respectively; Russia had only 100, outpacing only China, India, and Brazil (Reuters, 2008). In terms of scientific and technical journal articles, in 2005, the United States produced 205,000, the Euro area 158,000, Japan 55,000, China 41,000, India 15,000, Russia 14,000, and Brazil 10,000 (World Bank, 2009). Russia’s export of high-technology goods is meager. In 2007, 28% of US manufactured exports, or $228.7 billion, was classified as high-tech, and 30% of China’s, but only 7% of Russian exports, or $4.1 billion (World Bank, 2009). One area of possible technological competitiveness in Russia, the software industry, has so far been disappointing. While Russian ICT services exports were $2.4 billion, China’s were $5.5 billion, and US exports were $21.3 billion (World Bank, 2009). Software imports to Russia face customs delays, and exports have to receive security clearances. A similar security-driven barrier to high-technology development afflicts the

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development of digital broadcasting and Wi-Fi mobile communications. While 91% of all Russian bandwidth is controlled by the military, security services, and the government, leaving only 9% for private use, 70% is allocated for private use in Europe. According to the Times Education Supplement 2008 rankings of the Top 100 universities in the world for research and teaching, Russia had none, as did India and Brazil. China had 2 (5 counting Hong Kong), the US 37, and the UK 17.7 Russia’s economy minister, German Gref, noted in March 2005 that the inadequate development of human capital was one of the principal problems facing the economy.8 Russia’s Relative Isolation Russia’s relative isolation from the rest of the capitalist world economy is evident from the very small number of foreign affiliates of multinational corporations that are located in Russia. Between 1993 and 2005, it had 1,200, whereas China had 281,000, reflecting its permeability to foreign investment.9 Controls on foreign capital have denied Russian companies technology and capital that could accelerate the exploration, development, and recovery of vast energy reserves. For example, the huge reserves expected in the Arctic Ocean off the Russian northern continental shelf are out of reach today, save with the technologies and expertise developed in the North Sea fields of the UK and Norway. But Russia has not welcomed foreign capital in this area. Like other states, the Russian government has placed controls on foreign investment in ‘strategic’ sectors of the Russian economy. But foreign investors are deterred by more than official government restrictions; the difficulty in doing business stems from many other reasons: corruption, crime, communications problems, the lack of trained and skilled employees, local costs, etc., result in a less connected, and so less competitive, Russia. Unlike the East Asian ‘tigers’ whose states adopted the ‘managed market’ approach to economic growth and development, Russia has adopted 7 8

9

QS Topuniversities (London: Times Higher Education, 2008): http://www.topuniversities .com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2008/overall rankings/top 100 universities. Simon Pirani and German Gref, ‘Interview with German Gref’ (Moscow: Ministry for Economic Development of the Russian Federation, 2005): http://www.economy.gov .ru/wps/wcm/myconnect/economylib/mert/welcome eng/pressservice/eventschronicle/ doc1128521794781. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, World Investment Report 2006 (Geneva: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2006), distributed by World Resources Institute, Earth Trends Environmental Information Portal (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2009): www.earthtrends.wri.org.

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a strategy that privileges isolation over competitiveness. Instead of using state-directed investments to direct capital to industries whose aim, relying on real world market prices, is to create competitive export producers in the medium to long run, it has relied on revenues from exporting energy and raw materials to subsidize the price of energy and electricity for otherwise uncompetitive industries, and to maintain lower prices for average Russians for housing, heat, electricity, and transportation. If we look at the ‘Balassa index of revealed comparative advantage’, we see that Russia’s competitiveness is almost completely concentrated in raw materials and energy. Finished products rarely figure in the mix, with the important exception of weaponry. Of the top twenty most competitive Russian exports on the world market, only nuclear reactors, armaments, fertilizers, rolled steel, and boilers are non-peripheral products.10 If we extend that to the top forty, we add only wooden railroad ties, synthetic rubber, rail freight cars, and railroad tracks. It is hard to escape the conclusion that, from a Wallersteinian world-systems perspective, to use the Soviet lexicon, Russia is a ‘raw material appendage’ of imperialism. In a nutshell: Russia exports fur, but not fur coats. While land-based telephone lines are rapidly being eclipsed by cell phones (as has been the case in Russia), they are still critical for internet access in places that have not yet gone down the digital road. By that measure, Russia’s 31 telephone lines per 100 inhabitants places it ahead of Brazil (21) and China (28), way ahead of India’s 4, but behind the US’ 54 in 2007 (US landlines peaked in 2000, reflecting its transition to broadband and cable, while BRICs are either stable or growing their terrestrial telephony) (World Bank, 2009). The US had 74 internet users per 100 people in 2007; Russia had 21, ranking it behind Brazil (35) and ahead of India (7) and China (16). Like the other BRICs, Russia is subject to a broadband gap. At only 3 broadband subscribers per 100, it is just behind China (5) and India. By comparison, the US has 24 (World Bank, 2009). The US had 81 personal computers per 100 inhabitants in 2006, compared to 13 for Russia, 6 for China, and 3 for India (World Bank, 2009). According to overall rankings of readiness for a knowledge economy, Russia finds itself far behind the US and the West, and mostly behind the other BRICs. For example, the 2009 Network Readiness Index of the World Economic Forum, ranked Russia 74th of 134 countries, while Brazil was 59th, China 46th, India 54th, and US 3rd (Dutta and Mia, 10

These nuclear reactors, fuel, and parts are virtually all sold to former Soviet clients in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The Bushehr reactor in Iran is a notable exception. The freight cars are sold to Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and the Baltic countries who still use wide-gauge Soviet-era tracks.

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2009, p. xvii). The e-readiness ranking of the Economist Intelligence Unit for 2008 ranked Russia 59th of 70 countries, behind China in 56th, India in 54th, Brazil in 42nd, and US in 1st (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2008). In another measure of international intercourse, postal traffic, Russia is relatively isolated. In the age of e-mail, most countries’ international postal traffic peaked in 1996–7, but the figures are striking, nonetheless. Russia ranks second to last among BRICs, above only Brazil, in the sending and receiving of mail internationally, with only about 32 million letters in 2007. This compares to over 800 million in the US in the same year (which peaked at nearly a billion in 1996) (Universal Postal Union, 2008). The Foreign Policy ‘globalization index’ includes measures for political engagement (foreign aid, treaties, organizational memberships, and peacekeeping), personal contacts (phone calls, travel, and remittances), technological connectivity (internet users, hosts, and secure servers), and economic integration (trade and DFI). Of 72 countries rated in 2007, all BRICs are relatively ‘un-globalized’, with Russia ranking 62nd, China 66th, Brazil 67th, and India 71st. While there is a pretty strong correlation between prosperity and high rankings, Jordan still ranked 9th overall, Malaysia 23rd, Panama 30th, Ghana 33rd, the Philippines 38th, and many other lower income countries above the BRICs, including Russia (Kearney and Foreign Policy, 2007). Russian Social Protection By forcing Gazprom and Rosneft to sell gas and oil at well below world market prices at home (this is changing with oil, though much more slowly with natural gas), at subsidized prices to many former Soviet republics (this too has been changing recently, most notably Georgia, Ukraine, and Belarus) and thereby limiting the amount of exports that are sold at world market prices, both Gazprom and Rosneft are denied tens of billions of dollars in profits that could be used to exploit unexplored fields, invest in recovery technologies to exploit older reserves, build new pipelines, and develop liquefied natural gas storage facilities, instead of flaring off billions of dollars of natural gas at the wellhead every year. Not unrelated to these low energy prices, Russia is dead last in how much GDP it produces per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. While the already very badly performing US emits 0.52 metric tons for every $1,000 in GDP in 2006, Russia emits 4.54 metric tons, almost twice that of the next ‘dirtiest’ BRIC, China (Energy Information Administration, 2008). The figures for energy consumption per unit of GDP tell the same

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story. In 2006, the US generated $5 of GDP, in purchasing power parity terms, for every kilogram of oil equivalent of energy consumed, $2 more than Russia (World Bank, 2009). As of 2006, Russia derived 8% of its energy needs from clean technologies, against a low of 3% for China and India and 15% for Brazil, 18% for the Euro area, and 11% for the United States (World Bank, 2009). Overall, the EBRD estimates the private-sector share of Russian GDP in 2006 at 65%, a relatively low number reflecting the centrality of the state in Russia’s neo-Soviet development model. In the past two years, state holding companies have emerged in armaments (Rosoboroneksport, including VAZ, Russia’s largest automobile maker), aircraft, shipbuilding, civilian nuclear power plants, and nanotechnology (Hanson, 2007, 877–878). Of total Russian expenditures on R&D in 2006, only 28.7% came from the private sector (World Bank, 2009) and threequarters of all R&D institutions are state-owned. Russia’s material situation speaks of a semi-peripheral or peripheral participant in Western neoliberal hegemony. It primarily exports raw materials, and what industrial exports it does produce go to peripheral and semi-peripheral importers, not core states. Its economic policy resonates with Latin American import substitution of the 1960s and 1970s, rather than with the neoliberal Washington consensus of the past 30 years. A combination of self-isolation and social protection reduces Russia’s participation in the reproduction of Western hegemony, but its economic dependence on energy exports makes it a participant all the same. Russia’s limited participation in Western institutions is consistent with its material position described earlier. 2

The Institutional World

One way a hegemonic order reproduces itself is through the education, training, and cultivation of global elites, who will govern and manage their own home country’s polities and economies. Among the many theoretical approaches that speak to this issue are Benedict Anderson’s discussion of colonial elite ‘pilgrimages’ through metropolitan centers of training and education; Edward Said’s classic conceptualization of ‘orientalism’ and its cultivation of local elites in the ways of thinking of the metropolis; dependencia’s depiction of a local ‘comprador bourgeois’ as local capitalists inured to thinking in the interests of their metropolitan masters in the core; and Robert Cox’s conceptualization of international institutions as sites where hegemonic ideologies are imparted to the managers of other states.

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One crude measure of this institutional capacity is the number of foreign students in a country’s universities. The US and UK are the predominant destinations for foreign students. In 2006, the US was hosting 586,000, the UK 432,000, and Russia only 49,000 (unfortunately, UNESCO had no data on China). Related to this is the perceived quality of these institutions. In the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of the top 200 universities in the world, Russia has only 1 listed: at 183, Moscow State University. India had 2, and Brazil 1. The top 15 were all in the US and UK. China, meanwhile, had Peking University at 50, two Hong Kong schools at 39 and 42, and another 4 in the top 200 (QS Topuniversities, 2008). More directly related to the training of the managers of the world capitalist economy is the Financial Times 2009 ranking of the world’s top 100 business schools. Reflective of its non-participation in this hegemonic system, Russia has no schools ranked. The Indian School of Business, on the other hand, is ranked 15th, and China’s Ceibs 8th. Six of the top ten schools are located in the US (Financial Times, 2009). Why would Russia have any interest in creating business schools whose curriculum would train managers to operate in the Western system, if it instead aspires to create an economic model independent of Western hegemony? As in the economic realm, where Russia’s levels of investment inflows and multinational affiliates are relatively low, in the institutional realm, the number of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) with branches in Russia is also relatively low. In 2006, Russia had 3,686 INGOs operating on its territory, the US 5,682 (Union of International Associations, 2007, pp. 140–144). Russia is also relatively isolated when it comes to hosting international meetings. The Union of International Associations reports that in 2006, there were almost 8,900 meetings of international organizations with at least 300 participants of which at least 40% were foreigners to the host country. Of the meetings, almost 900, or more than 10%, occurred in the US. Russia hosted only 75, less than India’s 93, Brazil’s 110, or China’s 204 (Union of International Associations, 2007, p. 126). 3

The Commonsensical World

Commonsense has both depth and variety. What is ‘taken for granted’ may be so commonplace it is never articulated. While this level of commonsense is important, I do not have the space and resources here to investigate it in the contemporary Russian context. Taken for granted, commonsense goes unchallenged or uncontested. In other words, there is a kind of consensus about what the world is, or should be, that often

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goes without saying. But when it is said, most people say more or less the same thing. That is the aspect of commonsense that I explore. In order to see just how consensual commonsense might be, I look at different examples. The first is a sample of speeches and press conferences given by Presidents Putin and Medvedev since September 2007. The second are four history textbooks for 17-year-old high school students. The third is a bestselling novella by Viktor Pelevin, A Macedonian Critique of French Thought. The fourth is a bestselling novel by Aleksandra Marinina, A View from Eternity. Good Intentions, her first foray beyond ‘detektivy’, or crime thrillers, which made her famous and rich. The last is the 24th of September, 2009, edition of Segodniashniaia Gazeta/Today’s Newspaper from Krasnoiarsk, a city of 1 million in western Siberia. The expected outcome would be to find a Russian commonsense that justifies, explains, and/or criticizes a Russia that is a relatively isolated semi-periphery in the capitalist world economy. Instead, there is no discourse of Russian identity that entails that vision of Russia. In fact, at least at the elite level, the commonsensical view of Russia is precisely the opposite of the observed reality. I try to explain this anomaly by weaving in the additional commonsenses from the other examples of the Russian discourse. But I try not to impose any kind of false coherence on the obvious discursive contradictions, or incompleteness. I leave Russia puzzling. Becoming a Neoliberal Russia Russia’s material place as an isolated neo-Soviet semi-periphery sits oddly with the repeated declarations of Putin and Medvedev that Russia is on its way to becoming a model neoliberal economy, with free markets, free trade, free capital flows, and deep integration into the world capitalist economy as an exporter of high-technology industrial goods, along with low taxes, and an unobtrusive government. ‘We are open to liberalizing our economy . . . we are not going to cut ourselves off from the world . . . Our economies should be as open as possible for mutual investment . . . Countries should try to put in place as liberal a regime as possible for the work of all businesses’.11 Nothing changed with Medvedev’s assumption of presidency in May 2008. He told a group of German businessmen and politicians that ‘Russia has “come in from the cold”’ after almost a century of isolation and selfisolation.12 ‘A state that shuts itself off from foreign investment cannot 11 12

Putin speaking in Wiesbaden, Germany, on October 15th, 2007. (All Putin and Medvedev speeches are retrieved from kremlin.ru.) June 5th, 2008.

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be considered free’, he said at a July 2008 press conference in Moscow. In virtually every meeting with any foreign delegation, one of the first, almost ritualized, invocations was the summary of trade and investment figures between the two countries. Putin and Medvedev would read the numbers, say they were not that bad, but essentially, they must be increased. Medvedev defended the neoliberal orthodoxy from its critics: ‘We now hear that the very nature of the market economy leads to inequality, environmental destruction and periodic crises. This is simply not true’.13 In the midst of the financial meltdown, Medvedev even warned the US not to go down the road to socialism: ‘The example of the USA, and others too, has shown that it is just one step from self-regulated capitalism to financial socialism. What’s more, we see them ready to nationalize one asset after another’.14 Both Putin and Medvedev not only understood the neoliberal model to be the ideal economic outcome for Russia, but adopted a version of the liberal commercial peace, proclaiming that trade and investment promote understanding and good political relations, as well. ‘It is quite obvious [note the taken-for-granted nature of the language] that growing mutual investments will strengthen security in Europe . . . If states have common business ties, they will never have reasons for grievances, or, in any case, for serious conflicts, since countries will always have to negotiate in such situations’.15 As Putin and Medvedev frequently put it, there are no longer any ideological differences between the US, Europe, and Russia, since ‘we share practically the same views on global development issues and respond in the same way to problems at home’.16 There is an elite neoliberal commonsense in Russia, but it is apparently shared by few outside that elite. With the exception of a reporter in Krasnoiarsk, who argued against protectionism for Russian shoe producers because ‘our designers have no imagination, and we consumers pay for it’, none of the other texts contained a single sentence lauding a neoliberal Russia, or recommending it as Russia’s future.17 This is the first explanation for why we have an isolated semi-peripheral Russia despite an elite neoliberal discourse: the absence of any mass popular support for such an outcome. All the deviations we see from the neoliberal Russia so extolled by Russian elites may be explained by the fact that the vast bulk of Russia is not behaving in 13 14 15 16 17

Speaking in St. Petersburg at a CIS Summit, June 7th, 2008. Speech in Evian, France, October 8th, 2008. Medvedev interview with Spanish media, March 1st, 2009. Medvedev’s speech at the University of Pittsburgh, September 25th, 2009. Natalia Alekseeva, ‘Have They Shod Us?’

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accordance with the master neoliberal plan, nor giving political support for such a future. Both Putin and Medvedev repeatedly point out that Russia is becoming a new Russia; it is not there yet. Russia is becoming a market economy, a democratic society, a law-governed state, and is developing a middle class, a civil society, and a law-abiding citizenry to match. This is the second explanation for the disjuncture between material reality and discursive commonsense. Russia is a work in progress. So, Putin acknowledges that Russia’s ‘industrial products still aren’t competitive enough’.18 Medvedev admits that ‘we are only now beginning to realize how important it is for us to ensure full protection of property rights for Russian citizens, foreign companies, and foreign investors in Russia’.19 Although not intimating a liberal democratic market economy as Russia’s future, all four of the Russian history textbooks placed their histories in the overall context of Russian, Soviet, and then Russian modernization. For those different authors, it made sense to think of the last hundred years as Russia becoming modern, and continuing the project today. Both Putin and Medvedev connect Russia’s neoliberal development with the development of democracy, civil society, and law. As Putin told his Valdai guests in September 2007, ‘there is no question of inventing some kind of home-grown local-style democracy. But this road is not simple. It takes time and the right groundwork and conditions. We need to . . . bring about the growth of the middle class, which is to a large extent the standard-bearer of this ideology’.20 Medvedev, while not ignoring the development of democracy and civil society, has concentrated his attention on law. ‘Our legal system is in a state of development: it has improved and will continue to do so for a long time to come . . . This is a lengthy process, which in any state takes years’.21 Medvedev is especially worried about the fate of law in Russia, for ‘unfortunately, our traditions in this area are not very good . . . Legal nihilism has become deeply entrenched in the national psyche . . . We need to help people develop the realization that we need to be guided in our actions by the law and not by some other instinct’.22 At the September 2008 Valdai meeting, Medvedev went on at length, noting that Russians ‘have no real understanding of the value of 18 19 20 21 22

At the 20th Russia-EU Summit in Portugal, October 26th, 2007. As does Medvedev in an interview with the Chinese media, May 22nd, 2008. At Valdai meeting in Moscow, September 12th, 2008. See also Medvedev’s comments on developing democratic values, on a July 3rd, 2008, G8 press conference in Moscow. June 5th, 2008, meeting with German Chancellor Merkel in Germany. June 25th, 2008, Reuters interview.

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law’. Russia has centuries of history of ‘disregard for the law, especially the 20th’. Russians who take bribes today ‘are not really criminals by nature, they simply don’t believe, that in breaking laws, they are doing anything wrong’.23 Much like the neoliberal model in general, the idea of Russia becoming a democratic state with the rule of law finds little resonance beyond the elite discourse. With the exception of Volobuev’s textbook lamenting the lack of a Russian middle class 100 years ago, and Aleksashkina observing that a law-governed state is one of Medvedev’s objectives, the other texts surveyed here instead vindicate Medvedev’s fears about habitual traditional Russian attitudes toward law and criminality. The presence of corruption and criminality is taken for granted in more popular texts. Pelevin, for example, developed a character who grew up in Soviet Tatarstan, Nasykh (Kika) Nafikov, ‘in whose circle while growing up, nobody would use the words “buyer of stolen goods” as an insult’. In Marinina’s novel, Ministry of Internal Affairs Major Nikoali Golovin has a daughter Tamara, who is the hairdresser to the stars, including to Culture Minister Ekaterina Furtseva. As a consequence, she gets gifts as tips. She meets a boy, a tailor, who makes her a dress. Her father, accusing the tailor of ‘speculation’ for making a dress at his own house, literally throws Tamara out of the house, onto the street, for wearing this ‘black-market’ dress in his house. The book is littered with his tirades over chocolates, flowers, and so forth, that Tamara brings home. It would be safe to say he appears a little ridiculous, or, more specifically, enforcing Soviet law is presented as absurd.24 Meanwhile, Major Golovin’s son-in-law, Rodik, also a policeman, thought that his job of policing ‘crimes against socialist property’ was ridiculous; he should be tracking down ‘real’ criminals, like murderers and robbers (Marinina, 2009, p. 235). In other words, stealing from the state, just as Medvedev feared, shouldn’t even be deemed a crime, thinks Rodik. Finally, of ten articles in Сегоднияшняя Газета, three concerned corruption. Aleksandr Lednyeva’s ‘Rightless Existence’ informed readers that it costs 80,000 rubles [c. $3,000] to get your driver’s license back once it is revoked, part of which goes to pay off the judge. Drunk drivers pay off judges to get their licenses back, and just driving on New Year’s Eve, expect to pay 30,000 rubles to any policeman who happens to stop 23

24

See also his talk at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington on November 16th, 2008, March 1st, 2009, interview with Spanish media, September 25th, 2009, speech at University of Pittsburgh. Major Golovin might be ‘one of those strange Soviet idealists whose appearance in the USSR will remain an eternal mystery’, identified by Pelevin (2009, p. 10).

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you, whether you have been drinking or not. But this article wasn’t a critique of any of these practices, but more a guidebook for what the local corruption market costs. This is exactly the implicitness of criminality that Medvedev would like to ‘drive out of Russian heads’.25 Anna Merzliakov hitchhiked from Krasnoiarsk to Moscow and was picked up by a truck driver, Slava. She asked about policemen and bribes; he told her 500 rubles is enough to get you on your way again. Sure enough, they were stopped. Slava paid 400 rubles for a load that was somehow measured as 500 kilograms heavier than when he left that morning. Artem Mikhailov’s article pointed out that despite the labor code, employers often fined their employees at work. At the end of the article, the author helpfully suggests that if this happens to you, please contact the Inspectorate of Labor. Russia and the Soviet Past One would think that Russia’s relationship to its Soviet past would help explain this gap between an elite neoliberal commonsense and a seemingly more protectionist, isolationist, semi-peripheral one. After all, the latter three features are not incorrect descriptions of the Soviet development model. As expected, there is not a single instance wherein Putin or Medvedev extoll the Soviet domestic project. Instead, they attribute current Russian difficulties to features of that Soviet legacy. This, then, is the third reason the material reality of an isolated semi-peripheral Russia is in conflict with the elite neoliberal commonsense. Putin and Medvedev repeatedly told audiences that the Soviet Union, let alone Imperial Russia, with their authoritarian systems and universalist pretensions in the world, were not coming back.26 Medvedev blamed the Soviet experience for the lack of any idea of property rights in contemporary Russia.27 Pelevin’s Macedonian Critique of French Thought is a relentlessly ironic critique of the Soviet Union. Of the non-elite commonsenses, although Pelevin’s readership is the most elite of any of the texts, it resonates most with Putin and Medvedev’s consistent derogation of the Soviet experience. He depicts Russia’s love-hate relationship with Europe in an ironical manner. As his stand-in for ‘Russia’ he creates the character of Kika Nafikov, a Tatar, who criticizes French (European) philosophy from 25 26

27

September 12th, 2008, Valdai meeting. Putin at the September 14th, 2007, Valdai meeting and Medvedev at the October 8th, 2008, speech in Evian, France as well as on June 23rd, 2009, at the League of Arab States in Cairo, for example. At the September 12th, 2008, Valdai meeting.

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the standpoint of a (Russian) ‘ignoramus who never in his life has read these philosophers, but has only heard several citations and terms from their works’. Pelevin also offers a theory of how the Western victors in the Cold War will ultimately be defeated by the loser – the Soviet Union. The West, but the US in particular, will become infected by the same disease that afflicted the Soviet Union, ‘aggressive military paranoia of their leaders’ (Pelevin, 2009, p. 31). Using good old Soviet jargon, Pelevin (2009, p. 32) concludes that ‘the international financial plunderers (the US and the West) have miscalculated—instead of sucking the blood out of Russia, they have sucked out the centuries-old poisonous rot which they now cannot digest’. What is this ‘blood’ of which Pelevin writes? It is the ‘Soviet afterlife’. As a child, Kika asked, ‘[w]here did the builders of developed socialism go? Where are they now, the happy builders of Magnitka, the virgin land tillers, the subjugators of the Gulag and the Arctic?’ Pelevin lists here all the ‘strange Soviet idealists’ and their grandiose projects. ‘Where have the millions of those who believed in communism in their souls gone after the closure of the Soviet project?’ (Pelevin, 2009, pp. 19–20). Kika finds out that all these good Soviets have been turned into oil, just like ‘dinosaurs’ of previous eras. ‘Here is revealed the mystery of the disappeared Soviet people . . . The life of a miner-Stakhanovite is ticking in a diamond Cartier watch or foaming in a bottle of Dom Perignon’. Others have gotten rich off of the thankless toil of Soviet workers. Pelevin’s hero Kika, living in France and alone understanding the danger to Western civilization from the latter’s consumption of Russian oil, decides to ‘save ungrateful Europe from a new Middle Ages’. ‘For us Tatars, this is not the first time,’ he says, referring to the Russian and Soviet conviction that Russia has saved Europe from the Mongol horde, as well as from Napoleon and Hitler, and now from its Soviet legacy (Pelevin, 2009, p. 52). Marinina’s novel, View from Eternity, is the mirror image of Pelevin’s. It is perhaps the first ‘neo-Soviet’ novel, in the sense that its action is set in the period from 1957 to 1980 and concerns the daily life struggle of an average Soviet family living in Moscow. If this had been written in, say, 1957, it would have been criticized for ‘bezideinost’, or the lack of ideological fervor, for there are no great achievements being made by any of its characters, just daily life being led by pretty average people. It would have escaped Glavlit’s ban or post-publication ‘cultivation’ by the Central Committee Ideology or Culture Department because it neither ‘whitewashed’ Soviet experience, that is, exaggerated its fine points, nor ‘blackened’ the Soviet Union by dwelling on its failings. This novel presents daily Soviet life as if the flaws of the Soviet Union – as identified

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in the textbooks, Pelevin, or Putin’s and Medvedev’s speeches – did not exist, or, at least, were not so important for how daily life was lived. This is a commonsense of rehabilitation of the quotidian Soviet experience, and thus makes the attractive aspects of that experience still more so. While Marinina makes glancing allusions to a man repressed in the 1930s (2009, p. 126), laws against homosexuality (2009, p. 332), and how boring discussing Brezhnev’s memoirs at a party meeting can be (2009, p. 349), the rest of the 400 pages are filled with warm family scenes, good food, summer swims at the countryside dacha, good friends, professional educations and jobs, and all-around solid bourgeois experiences, hardly marred by living without democracy, civil rights, or economic plenty. In sum, there is a commonsense in Russia wherein the Soviet experience is far more highly valued than within the elitist discourse. This helps explain how there can be an elite neoliberal commonsense and an objectively real semi-peripheral isolated Russia. Russia’s Fraternal Relations to Its Close Neighbors To the extent Russia understands itself as having ‘privileged and fraternal’ relations with the eleven non-Baltic former Soviet republics, it helps reproduce its semi-peripheral, relatively isolated material reality. This is the fourth explanation for the disjuncture between an elite espousing a neoliberal Russia and a material reality that does not measure up. Statements such as the following from Putin are de rigueur in elite Russian meetings with European leaders: ‘Russia is a country with deep European roots and traditions. For centuries it has made an invaluable contribution to the development of European spirituality, culture, and simply to civilization itself’.28 Just because these assertions of European identity occur almost exclusively before European audiences does not imply they are meaningless. Russian leaders make no claims of identification with other states or regions, say, the US or China, or Japan, for example. As Medvedev told his Valdai guests in September 2008, ‘Russia is a state one part of which is drawn towards Europe, yet an important part of Russia is located in Asia’. Here he characterized Russia as being European, while merely being on the map in Asia. He went on to say Russians have an interest in Asian culture; a far cry from saying Russian contributes to, or constitutes it. 28

October 26th, 2007, speech at the Russian-EU summit in Portugal. For other examples, see Medvedev’s speech in Germany, June 5th, 2008; his Reuters interview on June 25th, 2008; with French president Sarkozy in Moscow, September 8th, 2008; and his speech in Evian, October 8th, 2008.

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For Russian elites, it is commonsensical that Russia is European. This commonsense is widely shared. Pelevin’s definition of a Macedonian/Russian critic of French/European thought is someone who shoots with both hands without looking, implying that Russians who criticize Europe are ‘ignoramuses’ who don’t know a thing about Europe. In fact, Pelevin’s (2009, p. 15) narrator describes Kika’s criticisms of the French as appropriately ‘applied to himself as well’. Therefore, Russia is Europe. A couple of Marinina’s main characters – Tamara, the hairdresser daughter of Major Golovin, and her friend Aella, the daughter of a Greek communist refugee who becomes a famous plastic surgeon in Moscow – spend most of their time sporting European acquisitions, to the ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ of all in attendance. So, Tamara’s rejected recommendation for her sister Liuba’s wedding dress and hairstyle were from the pages of the West German magazine Burda (Marinina, 2009, pp. 204–205). Aella’s appearance at Liuba’s wedding was a real event in itself: ‘more captivating than the sloppy bride in her provincial dress . . . Her present of linen had been brought back from England by a Central Committee member. Let everyone envy her Italian dress, English shoes, and wonderful jewelry’ (Marinina, 2009, p. 214). The police Major’s son, Rodik, was a fan of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and received their English records as gifts from Aella.29 Aella’s last collection of gifts for Liuba and Rodik included a Finnish coat, American blue jeans, Canadian shirts, and Austrian underwear (Marinina, 2009, p. 277). We could stipulate that this commonsensical identification with Europe is consistent with a neoliberal Russia. But there is another commonsensical identification, at least at the elite level, that justifies a semi-peripheral isolated Russia. This is the fraternal and natural relationship with former Soviet republics. It is fraternal in two senses: ethno-national or linguistic kinship and a shared Soviet life-world. It is natural because of the objective material Soviet communication, transportation, and energy infrastructure left over, and still operative, from Soviet days. These factors combine to create a commonsensical sphere of ‘privileged’ Russian interests, but also a collection of states whose political and economic relations with Russia point towards a neo-Soviet political economy, not a neoliberal one. Putin and Medvedev often characterized relations with other Slavic countries, such as the Ukraine, as ‘fraternal’.30 The common Soviet 29 30

Aella received all these gifts to regift because she married well, had multiple affairs with connected people, and then had a series of rewarding relationships thereafter. For example, Putin in his meeting with Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovich in Moscow, October 9th, 2007; Putin, with Belarussian president Lukashenka in Minsk, December 14th, 2007; Putin in Sofia to open the Year of Russia in Bulgaria, January 17th, 2008; and Medvedev with the Serbian president in Moscow, December 24th, 2008.

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past was also valued, for ‘we speak the same economic language and the historical traditions and roots of our ties give our cooperation a special character and create a particularly high level of contact between our people in general’.31 As Medvedev put it in Astana in July 2008, referring to a common past going back centuries, including the hardships of war and cultivating the virgin lands under Khrushchev, ‘the fact that a boundary line was drawn between our countries in the 1990s does not mean that the hearts of our people are divided’. These natural commonalities have resulted in initial Russian efforts to reconstruct a ‘soft’ Soviet Union among the former Soviet republics. The harder edge to this sense of community is the assertion that ‘these countries are where the Russian Federation has privileged interests . . . countries with which we have been living side by side for decades, centuries, now, and with which we share the same roots . . . countries where Russian is spoken, and that share a similar economic system and share much in terms of culture’.32 The construction of the softer post-Soviet space is driven by economic rationality and shared cultural and historical life-worlds. In February 2009, Moscow established a $10 billion Eurasian Economic Community ‘anti-crisis fund’, designed to assist post-Soviet economies without resorting to Western institutions, and reporting requirements and conditionality, like the IMF. Moscow State University has opened a branch campus in Baku, Azerbaijan.33 In June 2009, Medvedev announced the creation of a ‘special Shanghai Cooperation Organization University’, another prospective institutionalization of Russia’s neo-Soviet identity in the region. A shared Soviet past is turning into an asset, but at the expense of the neoliberal project. Conclusions Russia, a semi-peripheral player in the world capitalist economy, existentially secure behind its nuclear arsenal, and possessor of enormous natural resources desired by the core members of the Western hegemonic system, has become a relatively isolated producer of raw material exports, despite an elite commitment to a neoliberal development model. Relative to its level of development and economic size, Russia is isolated from the world. Its controls on foreign investment, protection of 31

32 33

Medvedev at meeting with President Nazarbaev in Kazakhstan, May 22nd, 2008. It is notable that Medvedev extended this logic of common development to Eastern Europe in his Valdai meeting in September 2008. Medvedev’s talk at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, November 16th, 2008. Medvedev’s press conference in Baku, July 7th, 2008.

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indigenous industries, absence from the WTO, low numbers of multinational affiliates, lack of preparedness for a knowledge economy, low number of international meetings and international non-governmental organizations, low volume of international postal traffic, only one topranked university, and no top-ranked business school add up to a country that interacts with the world far less than we would predict from material indicators alone. Nuclear weapons have given Russia the possibility to contemplate a secure place in which to develop its neo-Soviet development model. The Russian economy is large enough to permit contemplation of an import-substitution strategy on a continental scale, permitting a market economy with Russian characteristics. These characteristics – social protection, a strong state, centralized order, and reduced interaction with, and dependence on, the West – reduces Russia’s capacity to reproduce the hegemonic Western neoliberal model. Foreign direct investment in Russia is permitted on strictly Russian terms and is reflected in the low multinational corporate presence in Russia. Global demand for Russian energy and metals is foreseeable for the medium to long term. Price declines are tolerable, as societal Russian demands are not reducible to maximum prosperity, but are leavened with ideas of social protection, secure borders, and Russian uniqueness, advanced by a strong state. Russian direct foreign investment abroad reinforces Russia’s role as a semi-periphery of Western hegemony. Russian capital penetrating the weaker economies on its borders is precisely the kind of material advantage offered by the world capitalist economy that justify Russia’s participation and support. The only friction in this area is provided by continuing Western efforts to encourage regime change or NATO membership on Russia’s borders. Russia’s exit, albeit partial, from Western hegemony is reflected in the smaller things, such as not investing in a business school whose curriculum and faculty would be judged by the West as ‘appropriate’ for a top ranked status, or in its indifference to hosting international meetings on its territory. It is summed up in low scores concerning globalization in general. Of course, no country can exit completely from any global hegemony, including the Western one. The limits of protection from Western hegemony, or at least the world capitalist economy component of that hegemony, were evident in the autumn of 2008, with a 50% decline in Russian stock markets, wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars in value in less than a month. Who knows what happened to the Russian sovereign wealth and stabilization funds?

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Russia’s objective material position as an isolated semi-periphery stands in stark contrast with the Russian elite’s repeated affirmations of a neoliberal future for Russia. The disjuncture is perhaps explained by the fact that alternative commonsenses exist within Russia – commonsenses that are not supportive of free markets and liberal democracy.

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Hopf, Ted (2002) Social Construction of International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Ikenberry, G. John (2001) After Victory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Kearney, A. K. and Foreign Policy (2007) ‘The Globalization Index’, Foreign Policy, 163, pp. 69–76. Krasner, Stephen D. (1976) ‘State Power and the Structure of World Trade’, World Politics 28, 3, pp. 317–343. Levandovskii, Andrei A., Iurii A. Shchetinov, and Sergei V. Mironenko (2009) Istoriia Rossii. XX-Nachalo XXI Veka (Moscow: Prosveshchenie). Marinina, Aleksandra (2009) Взгляд из Вечности. Благие Намерениия;/View from Eternity. Good Intentions (EKSMO: Moscow). Moscow School of Management Skolkovo and Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable National Development (2008) Skolkovo Research: Emerging Russian Multinationals: Achievements and Challenges (New York: Vale Columbia Center of Columbia University), http://www.vcc.columbia.edu/projects/ documents/2008RussiaRankings–SKOLKOVO.pdf. The National Bureau of Asian Research, ‘Russia and the WTO: A Progress Report’, Seattle, March 2007. Natural Resource Defense Council (2006) ‘Global Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945– 2006,’ Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62, 4, pp. 64–67. Nestmann, Thorsten and Daria Orlova (30 April 2008) ‘Russia’s Outward Investment’ (Frankfurt am Main: Deutsche Bank Research). Neumann, Iver (2008) ‘Russia’s Standing as a Great Power, 1494–1815’, in Ted Hopf, ed., Russia’s European Choice (New York: Palgrave), pp. 13–34. Norris, Robert S. and Hans M. Kristensen (2008a) ‘French Nuclear Forces, 2008’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 64, 4, pp. 52–54. (2008b) ‘Indian Nuclear Forces, 2008’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 64, 5, pp. 38–40. (2009a) ‘U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2009’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 65, 2, pp. 59–69. (2009b) ‘Russian Nuclear Forces, 2009’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 65, 3, pp. 55–64. Nye, Joseph S. (2004) Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2009a) ‘Economic Survey of the Russian Federation, 2009’, OECD Policy Brief, http://www .oecd.org/dataoecd/50/18/43225190.pdf. (2009b) ‘Economic Survey of Russia 2009: Making the Banking Sector More Resilient and Efficient’ (Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), http://www.oecd.org/document/54/0,3343,en 2649 33733 43301750 1 1 1 1,00.html. Pelevin, Victor (2009) Makedonskaia Kritika Frantsuzskoi Mysli (A Macedonian Critique of French Thought) (Moscow: Eksmo). Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (2008) World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision (New York: United Nations), http://esa.un.org/unpp.

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Topuniversities (2008) (London: Times Higher Education), worlduniversityrankings/results/2008/overall rankings/top 100 universities. Robinson, Andrew (2005) ‘Towards an Intellectual Reformation: The Critique of Common Sense and the Forgotten Revolutionary Project of Gramscian Theory’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8, 4, pp. 469–481. Sagers, Matthew J. (2007) ‘Developments in Russian Gas Production since 1998’, Eurasian Geography and Economics 48, 6, pp. 651–698. Said, Edward (1978) Orientalism (New York: Pantheon). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (2009) The SIPRI Military Expenditures Database (Stockholm: SIPRI), http://millexdata.spiri.org. Tarr, David (2007) ‘Russian Accession to WTO: An Assessment’, Eurasian Geography and Economics 48, 3, pp. 306–319. Thomson Reuters (2008) ISI Web of Knowledge (London: Thomson Reuters), http://isiwebofknowlege.com. Union of International Associations (2007) Yearbook of International Organizations Volume 5: Statistics, Visualizations, and Patterns (Brussels: Union of International Associations). United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (2009) FDIStat (Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), https://stats.unctad.org. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (2009) FAOStat Database (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization). Universal Postal Union (2008) Postal Statistics Database (Bern, Switzerland: Universal Postal Union), http://www.upu.int/pls/ap/ssp report.main? p language=AN&p choice=BROWSE. Volkov, Vadim (2009) ‘Will the Financial Crisis Lead to Political Change in Russia?’, PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo, 81. Volobuev, Oleg V., Valerii A. Klokov, Mikhail V. Ponomarev, and Vasilii A. Rogozhkin (2009) Istoriia: Rossiia i Mir 11 (Moscow: Drofa). Wallerstein, Immanuel (1974) ‘The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 16, 4, pp. 387–415. World Bank (2009) World Development Indicators Online (New York: World Bank), http://publications.worldbank.org/WDI. Zagladin, Nikita V. and Nodari A. Simoniia (2008) Istoriia Rossii I Mira (Moscow: Russkoe Slovo).

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Part III

Transformations of the Western Institutional Order

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Defending ‘the West’? The Transformation of National Security in the European Union

Gunther Hellmann

The ‘future of the West’ has habitually been linked to the question of how much the democracies of North America and EUrope1 succeeded in cooperating closely on matters of international security. Opinions have always been diverging.2 Yet recently, it seems as if the debate has largely been abandoned.3 The starting point for this chapter is the assumption that it is worthwhile to take another look at one dimension of ‘the future of the West’ debate. Approaching ‘the West’ via the European Union as an international security actor, I argue, provides for an interesting angle in answering the question what it may mean to ‘defend “the West”’. Of course, whether or not the EU is actually properly called an ‘international security actor’ is in itself contentious. On the one hand, there are still a few observers who argue that the EU essentially remains reducible to its member states, thus denying that it can properly be called an international actor. On the other hand, there is an ever-increasing majority which, even though it no longer questions the actorness of the EU itself, is 1

2

3

It has become a common practice to speak of ‘Europe’ referring both to the EU and the European continent. As we will see shortly, even official EU documents often take the EU pars pro toto for the whole continent. Since obviously not all European states belong to the EU, I will use ‘EUrope’ and ‘EUropean’ to denote that I am only referring to the EU part of Europe. Broadly speaking, one can identify three positions: (a) the realist view that NATO, the institutional embodiment of ‘the West’ in the form of a military alliance, was doomed since the threat had gone (Waltz, 1990, p. 210; 2000, pp. 18–20; Walt, 1990, p. vii; 1997, p. 173; Mearsheimer, 2001, pp. 394–395); (b) the neoliberal institutionalist view that institutional investments by Western states in NATO would be adapted to a changing security environment (Wallander and Keohane, 1999; Wallander, 2000; McCalla, 1996), and (c) the social constructivist view that the liberal transatlantic security community was essentially unaffected by the end of the Cold War since the states and societies making it up were tied together by a common bond of both values and interests (Risse, 1995, pp. 32–33; 1996; Schimmelfennig, 1998). Cf. Hellmann, 2008; Franke, 2010. Franke has suggested an interesting solution to the ‘puzzle’ of NATO’s survival, arguing that the continued existence of the Western alliance is largely due to gradual take-over by NATO of functions and tasks traditionally performed by the UN.

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nevertheless divided as to whether some of the normal qualities of ‘great power’ status might indeed be attributed to it or whether it is a special ‘normative’ or ‘civilian’ power.4 In this chapter I argue that shifting understandings of security within the EU on the one hand and the institutional changes agreed upon in the field of foreign and security policy on the other are crucial in accounting for the special role played by the EU as a global security actor. More specifically, I try to show that the European Union is an evolving institutional expression of an understanding of transnational security which is distinct from the concept of national security – embodied almost prototypically under the US administration of George W. Bush. In gradually shifting towards such an understanding of security, EUropeans have also started to accentuate a distinct European identity different from a ‘West’ associated with the US. Pointedly, one may even say that the EU has stopped defending ‘the West’ – at least as far as it had been defined in terms of national security in the past (and embodied in the US as a prototypical ‘national security state’; Stuart, 2008). However, this shifting understanding of security is not the result of some higher EUropean ethical standard as sometimes implied by proponents of a ‘normative power Europe’. Rather, I postulate a self-reinforcing dynamic in the mutually constitutive relationship between EUropean historical experience and institutional development in the field of foreign and security policy on the one hand and conceptual change in security thinking on the other which essentially results from the interplay between an improved threat environment, shifts in global power and patterns of alignment, material resources at the disposal of the EU, regional and global ambitions of both member states and EU representatives, and institutional constraints within the EU-polity. As a result, the EU has become a unique global security player which is not adequately captured with traditional categories such as ‘great power’ or ‘normative power’.5 The next section takes a closer look at the European Security Strategy of 2003 and the shifting understanding of security articulated therein.

4 5

For a sample of views, see Buzan, 2004; Kupchan, 2003; Manners, 2002, 2013; Norheim-Martinsen, 2013; Posen, 2006; Zielonka, 2008. See also King, 2005, and M´erand, 2008. King argues that European armed forces are becoming ‘transnational’ as a result of a broader transformation of the EUropean state rewarding task specialization and efficiency. M´erand’s explanation of the emergence of ‘transnational military solidarity’ in the EU (p. 11) emphasizes the creation of an ‘international defence field’ with specific rules and structures as well as ‘the Europeanization of foreign policymaking’ in general (pp. 45, 4). In contrast my argument places stronger emphasis on what may also be called a transformation of ‘security mentality’.

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Subsequent sections shed light on the observed shift by tracing it historically and by sharpening it conceptually. Third, I discuss how this fits in with specific institutional capacities and constraints of the EU. 1

The European Security Strategy and the Defense of ‘the West’

In the aftermaths of the Kosovo War in 1998, the EU has undergone a rapid and far-reaching transformation of its institutional structures and political ambitions in the field of international security. The Lisbon Treaty of 2007 consolidated a complex web of institutions in foreign and defense policy (Norheim-Martinsen, 2013). Moreover, the adoption of a European Security Strategy (ESS) four years earlier had for the first time laid out a common understanding of European security ambitions which had hitherto been associated only with national security documents (European Security Strategy, henceforth ESS, 2003). In the following pages I argue that these institutional changes and the understandings of security expressed most prominently in the ESS are indicative of a more far-reaching transformation of the European Union as a proponent of transnational security distinct from the concept of national security. The European Security Strategy is a good source to illustrate how the EU has increasingly positioned itself as a global security actor. If one approaches the ESS with an eye on possible traces of references to core values normally associated with ‘the West’,6 the most striking aspect is the absence of almost any such references. To be sure, references to ‘the spread of democracy’ and ‘fundamental freedoms and human rights’ do show up in the ESS, too (ESS, 2003, pp. 2, 4). However, this is almost always in the context of recounting specific European experiences which have provided for ‘peace and stability unprecedented in European history’. They are being put forward as a model to be replicated in other regions around the world based on lessons learned in Europe, 6

When I use the term ‘West’ or ‘Western’, I am not insinuating that there is something like an essentialized entity called ‘Western civilization’ (Huntington, 1996). Rather, much like Patrick Jackson (2006, pp. 27–32), I consider ‘the West’ as a ‘rhetorical commonplace’ which is deployed in various forms and under specific circumstances in order to provide legitimation for certain courses of action and/or to draw a line between an ‘Us’ and a ‘Them’. Such identity building and line drawing has to invoke certain commonalities justifying inclusion and exclusion. As far as ‘the West’ is concerned, these commonalities, as described from the inside, usually include references to values such as ‘freedom’, ‘liberty’ and ‘human rights’, ‘liberal democracy’, ‘individualism’, ‘Christian heritage’. For a diverse set of ascriptions of what ‘the West’ or ‘Western’ presumably stands for, see Klein, 1994, p. 124; Gress, 1998; Bonnett, 2004, pp. 15, 26; Jackson, 2006, pp. 59–63.

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not as policy objectives accompanying a securitizing move. Rather than unfolding as a narrative of typical Western values, the description of threats and adequate responses to them strikes a marked contrast to the National Security Strategy signed by President Bush in 2006. Three aspects stand out. First, the description of the international security environment is based on an analysis of ‘global challenges’ which stem from processes beyond the intention and control of any particular actor. ‘Increasingly open borders in which the internal and external aspects of security are indissolubly linked’, the ESS states, provide for an environment of ‘increased European dependence – and so vulnerability – on an interconnected infrastructure’ which is threatened by ‘conflict’ and the resulting blocks to development. In such a world, ‘security is a precondition of development’ (ESS, 2003, pp. 2, 13). Second, rather than identifying (or alluding to) state or non-state actors which presumably pose a threat to EUropean security, the ESS strikes a remarkable note in listing only essentially de-territorialized threats ‘which are more diverse, less visible and less predictable’ (ESS, 2003, p. 3). In particular, among the five ‘key threats’ explicitly mentioned (terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, state failure, and organized crime), only ‘terrorism’ and ‘organized crime’ are sometimes referred to in terms of potential non-state actors embodying those threats. The overarching theme, however, is one in which the EU finds itself in a globalized world facing essentially de-territorialized global threat scenarios, which pose challenges and risks to the very foundation of the current global order, thus threatening not only the EU itself.7 Consequently, the traditional concept of defense has to be adapted: ‘Our traditional concept of self-defense . . . was based on the threat of invasion . . . The new threats are dynamic . . . Conflict prevention and threat prevention cannot start too early. In contrast to the massive visible threat in the Cold War, none of the new threats is purely military; nor can any be tackled by purely military means. Each requires a mixture of instruments’ (ESS, 2003, p. 7).8 Third, the ESS lays out two overarching security objectives beyond addressing those five ‘key threats’, which – even though they draw a line 7

8

The contrast with the US National Security Strategy of 2006 is once again quite striking. The terms ‘threat(s)’ or ‘threaten(ing)’ are mentioned more than 40 times in US NSS 2006 (in contrast to a surprisingly high number of 37 times in the case of the ESS, which is only 14 pages long compared to more than 50 pages in the case of US NSS 2006). Yet in more than half of the contexts in which these terms are used in the US NSS 2006, the threat is connected directly to either a state or a non-state actor. Note that a reference to ‘pre-emptive engagement’ which figures prominently in US NSS and which had been included in a draft version of the ESS was removed in the final version (Toje, 2008, p. 131).

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territorially between the regional and the global – are mainly characterized by a common projection of the EU’s own experience to these sites. The promotion of ‘a ring of well governed countries to the East of the European Union and on to the borders of the Mediterranean’ (ESS 2003, p. 8) essentially extrapolates the positive lessons learned as a result of the pacifying effects of European integration among the initial Western European members of the EC. At the global level, this call for deepening networks of cooperation is translated into a call for the ‘development of a stronger international society, well functioning international institutions and a rule-based international order’ (ESS, 2003, p. 9). ‘Effective multilateralism’ is said to be the central tool for realizing this order. In sum, mining the ESS in search of ‘Western’ traces familiar from the US security vocabulary is a rather disappointing exercise. The same still applies if one examines similar documents a decade later (see US National Security Strategy, 2015; Mogherini, 2015b). As a matter of fact, the degree of divergence is surprising – especially in comparison to other documents which the EU had signed jointly with the US in the 1990s.9 Rather than sketching a security strategy which emphasizes the joint defense of values (as in US NSS 2002), the ESS emphasizes values such as ‘stability’, ‘multilateralism’ and ‘cooperation’, the ‘rule of law’, and the equivalent of what used to be called ‘peaceful coexistence’ during the Cold War. It emphasizes the de-territorialized nature of contemporary threats and the ‘necessity’ of ‘cooperation’, ‘peaceful’ conflict resolution, and ‘preventive engagement’ and also reaches out to those states which ‘have placed themselves outside the bounds of international society’, offering ‘assistance’ if they were to ‘rejoin the international community’ (ESS, 2003, p. 10). To be sure, in the three explicit references to the US the transatlantic relationship continues to be cherished as ‘irreplaceable’ and as instrumental in securing the peace in Europe and beyond. Yet the US is also described right on the very first page in rather distanced terms as ‘a military actor’, which has been left ‘in a dominant position’ after the end of the Cold War. The ESS then adds: ‘However, no single country is able to tackle today’s complex problems on its own’ (ESS, 2003, pp. 1, 9, 13). In this context, the EU sees itself ‘inevitably’ as ‘a global player’ because of the sheer size of the Union in terms of member states, population, and GNP (ESS, 2003, p. 1). Military power is an element in this calculus, but it is never mentioned alone. Thus, rather than drawing on a reservoir of ‘Western’ ideals and 9

For one of those rare documents, see ‘Transatlantic Declaration’ between the EU and the US from 22 November 1990 and the ‘New Transatlantic Agenda’ from 3 December 1995 (available at http://ec.europa.eu/external relations/us/index en.htm).

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values similar to the US, the EU self-consciously positions itself as a genuinely European player, offering a universalist approach to govern the globe which is based on the specific experience of Europe itself. In particular, the multilateralist and incrementalist ‘modus vivendi’ approach to dealing with security challenges crystallizes the European experience of centuries of great power rivalry, war, and competition – including the experience of the project of European integration and ‘peaceful coexistence’ and d´etente in the context of the ‘CSCE/OSCE process’. In the following section, I argue that shifting understandings of security within the EU are crucial in accounting for a distinctly ‘European’ articulation of ‘Western’ values which also accompanies a repositioning of the EU as a global security actor different from the US. 2

European Integration and the Transformation of National Security

The first dimension in explaining the discursive positioning of the EU in the context of ESS and accompanying documents is a radical, yet only gradually unfolding shift in the understanding of security from traditional notions of national security to transnational security. In this section, I first contextualize this transformation historically before briefly outlining the ideal-typical differences between the two conceptually. The basis for the shift from national security to transnational security was already laid in the immediate aftermath of World War II when Western Europeans opted for reconciliation and integration. From the very beginning of the European integration project after World War II, there has been a fundamental tension between two dynamics. On the one hand, there was the overarching bipolar constellation – most dramatically encapsulated in the threat of nuclear annihilation – which figured as ‘overlay’ for European states.10 On the other hand, internal pressures, based on recent war experiences, waxed to transcend traditional interstate security fixations with an eye at forming a ‘security community’ (Deutsch et al., 1957). Given their size, geographical location, and historical experience, the two superpowers were largely unfettered by the integration pressures facing Western European states. Whereas Western Europeans faced the need to pool material resources for economic advantage and to seek reconciliation among former ‘hereditary enemies’, the US and the Soviet Union could grant to the ‘national security state’ what 10

In the vocabulary of Buzan et al. (1998, p. 12) ‘overlay’ describes a situation in which the direct presence of outside powers in a region is so pervasive that it suppresses ‘the normal operation of security dynamics’ among local states.

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it seemed to require. As a matter of fact, the term national security and the mind-set accompanying it had just been invented in the US a few years earlier in order to promote ‘a purpose of the state over and above the purposes of the medley of interests that compose it’.11 Against the background of the shock of Pearl Harbor and the invention of nuclear weapons, the formation of a national security mind-set was comparatively easy to achieve in the US. In Western Europe the situation was quite different. To be sure, there seemed to be little choice but to follow the imperatives of nuclear strategizing, given the condition of overlay in general and the prevailing perception of a Soviet threat in particular. Britain and France could even create a semblance of pursuing a semi-independent nuclear strategy individually while the overwhelming majority of similarly positioned dependent allies gathered under the ‘umbrella’ of US nuclear protection. Yet for Western Europeans it became increasingly clear even during the Cold War that the strong notion of national security which still seemed achievable for the superpowers was beyond reach for Europeans – including Western Europe’s nuclear-armed but only medium-sized powers. In a sense, Europeans became trapped in an only recently invented national security logic which many of them had already written off as fundamentally flawed in the wake of World War II. The creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1950 was the institutional expression of lessons learned which were also visible in the discursive shift from ‘hereditary enmity’ in Franco-German relations to reconciliation and integration. Moreover, the spread of nuclear weapons all over Europe during the course of the 1950s and 1960s gradually debunked traditional understandings of territorial defense so central to the concept of national security. Yet even in the late 1960s, the use of nuclear weapons was still considered an integral part of NATO strategies. In addition, academic debates were at that time still characterized to a large extent by traditional notions of ‘strategic studies’ as well as close connections between the academy and government circles (Buzan and Hansen, 2009, pp. 87–98). Even the concept of security itself (not to mention its conceptual history) was hardly examined in detail. This only changed when the proliferation of peace research started introducing radically alternative visions and definitions of key concepts, including (in the early 1980s) a concept of ‘common 11

This is how Pendleton Herring, an influential political scientist at the time, propagated the need to replace the concept of ‘national interest’ with the concept of national security in 1930s and 1940s in order to mobilize all available resources for the defence of the US (Herring, 1936, p. 380); see also Stuart, 2008, and Neocleous, 2006. The findings by Stuart and Neocleous are not yet reflected in an otherwise excellent conceptual history of security provided by Ole Wæver (Wæver, 2002).

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security’, which was initially coined by the so-called Palme Commission (The Independent Commission, 1982). It turned out to become ‘the single most successful “expansive” concept of the 1980s’ (Buzan and Hansen, 2009, p. 136). Where national security focused on the state as key referent object of security, ‘common security’ emphasized that the main threats emanated from global problems (such as the threat of nuclear war, poverty, and environmental degradation) which affected all societies collectively and could only be secured jointly.12 In Western Europe, this concept found many supporters. Some observers even argued that the ideas associated with it paved the way for Gorbachev’s reform strategy of perestroika and, therefore, eventually the end of the Cold War (Evangelista, 1999, pp. 185–192). However, since the condition of overlay and the underlying patterns of threat assessment (as it was most prominently expressed in NATO’s ‘dual track decision’ from December 1979 and the subsequent deployment of Pershing II missiles) had not yet changed during the 1980s, the notion of ‘collective defense’ as enshrined in NATO clearly continued to provide the overarching guiding frame of official ‘transatlantic’ security thinking under the prevailing conditions of the Cold War. For the European Community, the co-existence of security overlay and deepening integration created an almost schizophrenic situation between security thinking and institutional choices at the intra-European level and at the ‘East-West’ level. In the shadow of transatlantic ‘collective defense’ structures, the European Community prospered as a ‘security community’. Among EC member states war had indeed become unthinkable. Notions such as ‘common security’ were an almost logical outgrowth of a joint experience of peace-making via cooperation and integration. Moreover, the societies of Western Europe had tremendously prospered economically. Yet under the conditions of the Cold War, all of this depended crucially on a ‘security umbrella’ provided by the US, since the EC security community was not designed to operate either as an organisation of collective security nor as an organisation of collective defense (alliance) in the traditional sense. In other words, it provided no mutual security guarantees for an attack on one of its members from within (collective security) or from outside (collective defense). Collective security seemed both practically unnecessary and diplomatically counterproductive because peace had essentially been achieved. Collective defense in 12

See The Independent Commission, 1982. In a jointly written paper by official representatives from the Federal Republic’s Social Democrats and East Germany’s Communist Party, the two sides agreed that ‘today peace can no longer be secured by arming against each other, it can only be secured by negotiating it with one another’; see Der Streit der Ideologien, 1987, p. 54.

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the context of the EC was obviously unrealistic (given the overwhelming Soviet threat) and highly undesirable (given the interest in keeping the US involved in European security matters by means of a strong NATO). As a matter of fact, some of the European Community’s key members were at pains to ensure that collective defense remained the prerogative of NATO – and hence under the US nuclear umbrella. In this sense, the institutional choices made by Western European states in the context of NATO and the European Community up until the end of the Cold War essentially expressed both the continued dominance of a national security frame of reference (if only due to entrapment under conditions of superpower overlay) and the recognition that security could ultimately not be achieved on either the national level or the level of the European Community. The end of the Cold War had far-reaching effects for prevailing conceptions of security in Europe. This is most visible in the institutional development of what came to be the European Union. Within a couple of years after German unification in 1990, the threat scenarios which had dominated Western European security thinking vanished. With overlay gradually receding, regional security dynamics were free once again to unfold. The most radical break with the past came with the spreading realization that large-scale war – the most likely and devastating scenario of violent conflict in Europe for much of the previous decades – had become highly improbable. At the same time, two sets of overarching new security challenges13 moved to the forefront of security thinking in the EU. First, there was the challenge to extend the peace-building and welfare-creation experience of the integration project in Western Europe to neighbouring regions. The parallel deepening and widening of those institutional structures which were credited for overcoming the bipolar confrontation (i.e. EC/EU and NATO) seemed to be the obvious path to follow. The second challenge came in the face of war returning to Europe in the course of the break-up of Yugoslavia. However, the challenge was not that war could possibly spread into EU territory. Rather, the breakup of Yugoslavia turned into a formative experience for the EU as to how ‘failing states’ might come about, what damaging effects such state failures produce for their environment, and what needed to be done in order to contain or counter such effects. After the war in Kosovo, this experience even propelled the British to shed their inhibitions about creating new EUropean security structures. In this interpretation the adoption 13

The switch in vocabulary from ‘threats’ to ‘risks’ and ‘challenges’ is important here. See, for example, the language used in the first major statement on united Germany’s national security in 1994 (Weissbuch, 1994, esp. pp. 23–35).

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of the European Security Strategy in 2003 marked the most important stage in resolving the previously mentioned schizophrenic positioning between a prima facie national security/alliance discourse in response to superpower overlay and a common security/security community discourse with respect to intra-EU security challenges and d´etente between East and West. Creating ESDP (and later CSDP) and formulating ESS thus involved a double move of militarizing the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) while at the same time further transnationalizing the underlying understanding of security. 3

‘Transnational Security’ versus ‘National Security’

The argument of a crucial conceptual difference between national security and transnational security is based on an analytical distinction between three ideal types of security: human security, national security, and transnational security (see Table 11.1). Given the current focus, I concentrate on the latter two here. Three observations regarding the differences between the two should be emphasized. First, for conceptions of national security, the distinction between domestic and foreign, between internal and external has always been central. As a consequence, borders have played a crucial role in defining what security meant. The notion of ‘threat’ was almost always closely linked to territorially bound actors, accompanying notions of military attack stemming from some territory ‘abroad’ as well as the emphasis on territorial defense this implied. For the EU and its emerging understanding of transnational security, the project of integration from its beginnings has meant not only to render borders permeable, but to alter their very meaning. Internal security (that is peace within the EC) resulted from not engaging in traditional security practices, including the symbolic emphasis on territorial borders as dividing lines. Therefore, where the logic of national security dictates the territorial containment of potential opponents, the logic of transnational security conceives of borders as markers which challenge the respective sides to arrive – at a minimum – at a modus vivendi. In the history of the EU after World War II, borders have even become crucial markers for the conclusion of cooperative arrangements, which have shaped the integration project internally – from the common agricultural market all the way to the so-called Schengen agreement on border controls within the EU. It is this experience which has been externalized after the end of the Cold War via the policy of ‘enlargement’. Instead of containing (or appeasing) potential enemies or opponents by keeping them at arms’ length, neighbours were co-opted or bound in a network of diverse

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Table 11.1 Three conceptions of security Human security

National security

Transnational security

Referent object

individual

(nation) state

associations, groupings of states; (trans-) national societies and groups; international community

Imputed ‘culture(s) of anarchy’

Hobbesian, Lockean, Kantian

Hobbesian, Lockean

Lockean, Kantian

Core stakes

individual/collective survival; basic human needs; ‘good life’

survival and welfare of nation state ‘international stability’/cooperative inter-state relations; non-violent conflict resolution

‘Sources’ of threat

state failure, environmental degradation, ‘underdevelopment’

competing powers (e.g. states, terrorist organizations)

‘uncertainty’; state failure (terrorism); great power hegemony

Instruments for providing

development assistance; state-building capabilities; multilateral coordination via IOs/INGOs

armies, sophisticated weaponry and strategy, diplomacy

multilateral coordination; capabilities for crisis management (military and civilian); economic assistance; state building capabilities; rule of law

Primary securitizing agents

IO bureaucracies, transnational lobbies

state officials and national security state officials, IO bureaucracies, lobbies transnational lobbies

Primary audience of securitizing speech act

‘international community’, ‘activist’ governments, IOs and INGOs

domestic society, national security decision-making elites

security

other governments, IOs and INGOs, ‘international community’

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institutional arrangements and/or joint decision-making. This externalization of the EU’s internal system of governance remained a driving force even after the biggest wave of accession had been completed in 2004 and after a certain ‘enlargement fatigue’ has taken hold. The confrontation between the EU and Russia over Ukraine after 2013 testifies to that. The EU’s so-called Neighbourhood Policy, which has been anticipated in the ESS, was designed to draw neighbouring states to the East and South into an institutionalized dialogue with the aim of arriving at joint decisions on internal and external policies. While eventual EU-membership seemed unlikely for these neighbours, the EU has nevertheless been fairly successful in establishing closer relations with them. To be sure, borders have not disappeared within the EU and with neighbours. In some respects they have even been fortified, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. Moreover, borders continue to serve as means of distinguishing between different degrees of inclusion and exclusion. However, even in those cases where the EU’s external borders re-emphasize the dividing function of borders, they function differently compared to the traditional role of borders in the logic of national security. Rather than being barriers against potential military aggressors, they function primarily as policed checkpoints for migrants, criminals, or terrorists. This intuition of transforming external security relationships to internal security relationships is characteristic for the discursive shift from national security to transnational security. Thinking security transnationally rather than nationally does not per se transform common securitization practices. However, it does represent an important dispositional shift in terms of how securitization is actually approached. Whether securitizing agents frame threats against the background of a Hobbesian ‘culture of anarchy’ or a Kantian ‘culture of anarchy’ (Wendt, 1999) makes a crucial difference as to the identification of sources of threat, key referent objects of security, and instruments for countering such threats. Moreover, if the sources of threats are located in structures (such as failed states or organized crime) as well as agents (dictators, Mafia organizations), the policies for countering such threats effectively need to address both sides. Under such conditions, appealing to the security of the nation state (as the key referent object) in order to mobilize effectively will no longer suffice. Selling threats has to appeal to other (national as well as transnational) actors as well. The distinction between national security and transnational security captures this difference in disposition. As the analysis of the ESS has shown, such a dispositional shift from national security to transnational security is clearly visible at the level of the EU. However, does that also apply to the level of the nation state within the EU? Since traditional

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national security strategies have appeared shortly before, in parallel to or after the adoption of the ESS, a closer look at this type of security document should reveal how deeply the suggested transformation from national security and transnational security actually runs. Given limitations of space, I examine only a sample of EU member states which have been known for comparatively strong views on either nation state reservations vis-`a-vis the Union or more far-reaching supranational orientations. As the following summary shows, the views expressed in these documents are largely in accordance with the underlying transnational security mentality of the ESS. Although the hierarchy of core values to be defended sticks with traditional notions of security – most national security strategies examined mention the ‘security for the nation and its citizens’ (as in the case of the UK) or some equivalent – the sources of threat are depicted in very different terms compared to the traditional national security focus on competing powers. A quote from the UK document is quite representative in this regard. Right at the start the document states explicitly that ‘no state threatens the United Kingdom directly’. Rather, ‘the security landscape’ is described as ‘increasingly complex and unpredictable’ (UK National Security Strategy, 2008, p. 3, emphasis added). This type of language is found in almost all national security strategies. Even those EU members most fiercely protecting the symbols of national sovereignty are granting that traditional notions of national security no longer provide for the most likely scenarios. In the Czech national security strategy, for instance, ‘ensuring of CR existence, its sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence; defense of democracy and legislative state, protection of human rights and liberty of inhabitants’ are still considered to be the outstanding ‘vital interests’. However, the document also states that ‘large-scale armed conflict interfering CR territory and territory of another NATO member country in predictable time horizontal is very improbable’ (Czech Republic Military Strategy, 2004, p. 3). Competition for energy and dependence on energy imports, in contrast, is often identified as a new threat. Among the European public it even ranks highest alongside global warming, well ahead of international terrorism, Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, and Islamic fundamentalism (see German Marshall Fund, 2008, p. 9). In the Polish National Security Strategy of 2007, the country’s dependence on supplies of energy ‘from one source’ is identified as the single ‘greatest external threat to our security’. Moreover, ‘the collapse of the process of European integration as a result of states returning to making decisions solely through the prism of their national interests . . . as well as EU’s inability to architect a common policy’ are explicitly mentioned as ‘a potential threat to Poland’s interests’

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(Polish National Security Strategy, 2007, pp. 8–9). Thus, even those EU member states best known for their strong national sentiments emphasize that traditional notions of national security are inappropriate to guide their security policy. Such a change in perspective is more visible still if one examines the national security strategy equivalents of older Western European member states of the EU. For instance, in anticipating what later came to be known as ‘pooling and sharing’ (Howorth, 2014, pp. 83–95), the Dutch ‘Framework Memorandum on the 2000 White Paper’ categorically stated well before the ESS that ‘Dutch armed forces will always act as part of an international alliance of forces’ and that therefore ‘task specialisation is attractive in the light of the international orientation of our armed forces’ (Netherlands Framework Memorandum, 2000). The Belgian Defense Ministry went even further when it called for ‘an equitable intra-European burden sharing agreed by everyone’ in the EU based on the expectation that ‘the European Defense development will sooner or later probably lead to the alignment of the defense efforts made by the EU member states’. Countries would then be expected to meet a ‘minimum defense expenditure level – expressed for example in relation to GDP’. Based on this reasoning the documents provide an ‘evaluation of the defense effort’ of its allies, which lets Belgium’s own contribution look quite meager indeed (all references Belgian Modernisation Plan, 1999, p. 5). The latter two examples are among the clearest indications of a radical shift in understanding security, which goes even beyond the mere necessity of coordinating security policies within a multilateral/supranational framework. In the light of the sharpening financial crisis, the Council of the European Union explicitly stressed the need ‘to turn the financial crisis and its impact on national defense budgets into an opportunity’ by relying more explicitly on ‘pooling and sharing options’ as well as ‘role specialisation’ (EU, 2010). Although observers are sceptical whether much will be achieved along those lines any time soon, even those EU member states who hesitate to take steps as far-reaching as the Dutch abolishment of all tanks14 no longer consider each other to be potential aggressors. Some, such as the Dutch, even imagine each other as partners with whom one readily shares ‘task specialisation’ in the most sacred area of national sovereignty and mutual budgetary adjustments based on an agreed-upon ‘equitable intra-European burden sharing’. Thus, even those documents which in their very name are supposed to spell out 14

Cf. Netherlands to cut 12,000 defense posts, Agence France Press (English), 8 April 2011.

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a national security vision articulate an understanding of security which emphasizes the transnational sources of threat as well as the necessity to organize a transnational (EUropean) response. In sum, the postulated transformation of security thinking from national security to transnational security in Europe is not merely window dressing at the level of the EU. It reaches all the way down to security thinking at the national level. To be sure, this shift has a lot to do with the fact that judgments have converged among decision-makers, experts, and citizens15 all over EUrope and that classical security contingencies (such as large-scale war) are considered to be highly unlikely. Moreover, the continuing financial crisis certainly reinforces such incentives. Be that as it may, though, a convergence of opinion along the lines of an increased need for pooling and sharing is merely a necessary condition for the postulated shift, not a sufficient one. A shift in fundamental beliefs about security is an important additional condition. 4

Institutional Reasons for the Transformation of ‘National’ Security

As has been argued earlier, such a shift has been in the making a long time before ESDP/CSDP (and ESS) actually came into existence. Yet it materialized only in the context of changing intra-EUropean conditions (wars in ex-Yugoslavia; institutional reform in the EU, etc.) in the course of the 1990s. Moreover, this shift has been reinforced by additional factors, among which the specific institutional set-up and constraints of the European Union stand out. One can easily see that the EU emphasizes multilateralism and ‘pre-military’ crisis management tools not only because of shifting security beliefs but also because it could never convincingly project power in the way traditional great powers have done in the first place. As a matter of fact, one of the key features of the EU’s institutional structure in the realm of security and defense is its structural incapacity to attack. This term was coined in the 1980s by the Peace Research community in order to project a specific organisational 15

A Eurobarometer survey from Fall 2014 (Eurobarometer, 2014b) found that 76 percent of EUropeans were supporting ‘a common defence and security policy among EU Members’, the strongest support for any ‘common’ policy at the EU level (p. 188). Even in the most sceptical member countries (Ireland, Sweden, and the UK) clear majorities were in favor (with 57, 59, and 61 percent, respectively). See also Chelotti, 2015, who has analyzed how national officials perceive their role when participating in EU foreign policy committees. She finds that they ‘systematically assume not only intergovernmental but also supranational role conceptions’, understanding EU foreign policy as a collective political project with the objective to craft a common European policy.

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predisposition for European states under the condition of the Cold War ¨ (Muller, 1987). States were described as being structurally incapable of attacking other states if they were functionally incapable of launching large-scale offensive military operations due to their inventory of weaponry, patterns of troop deployment, and strategic positioning. If anything, the EU fits this bill quite well – however, somewhat differently. In purely material terms, the EU looks quite capable of launching large-scale military interventions. It is fairly well equipped with modern tools of military intervention. Yet it is simply inconceivable that the EU will invade and occupy foreign territory or threaten others militarily in order to extract economic or political benefits. Even if a military operation such as the US intervention in Iraq 2003 were to become possible materially at some point, it is, at this point, inconceivable for institutional reasons since the EU-polity lacks one of the core competences of the state – namely the competence to declare a state of emergency. As the Copenhagen School convincingly argues, this is a crucial prerequisite for a successful securitizing move in a national security world. Given these institutional constraints, the EU is, at best, capable of soft securitization. Even if some securitizing actor speaking in the name of the EU would try to apply a rhetoric of exception and emergency approximating a typical securitization move in a national security framework, he or she would be unlikely to succeed in mobilizing state-of-emergency-like responses from the audience at the level of the EU simply because the EU-polity is not empowered with state-of-emergency competences – and unlikely to become thus empowered in the foreseeable future. Not even the most outspoken proponents of moving towards closer integration in the field of foreign and security policy are proposing such far-reaching measures.16 Thus, given the way the EU-polity is organized, even bold securitization moves (for example, the Polish call for an ‘energy-NATO’ within the EU after the gas boycott) are unlikely to initiate the type of security practices familiar from the state-of-emergency responses in a national security mode of thinking. Even successful securitization moves will be subjected to the normal decision-making procedures of the EU – which include the unanimity rule and national prerogatives in the field of hard-core security issues in CSDP. Moreover, even if they are leading to a collective 16

The horizon of possibilities in this regard is well drawn up in Maurer and Schild, 2003, one of several ‘synopses’ of proposals submitted during the ‘European Convention’ set up to draft a ‘Constitution for Europe’. One should also note the discrepancy between strong support for a ‘common security policy’ (see fn. 16) and the lack of support regarding ‘the creation of an EU army’ which is opposed by 47 percent of Europeans (with 46 percent in favour). See Eurobarometer, 2014a, pp. 29–30.

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decision in support of a systematic application of force (as in the case of the EU mandate to fight pirates in the Gulf of Aden) they essentially remain within a transnational security framework, emphasizing both the provision of a collective good and the analogy to the ‘policing’ function in support of international law. None of the EU’s operations under the CSDP framework has thus far challenged these limits. In this sense, the transformation of the security discourse of the EU and its institutional choices nicely feed on each other: The shift to a transnational security mentality is an expression of both changing beliefs and institutional capabilities and constraints. Again, the argument is not that the EU is embodying a type of power which somehow meets higher ethical standards. Rather, I argue that several mutually reinforcing factors – historical lessons learned, a changing threat environment, increasing fiscal constraints, the joint experience of close cooperation within the EU context, and institutional capabilities and constraints – together provide for a problem description in response to which the transformation of security thinking and practice is considered to be an adequate coping strategy. Moreover, positioning the EU as a proponent of a different understanding of transnational security also yielded additional advantages. First, it helped to differentiate the EU from the US at a time when the Bush administration pursued an aggressive strategy of ‘pre-emption’ (US NSS, 2002, p. 15; US NSS, 2006, pp. 18, 23). Second, and more generally, it positioned the EU as a unique and active, yet unthreatening actor on the global stage, thus projecting an image of itself which was easily reconcilable with available material resources, institutional constraints, and the ambition of European citizens. Finally, the joint focus on transnational security in the global realm also had the positive (if unintended) side effect of keeping the EU actively engaged in common security concerns beyond the EU, which helped to dampen any remaining fears that EUrope’s own history might return (Wæver, 1998). Two additional observations are worth emphasizing. First, most EU member states continue to have an institutional alternative if they wanted to engage in a traditional military manner. Indeed, the different ways in which EU member states have made use of NATO and EU resources in the Balkans and in Afghanistan offer ample evidence for the advantages of these two institutional alternatives. Among others, one (largely unintended) effect of this preference structure has been a division of labor between the two organizations which has essentially limited CSDP missions to types of intervention, which, in turn, have stayed close to the practice of traditional peace-keeping and civilian state-building processes – i.e. those security practices closer in line with the concept

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of transnational security. This can be (and has been) turned into an advantage by the EU by fostering the image of a non-threatening security actor. From the perspective of the member states of both the EU and NATO, this division of labor also had the additional advantage of providing a choice of two alternative institutional routes for intervening abroad. The point worth stressing from a normative point of view is, however, that with these alternatives EU member states have also preserved an option for intervening along traditional lines of national security if they choose accordingly. However, if the argument made here is correct, security practices along more traditional national security lines need to be reconciled with transnational security requirements. Second, despite the official commitment to the United Nations (ESS, 2003, p. 9), the development of ESDP/CSDP has clearly affected EUropean participation in UN missions. Since the late 1990s, contributions from EU member states to UN-led operations have steadily declined (Dobbins et al., 2008, p. 230). The propagation of effective multilateralism therefore also meant that the creation of ESDP/CSDP had opened up a new option to EU member states. In this sense, the shift to a transnational security mode also has the advantage of globally positioning the EU as a serious and independent actor in its own right. 5

Conclusion

The escalating crisis in Ukraine in 2015 has undermined the vision expressed in the ESS in 2003 of ‘progress towards a strategic partnership’ with Russia. For the time being the EU has also failed in achieving the self-set ‘task . . . to promote a ring of well governed countries to the East of the European Union’ (ESS, 2003, pp. 14, 8; see also Mogherini, 2015b, p. 2). Nevertheless, the EU sticks to its role as a proponent of transnational security, emphasizing non-military tools of crisis management even in the face of increasing instability in its neighbourhood (Nov´aky, 2015; Mogherini, 2015b). Both internal and external factors continue to provide for a self-reinforcing dynamic. As far as its internal institutional set-up is concerned, supranationalization in defense remains unlikely. As a result, security practices emphasizing soft securitization and consensus building continue to exert their influence. In addition, the demand for those services which the EU can provide in a unique fashion is likely to increase in the foreseeable future. Since the EU poses much less of a military threat compared to traditional great powers and since it continues to have, despite economic and financial difficulties back home, valuable benefits to offer which others cannot (or do not want to) provide, it is likely that EU security services will remain attractive. Thus, it

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is precisely the novel positioning of the EU as a proponent of a different understanding of security which underlines its unique global role. In this fashion the EU also distinguishes itself collectively ever more clearly from the other prominent ‘Western’ player, the US. Where US senators called for ‘defensive arms’ for Ukraine in early 2015 in order to ‘increase the military cost to the Russian forces’ (McCain, 2015), EUropean representatives rejected such a move and called for ceasefire negotiations instead. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, even explicitly distanced herself from ‘people in “the West” arguing democracy can be exported militarily. We have all realised . . . how bad this idea was’ (Mogherini, 2015a). To be sure, the ‘transatlantic bond’ continues to be characterized as ‘unique’. Yet, the ‘global power shift’ which is diagnosed in strategic analyses of the European External Action Service (EEAS) is also seen to highlight ‘the risk of a structural transatlantic drift’. At the same time EUropeans increasingly reserve the ‘key ingredient of lasting cooperation: a common system of values or interests to bind [states] into a cohesive force’ exclusively for cooperation within the EU (all quotes Mogherini, 2015b, pp. 12–13, 10). Thus, in EUrope ‘“the West” – a word in which everything is put together and confused’ (Mogherini, 2015a) – progressively stands for something different from the EU. To the extent that EUropeans identify the US with ‘the West’, it represents the embodiment of a traditional understanding of national security. To the extent that EUrope and the US are jointly, if only indirectly, linked to ‘the West’, this alternative reading offered is one where ‘the West’ aims for ‘a peaceful transition towards a new global order which reflects universal values and in which the interests of all stakeholders are respected within the confines of agreed rules’. It remains to be seen to what extent a EUropean reading of the future global landscape – shaped, in an official EU reading, by three ‘global powers – notably the US, the EU and China’ (Mogherini, 2015b, p. 10) – may converge to a ‘Western’ perspective shared with the US – where the European continent in general, and the EUropean Union in particular, are relegated to second place in terms of the geostrategic priorities and alliances of the US as ‘a Pacific power’ (US National Security Strategy, 2015, pp. 24–25). REFERENCES Belgian Modernisation Plan (1999) ‘The Modernisation Plan 2000–2015 of the Belgian Armed Forces’, available at http://www.stratobs.eu/docs/data/ documents/files/15.pdf (19 July 2016). Bonnett, Alastair (2004) The Idea of the West. Culture, Politics and History (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

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Buzan, Barry (2004) The United States and the Great Powers: World Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge: Polity Press). Buzan, Barry and Lene Hansen (2009) The Evolution of International Security Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde (1998) Security: A New Framework of Analysis (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner). Chelotti, Nicola (2015) ‘A “Diplomatic Republic of Europe”? Explaining Role Conceptions in EU Foreign Policy’, Cooperation and Conflict 50, 2, pp. 190– 210. Czech Republic Military Strategy 2004 available at http://www.army.cz/assets/ files/5819/czrms2004.doc, (19 July 2016). Der Streit der Ideologien und die gemeinsame Sicherheit 1987: Gemein¨ sames Papier der Grundwertekommission der SPD und der Akademie fur Gesellschaftswissenschaften beim ZK der SED, 27. August 1987, available at http://library.fes.de/library/netzquelle/ddr/politik/pdf/verfemte 4.pdf (19 July 2016). Deutsch, Karl W., et al. (1957) Political Community and the North Atlantic Area (New York: Greenwood Press). Dobbins, James et al. (2008) Europe’s Role in Nation-Building: From the Balkans to the Congo (Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation). EU (2008) Presidency Conclusions following the extraordinary European Council meeting, 1 September 2008, Brussels No 12594/2/08 REV2, available at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms Data/docs/pressData/ en/ec/102545.pdf (19 July 2016). EU (2010) Press Release following the 3055th and 3056th Meetings of the Council of the European Union, Brussels, 9 December 2010, available at http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/10/st17/st17745.en10.pdf (19 July 2016). Eurobarometer (2014a) ‘Future of Europe’ (Special Eurobarometer Survey No. 413, March 2014), available at http://ec.europa.eu/public opinion/archives/ ebs/ebs 413 en.pdf (19 July 2016). Eurobarometer (2014b) ‘Public Opinion in the European Union’ (Standard Eurobarometer Survey No. 82, Autumn 2014), available at http:// ec.europa.eu/public opinion/archives/eb/eb82/eb82 publ en.pdf (19 July 2016). European Security Strategy (2003) ‘A Secure Europe in a Better World’, Brussels: Council of the European Union, 12 December 2003, available at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/78367.pdf (19 July 2016). Evangelista, Matthew (1999) Unarmed Forces: The Transnational Movement to End the Cold War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). Franke, Ulrich (2010) Die NATO nach 1989: Das R¨atsel ihres Fortbestandes (Wiesbaden: VS Verlagsgesellschaft). German Marshall Fund (2008) ‘Transatlantic Trends 2008. Key Findings’, available at http://trends.gmfus.org/files/archived/doc/2008 english key.pdf (19 July 2016). Gress, David (1998) From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (New York: The Free Press).

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12

How the ‘End of the Cold War’ Ended Matthew Evangelista

In December 1992, then Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev made a speech in Stockholm that came as a great shock to his audience. He appeared before a meeting of the Conference (now Organization) for Security and Cooperation in Europe to criticize the policies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as ‘essentially unchanged’ from the days of the Cold War. He mentioned NATO’s ‘military presence in the Baltic and other regions of the territory of the former Soviet Union’ and its interference ‘in Bosnia and the internal affairs of Yugoslavia’. Furthermore, he indicated that the CSCE should not expect its norms to apply fully in the space of the former Soviet Union, which Kozyrev called ‘a post-imperial space, in which Russia has to defend its interests using all available means, including military and economic ones’. He called for a reconstitution of the former Soviet republics into a new federation or confederation.1 Kozyrev waited an hour to return to the rostrum and explain that his speech was just a rhetorical device – others came to call it ‘shock diplomacy’. Kozyrev said he intended his speech to depict the views of nationalist opponents of post-Soviet Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin. The conservative New York Times columnist William Safire described it as the speech of ‘the next Russian foreign minister – the one who might represent a government that has brushed aside Boris Yeltsin and the democratic reformers’ (Safire, 1992). 1

What the End of the Cold War Meant

Even among experts there is disagreement on when to date the end of the Cold War, with some observers wanting to equate it with the end of the Soviet Union (Evangelista, 2015a). If so, Kozyrev’s speech came within a year of that event. Even those who would want to place the end of the Cold War somewhat earlier – say, sometime between the beginning of 1

Kozyrev’s text is available at http://www.kasparov.ru/material.php?id=50C87303010D3.

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Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the fall of the Berlin Wall – would still have seen the ‘post–Cold War’ honeymoon period last no more than half a dozen years, if Kozyrev’s speech had been real. Had Kozyrev’s speech been real, he would in effect have announced the end of the ‘end of the Cold War’ – what many heralded as a new post–Cold War normative order. And what, for him, would have been the explanation for the end of that short-lived order? He cited material factors – or at least the expectation of material factors – including NATO’s military presence on former Soviet territory and interference in the internal affairs of ex-Yugoslavia. And this was more than a year before NATO intervened militarily in Bosnia in February 1994; seven years before it launched its first war against Serbia in defense of the separatist republic of Kosovo in March 1999; seven years before it took on new members from the former Warsaw Pact – Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary; and twelve years before NATO expanded into the Baltic region, the focus of Kozyrev’s prescient remarks. Material factors cannot explain anything in international politics without reference to how they are perceived and acted upon by states – or, more accurately, representatives of states. Kozyrev claimed that Russia’s leaders interpreted NATO’s behavior as indicating that the alliance’s motives had remained ‘essentially unchanged’, despite the end of the Cold War, and he suggested that Russia would act accordingly. Some weeks after dropping his Stockholm bomb, Kozyrev was invited to elaborate on his views for the NATO Review. At the time, Kozyrev was widely viewed as a proponent of Russia’s integration into the international system dominated by the United States and its allies. Nevertheless, in his choice of words he adopted the conventional dichotomy that at a discursive level already seems to preclude that integration. When he writes, for example, that ‘Russia is, of course, interested in the further development of cooperation with the West’, he implies that Russia’s identity is distinct from the West. It can cooperate with the West, it can end the Cold War conflict with the West, but it cannot become part of the West (Kozyrev, 1993). At other points, he implies that Russia does indeed want to become part of the West, or, as he puts it, to ‘join the club of recognized democratic states with market economies, on a basis of equality’. Kozyrev favors the ‘renewal of Russia and its transition to a civilized condition’ – interestingly, he seems to equate ‘civilization’ with the West – but he acknowledges that it will be ‘no easy task’ (ibid.). So even at the height of post–Cold War optimism, one of Russia’s most Western-oriented government officials revealed a certain ambivalence about his uses of the West. By maintaining the dichotomy ‘Russia vs. the West’, he alluded to the difficulties posed by the goal of ‘civilizing’ Russia

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into a Western identity. The best he could do was to try to shore up the political phenomenon, the normative order that I call the ‘end of the Cold War’. That order came increasingly under strain during the first years of the new millennium and was especially threatened during the summer of 2008. The subsequent election of Barack Obama as US president led to expectations of some improvement in Russia’s relations with the West, but few expected a revival of the optimism of the early 1990s. For most observers the violent conflict in Ukraine starting in 2014, and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, marked the definitive end of the ‘end of the Cold War’ order. Yet, as this chapter argues, the end had been in sight already for many years. In this chapter, I pose the question of what ended the ‘end of the Cold War’ as a period that seemed to herald a new normative order, and, at a minimum, a de-securitization of relations between Russia and the West. De-securitization in its most straightforward sense means that former rivals, who viewed their relationship mainly in terms of military threats, engage in a process that reduces the salience of threat as a defining characteristic of the relationship. In the case of Russia and the NATO alliance, if that process did indeed begin to reverse itself by the turn of the millennium, what might explain what we could call ‘re-securitization’? I consider first the material changes that realists might adduce to explain re-securitization: expansion of the NATO alliance to Russia’s borders, proposed deployment of elements of a ballistic-missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, and NATO’s war against Serbia and subsequent recognition of the secession of Kosovo. I then turn briefly to explanations for how the Cold War ended and suggest that despite the tenacity of some realist accounts, a focus on material factors alone fails to explain the de-securitization of East-West relations at a time when the Soviet Union still deployed massive military power, including tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. The mutual perception of threat between East and West effectively evaporated, even as the weapons that ostensibly constituted that threat remained largely in place and were only gradually reduced thereafter. As with the process of securitization itself, what constructivists call the intersubjective understandings of the Cold War rivals changed – in this case from enmity to near amity – before the material manifestations of the change fully emerged.2 I then consider how this intersubjective element figures in the developments of the late 1990s and beyond. I suggest that we confront a problem of potential theoretical inconsistency. In particular, I 2

On the relationship between securitization and the emerging military competition, see Buzan et al., 1998, esp. pp. 56–59.

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wonder whether we can reconcile a non-realist explanation for the end of the Cold War with a recognition that, within a decade, factors such as NATO expansion and encirclement of Russia were already contributing to a deterioration in relations and the prospect of re-securitization if not full return to a Cold War. First, let me define what two things I mean to say by the ‘end of the Cold War’. The first one I have suggested already – ‘the end of the Cold War’ as a new, post–Cold War normative order. That order entailed a de-securitization of relations between the United States and its NATO allies on the one hand, and post-Soviet Russia, on the other. We witnessed a transformation in intersubjective understanding. Countries that used to recognize each other as enemies no longer considered themselves enemies, but came up with new names, like ‘partners’. Practical, material manifestations of this new intersubjective understanding appeared – things that realists would acknowledge, namely vast reductions in the levels of conventional military forces stationed in central Europe, for example. Additionally, Russia and the United States reduced their nuclear weapons and stopped pointing them at each other, or so they claimed. In the economic domain, the United States claimed to have a stake in Russian economic (and political) stability, and began providing economic aid through the international financial institutions it dominated. In the energy sector, European officials proposed an Energy Charter that would include the members of the rival blocs. Fifty-two countries, including every European country except Serbia and all of the former republics of the USSR including Russia, became members of the Energy Charter Conference by signing a political declaration at The Hague in December 1991. As the Charter’s official website proclaims, the conference took place ‘at a time when the end of the Cold War offered an unprecedented opportunity to overcome previous economic divisions’. Reflecting aspirations for the new post–Cold War normative order, the Energy Charter Treaty that followed in 1994 declared as its ‘fundamental aim’ to ‘strengthen the rule of law on energy issues, by creating a level playing field of rules to be observed by all participating governments, thereby mitigating risks associated with energy-related investment and trade’.3 As with those in the security realm, these economic aspirations were soon disappointed, as price and supply of energy became one of the most contentious issues in Russia’s relations with its Western neighbors. 3

See the official website, http://www.encharter.org/. I thank Jens van Scherpenberg for calling my attention to the importance of the Energy Charter in this context, and for other helpful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.

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The second meaning of the ‘end of the Cold War’ refers to the way political scientists and others explain how the Cold War itself ended. One cannot claim that there is a consensus on this matter, as there is still a lot of disagreement on the specifics of how the Cold War ended. What one can claim, however, is that the most simplistic explanations, themselves extremes along the spectrum from exclusively material to exclusively ideational accounts, are generally understood to be inadequate. This is not a very strong claim, as simplistic accounts are inadequate by definition. But we can use our common acknowledgment of the limits of explanations that rely solely on material factors or solely on ideas (this common acknowledgment, something like a scholarly consensus, is my second meaning of ‘the end of the Cold War’) as a way to understand what happened to the normative order that we thought was emerging over the course of many years (my first meaning of ‘the end of the Cold War’). In other words, let us see whether we can use what we have learned in studying the end of the Cold War to shed light on the possible return to Cold War or the emerging post–post-Cold War period. 2

Explaining the End of the Cold War

To explain the end of the Cold War we can start by reviewing the extreme – or perhaps we could call them ‘ideal-type’ – explanations for the end of the Cold War, the ones we agree are inadequate. On the materialist side, we have explanations that focus on US President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup and Soviet economic decline, sometimes linked to each other. However, we find these explanations inadequate for many reasons. Throughout the Reagan years, the Soviet Union retained its most potent weapons – nuclear and conventional – and always had the ability to destroy the United States in the mutual suicide pact that constituted the nuclear arms race (Chernoff, 1991; Knopf, 2004). The Soviet economy was stagnating, but the most serious damage came with Gorbachev’s ill-conceived efforts to revive it. He could have muddled through. Indeed, we expect that almost any other Soviet leader – here we conduct a counterfactual thought experiment – would have reacted differently than Gorbachev.4 Gorbachev’s values led him to be sceptical of the predominant role that security concerns played in Soviet policy; he wanted to reform the economy not primarily to make the country militarily more capable – the so-called breathing space argument. He 4

See the essays in Herrmann and Lebow, 2004, especially Chapter 7 by George W. Breslauer and Richard Ned Lebow, ‘Leadership and the End of the Cold War: A Counterfactual Thought Experiment’.

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intended to end the arms race and reorient resources to provide for the material well-being of ordinary people, and he wanted the Soviet Union to be accepted by the West as a normal, civilized country – the same goal that Kozyrev, as post-Soviet Russia’s foreign minister, articulated. This is how Gorbachev and his reformist allies used ‘the West’ – to represent the norm for a state that treated its citizens decently at home and engaged in cooperative relations with other states. The corrective to the extreme, materialist-realist version of the end of the Cold War requires an understanding of these uses of the West by Soviet reformers (English, 2000). In this account, ‘the West’ became the judge of whether the Soviet reforms had gone far enough to transform its image as an enemy. From the other side, no less a representative of the ‘peace through strength’ approach, President Ronald Reagan eventually sought to use the West not to threaten the Soviet Union but to reassure it: ‘I had come to realize there were people in the Kremlin who had a genuine fear of the United States. I wanted to convince Gorbachev that we wanted peace and they had nothing to fear from us’ (Reagan 1990, pp. 12, 545–723). Using the West in this way, Ronald Reagan revealed his own understanding of the limits of a materialist-realist explanation that emphasized economic decline and military power. Perceptions of threat from the Other figured in Reagan’s newfound insight into the sources of Cold War conflict. Reducing the perception of threat from the West through a process of de-securitization contributed to ending the Cold War. Yet there are also problems with explanations favored by constructivists that focus mainly on changes in intersubjective understandings resulting from a decline in threat perception. The ideal-type idealist-constructivist version of the end of the Cold War is perhaps best represented by the important 1994 article by Rey Koslowski and Friedrich Kratochwil. They use the end of the Cold War as an empirical case to illustrate constructivist arguments about the relationship between agents and structures. They argue that in all politics, domestic and international, actors reproduce or alter systems through their actions. Any given international system does not exist because of immutable structures, but rather the very structures are dependent for their reproduction on the practices of the actors. Fundamental change of the international system occurs when actors, through their practices, change the rules and norms constitutive of international interaction. Moreover, reproduction of the practice of international actors (i.e., states) depends on the reproduction of practices of domestic actors (i.e., individuals and groups). Therefore, fundamental changes in international politics occur when beliefs and identities of domestic actors are altered[,] thereby also altering the rules and norms that are constitutive of their political practices. (Koslowski and Kratochwil, 1994, p. 216)

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For Koslowski and Kratochwil, the change in beliefs and identities of domestic actors took place first in the Soviet bloc, with the rise of civil society and the decline in legitimacy of the Communist Party. They analogize this process to the rise of nationalism in eighteenth-century France, the development of the lev´ee en masse, and the subsequent transformation of the international system in Europe. What is their evidence for the transformation of the international system that accompanied the end of the Cold War? They could have cited the obvious factors that realists would recognize: the end of the military standoff in central Europe, the dissolution of the Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union itself, the unification of Germany, and the end of communist rule. But to their credit they went beyond these material changes. Instead, they identify the underlying norms that constitute the new order and argue that both sides’ views of that order converged on a common understanding. For the Soviet Union, they argue, the acceptance of a united Germany as part of NATO signaled Soviet recognition that ‘such a solution was likely to serve Soviet security interests better than a neutral Germany’. Moreover, ‘Western multilateral institutions also had solved the problem of prosperity’, so that Soviet leaders came to consider ‘the maintenance and development of the European multilateral institutions preferable to weakening them’ (Koslowski and Kratochwil, 1994, p. 245). Koslowski and Kratochwil see Soviet leaders undergoing ideational change to come to new understandings based on a consequentialist logic: the new international system serves the interests of security and prosperity better than the old one. For Koslowski and Kratochwil, the Soviet leaders are using the West not only as the judge of the bona fides of their reform efforts, but effectively as the ultimate goal of those efforts: they want the Soviet Union to become part of the West, to become part of the Western multilateral system as the basis for a new post–Cold War order. Koslowski and Kratochwil argue that the United States also came to accept this post–Cold War order that would allow Russia to ‘join the club’, in Kozyrev’s words, ‘on a basis of equality’. Their main source of evidence consists of the decision by the administration of George Herbert Walker Bush (the first President Bush) not to take advantage of Soviet weakness and to maintain a US commitment to multilateralism in the governance of international affairs. Secretary of State James Baker promised his Soviet counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze that NATO would be transformed from a military alliance to a political organization, and Shevardnadze also thought he received a commitment that NATO would not expand beyond the inclusion of the former German Democratic Republic (East

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Germany).5 As evidence of continued US adherence to multilateralism, the authors mention in particular the repudiation by the first President Bush of the Pentagon’s ‘Defense Planning Guidance’ document, leaked to the press in March 1992. The draft document claimed that the United States should ‘prevent the emergence of a new rival’ by maintaining a level of military superiority adequate to discourage any ‘potential competitors’ (Koslowski and Kratochwil, 1994, p. 221). For Koslowski and Kratochwil the rejection of this document signaled US acceptance of a new normative order that brought its erstwhile enemy into the system of multilateralism that constituted the West. With hindsight, the rejection of the Defense Guidance document and Baker’s commitment to Shevardnadze appear as inadequate evidence to represent US acceptance of a new normative order. We know now that the United States did not feel itself bound to end the expansion of NATO or diminish its military role. We know that the second George Bush appointed the authors of the 1992 Defense Guidance document to high-level positions in his administration and tried to implement their unilateralist vision, by withdrawing from various treaty commitments and by invading Iraq. Perhaps an early indication of the divergent views between the United States and its allies, on one side, and Russia, on the other, came with the interpretation of the end of the Cold War itself. Many Americans, in particular, were prone to speak in terms of a US ‘victory’ in the Cold War – sometimes entirely leaving out the role of European allies, and usually understating the role of Gorbachev and his reforms. Some North American scholars have, however, challenged the triumphalism of the US victory narrative, and, in doing so, reflect a view closer to the common Russian one. In reference to the opportunity costs of decades of military confrontation and the risks that crises over Cuba and the Middle East could have erupted into nuclear war, Richard Ned Lebow and Janice Gross Stein (1994), for example, called their book on those crises We All Lost the Cold War. It appeared with the following endorsement from Mikhail Gorbachev (whose knowledge of English was too limited for him actually to have read the book): ‘They’ve got it just right. It is a dangerous conclusion that the West won the Cold War. The argument that one side won the Cold War is mistaken. We all lost the Cold War, particularly the USA and the USSR. We all won by ending it. That is the scientific conclusion’. Gorbachev repeated his assertion in June 2004, when he attended the funeral of Ronald Reagan, in response to the widespread 5

The actual story is more complicated, as explained by Kramer, 2009.

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claim that Reagan’s policies had led to a US victory in the Cold War. ‘That’s not serious’, Gorbachev said, using the same words several times. ‘I think we all lost the Cold War, particularly the Soviet Union. We each lost $10 trillion’, he said, referring to the money Russians and Americans spent on an arms race that lasted more than four decades. ‘We only won when the Cold War ended’ (Kaiser, 2004). This has remained the prevailing view in Russia. As Sergei Karaganov, a scholar who supported Gorbachev’s reformist approach in the 1980s, recalled at the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 2009, ‘the US regarded itself as the victor in the cold war, but Russia does not regard itself as the loser. At the very least we expected an honorable peace’ (Erlanger, 2009). 3

Failure of the New Order

Russian commitment to the new normative order faltered in the face of US actions that seemed to violate Moscow’s understanding of how the Cold War ended. In Russian eyes, the post–Cold War settlement did not constitute an ‘honorable peace’. We know, in particular, that post-Soviet leaders in Russia came to resent NATO’s relentless expansion eastward. NATO enlargement, then Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev told an international audience in Evian, France, in October 2008, ‘objectively contradicts the national security interests of Russia, and a nervous reaction follows immediately. How can we understand this otherwise?’ (Medvedev, 2008). From the late 1990s into the new millennium, as NATO continued to add new members, Russia’s leaders protested, yet never quite drew a line in the sand. But, with the ‘nervous reaction’ of the August 2008 invasion of Georgia, the Russian government sent a signal: further NATO enlargement to include a country that Russia had already attacked would render questionable the central commitment behind the NATO alliance – to respond as if an attack against one member were an attack against all. In September 2008, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was obliged to address this issue when an ABC TV interviewer asked her whether the United States might have to go to war if Russia again invaded Georgia, once it had become a NATO member. She replied: ‘Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is [sic] if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help’.6 Palin was ridiculed in the US for this answer, and much else, but it happens to be the correct one, the 6

For a transcript of the interview of 11 September 2008: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ Vote2008/Story?id=5782924&page=1.

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one that conforms to US obligations in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.7 Russia’s leaders also had problems with other manifestations of US unilateralism besides NATO expansion, such as the withdrawal from the treaty banning anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But Russia engaged in its own unilateral actions, including in the economic realm, in ways that are inconsistent with Koslowski and Kratochwil’s expectations of intersubjective agreement on a new order founded on a certain understanding of the West. They anticipated that the transformed normative order – what I am calling the ‘end of the Cold War order’ – would see Russia’s embrace of multilateral institutions in Europe as a source of prosperity as well as security. The European Energy Charter is a case in point. Instead, we saw Russia risk spoiling its relations with the European Union by wielding its control over oil and gas resources as a coercive tool against its neighbors. Even in the security realm, we observed Russia’s uneasy relationship with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and a rejection of the application of its norms to the conflict in Chechnya, for example, or to relations with the countries of the ‘near abroad’, the successor states of the Soviet Union – much as Kozyrev predicted in December 1992. Russia’s rejection of the normative order has had material consequences as well. In July 2007, for example, President Vladimir Putin announced a suspension of Russia’s obligations under the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe – a reaction, in turn, to NATO’s undermining of the normative order by expanding the alliance eastward, with its own material consequences of new military deployments on the Russian border.8 In 2008 Russia fought a war with Georgia, and in 2014 Russian forces – despite official denials – began engaging in ‘hybrid warfare’ in Ukraine. So why did predictions of a new, post–Cold War order – one characterized by de-securitization and multilateralism rather than militarized great-power rivalry – fail to anticipate the aggressive unilateralism of the Bush administration or the elements of neo-imperialism in postSoviet Russia? One answer is that ‘9/11 changed everything’ – that the benign security environment anticipated with the end of the Cold War exploded with the attacks of al Qaeda. In my view, however, that is the wrong answer. The challenge of transnational terrorism actually offered as many, or more, opportunities for multilateral cooperation as for rivalry. 7 8

For the text: http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/treaty.htm. Andrew Kramer and Thom Shanker, ‘Russia Steps Back from Key Arms Treaty’, New York Times, 14 July 2007.

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In fact, this is an area that has seen considerable cooperation between Russia and NATO. What we need to explain, it seems to me, is why relations have not fulfilled the promise that constructivists such as Koslowski and Kratochwil expected, despite the common commitment to deal with the threat of terrorism. It is worth mentioning that the expectations of realists, such as John Mearsheimer, have not been fully met either. They anticipated the demise of the NATO alliance as the Soviet threat disappeared and a gradual tendency of countries to balance against the United States as the sole superpower. But the most realists have been able to find is evidence of what they call ‘soft balancing’ – and even that evidence is not particularly compelling.9 Russia itself did not evince an intention to engage in balancing either – yet it could play the role of a potential ‘spoiler’ by disrupting the hegemonic plans of the US-led alliance and creating disorder.10 The simplest version of my argument is this: With the end of the Cold War, the US government and the NATO alliance stopped paying attention to Russia. Russian leaders, resenting the lack of attention, still chose to interpret much of what the United States and NATO did as directed against Russia. This interpretation echoes Andrei Kozyrev’s words that NATO policy stayed ‘essentially unchanged’, that NATO remained an anti-Russian alliance, dominated by the United States – except that, I argue, the anti-Russian consequences of NATO policy were mostly unintended, and primarily the result of domestic pressures in the United States. Let me focus on three of the developments that Russia claimed to find most troubling: the expansion of NATO; the military intervention in Serbia and subsequent support for independence of the separatist province of Kosovo; and renunciation of the ABM Treaty and the plan – subsequently revised – to deploy components of a ballistic missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. I argue that all of these US initiatives stemmed from domestic political considerations and were not directed against Russia. US policy makers neglected to take Russian interests into account, and when they were obliged to do so, they chose to ignore or dismiss evidence of serious Russian concern. James Goldgeier and others have argued convincingly that the expansion of the NATO alliance emerged from domestic political considerations during the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton. Clinton faced pressure from East European diaspora communities in the 9 10

Mearsheimer, 1990; on soft balancing, see, among others, Pape, 2005, and Lieber and Alexander, 2005. I thank Harald Mueller for this point, made long before the crisis in Ukraine.

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United States articulating the wishes of prominent foreign politicians, such as V´aclav Havel of the Czech Republic and Lech Wałesa ˛ of Poland, who both advocated their countries’ inclusion into NATO. For them NATO symbolized the security and prosperity of the West. To the extent that any theory of international politics guided Clinton’s decision, it was the theory of the Democratic Peace, which holds that democracies do not go to war against each other (Goldgeier, 1999, p. 21). Enlarging the community of democracies, from this perspective, seemed a sound idea. However, most other theories argued against it. Realism would not predict or prescribe the expansion of an alliance in the absence of a threat. As Robert Jervis (1995) pointed out in an interesting counterfactual musing, if NATO had never been created in the wake of World War II, no one would have advocated creating it at the end of the Cold War, let alone expanding it. Other critics of NATO expansion pointed to the potential countermeasures that Russia threatened – refusal to sign the treaty on strategic nuclear arms (START II), withdrawal from the treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, and formation of a counter-alliance among former Soviet republics (Evangelista, 1995). Within the Clinton administration, an early sceptic was Deputy Secretary of State and former Clinton roommate Strobe Talbott – a long-time specialist on Russia. He expressed particular concern about the impact on Russia’s fragile democracy, although he later came to promote the policy of expansion (Goldgeier, 1999, pp. 36–37). Writing later, in the wake of the second wave of NATO enlargement, Robert Jervis (2005, pp. 4–5) declared, in regard to the opponents of that policy, that ‘we were wrong, or at least our expectations about the effect on Russia were not borne out’. This claim concedes too much. Consider, for example, this prediction from 1995: ‘In the end, supporters of Russian democracy are likely to be hurt most by any NATO march eastward, since their insistence on the West’s generally benign intentions will meet with widespread scepticism’ (Evangelista, 1995). I still think this was a pretty good prediction, and not only because it was mine. The point is that the foreign-policy initiatives of one state get interpreted through the filter of the domestic politics of the other. In this case, we have to ask whether other factors were hurting the supporters of Russian democracy aside from US and NATO behavior, and I am confident that we would answer affirmatively. Western economic intervention in post-Soviet Russia, for example, made ordinary Russians associate democracy with economic decline, corruption, and crime (Wedel, 2001). My main point, for the purposes of this argument, is that what NATO leaders thought they were doing – their own selfperception – was very different from what a substantial, and growing, section of the Russian policy community thought they were doing.

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My second example is the ABM Treaty and deployments. This is a reasonably straightforward story. Ballistic-missile defense is primarily about US domestic politics, and, especially, the politics of the Republican Party. In the 1990s, it became a litmus test of Republican candidates for office to support withdrawal from the treaty and deployment of defense systems.11 The only Republican congressional representative who came out against pursuit of these systems – and this should tell us something – was someone trained as a physicist: he knew they would not work.12 The Bush Administration came into office in 2001 determined to deploy a defense system, whether it worked or not. But as the system failed one rigged test after another and the end of Bush’s second term loomed in sight, the Bush people became desperate that they had nothing to show for all these years of rhetoric on an issue so dear to the core Republican constituency. They came up with the idea of deploying some high-profile components in Eastern Europe, justifying them as part of a system to defend against an attack from Iran. Russian officials expressed concern about the system and doubts about the rationale, and they offered instead to pursue some kind of joint system relying on existing Russian components, such as radars. The Bush administration officials feigned interest, but the cooperative proposal did not serve their political objectives – which were predominantly domestic. The Russian public interpretation of these US actions held that they were directed against Russia and, in President Putin’s words, would ‘upset the balance’ of nuclear forces. Russian analysts suggested the new deployments were intended to neutralize Russia’s capability to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against Europe if Russia faced a nuclear attack from the West. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed these concerns as ‘ludicrous’. In fact, the proposed deployments in the Czech Republic and Poland were not well suited for their stated mission of defending Europe from an Iranian attack; if upgraded, they would be more effective in hindering a Russian missile attack. In response to the announcement of US deployment plans, Putin proposed to the Bush administration more cooperative means of dealing with a potential Iranian threat, including sharing data from Russian radar systems and even joint operation of early-warning centers in Moscow and Brussels (Lewis and Postol, 2007). However, the Bush administration preferred its own plan. That the US deployment was suboptimal from a security standpoint reinforces the sense that domestic politics was the main motivating 11 12

On this point, see Kaplan, 2008, especially chapter 3, ‘Chasing Silver Bullets’. Vernon Ehlers of Michigan voted against Bill HR 4 to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense, vote number 1999–4, 18 March 1999. See http://www.ontheissues.org/MI/Vernon Ehlers Homeland Security.htm.

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force. Because the Democratic administration that succeeded Bush was not beholden to a constituency that insisted on deployment of missile defenses, it was able to reverse the Republican decision – or, at least, substitute one more plausible from a security standpoint and less threatening to the Russians.13 The third example, NATO’s war against Serbia in March 1999 and subsequent recognition of Kosovo’s independence, has been a major irritant in Russia’s relations with the West. The US motivation for promoting NATO’s attack against Serbia represented a reaction to the situation on the ground – and the failure of European states to resolve the conflicts in former Yugoslavia – but it clearly had domestic origins as well. In particular, the Clinton administration had come under criticism for years from human rights groups for ignoring the actions of Slobodan Miloˇsevi´c’s forces as they carried out brutal ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and laid siege to its capital Sarajevo. When the United States finally intervened with air strikes, the critics argued that it was too little and too late. The Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia mainly ratified the results of the violence carried out by Serb and Croat troops. Further criticism was leveled at the Clinton administration for ignoring the genocide in Rwanda. Stung by such criticism, US officials were primed to redeem themselves and remained alert to the next case of wide-scale ethnic atrocities. Thus, when Serb violence against Kosovar Albanians escalated during 1998, Clinton and his advisers were ready to summon the allies to respond with force. How such action would be perceived in Russia was hardly uppermost in their minds. Yet both Russia and China, in their capacity as permanent members of the Security Council, opposed NATO military action in 1999 and resisted recognizing Kosovo as an independent state. The reasons are not hard to fathom: Both states were facing secessionist challenges to their own rule – in Chechnya and in Tibet, respectively – and did not want to see the precedent set for military intervention, however justified on humanitarian grounds, without explicit Security Council approval (which they in turn could block with their vetoes). Russia’s worst-case scenario would see the dismemberment of Serbia as providing a blueprint for similar action against itself. This is particularly ironic, given the extent to which the United States – under Republican and Democratic administrations – has been willing to look the other way as Russia employed indiscriminate military force to keep Chechnya from seceding (Evangelista, 2008). The breakup of the Russian Federation has not been a high priority for US policy makers, despite Russian fears. 13

US domestic economic interests are also relevant to the policy change. See Tiron, 2009.

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The combination of the three issues we have discussed has nevertheless made some Russian officials fear the worst: their country being encircled by NATO military bases, with ballistic missile defense systems preventing Russian retaliation against NATO military intervention aimed at disintegration of the Russian Federation. The last straw for these officials was US provision of military aid and training to the armed forces of the Republic of Georgia at a time when its president, Mikheil Saakashvili, was intent on taking back disputed separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by force, if necessary. Again, the support of Georgia’s territorial integrity against Russian encroachment was not the main motive for US military aid: the Bush administration trained the Georgian troops for deployment in the deserts of Iraq, grateful for Georgian participation in the dwindling coalition of the willing. In fact, Georgia’s was the thirdlargest contingent in Iraq after the US and Britain (Deutsche Welle news analysis, 2008). There is no doubt that many US officials saw the training and equipping of Georgia’s forces as a step on the way to eventual NATO membership – even if they themselves did not view that goal as directed against Russia. Yet Russian leaders perceived the US action as part of a pattern of anti-Russian activities, stretching over more than a decade. When confronted with arguments about such Russian perceptions, US officials have rejected them, as we saw with Secretary Rice’s dismissal of concerns about missile deployments. Responding to a September 2008 article that put Russia’s invasion of Georgia into the context of years of complaints about NATO expansion, another State Department official went further. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried insisted that ‘NATO membership for Western European countries during the cold war brought peace to nations that had known centuries of war. NATO membership for Central and Eastern Europe after the cold war extended this peace. Indeed, NATO enlargement, and EU enlargement that followed it, were leading factors in making the region to Russia’s west the most stable and nonthreatening it has been in Russia’s history’. He added that he didn’t ‘expect Russia will thank us for this act, but it should’.14 4

Power and Identity in Russia’s Relations with the West

The leading schools of thought in the study of international relations have not prepared us very well for understanding such divergent perspectives on the normative order that has followed the end of the Cold War. Realist-inflected concepts that take account of the possibility of 14

Fried, 2008. The original article was Friedman, 2008.

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misperception, such as the security dilemma, anticipate that each side will perceive threats from the other side, while viewing its own motives as benign and defensive. Yet what would security-dilemma theorists say about a situation where one side (Russia) claims to feel threatened over the course of many years, while the other side (the United States and NATO Europe) is not only oblivious to the threat it poses (an expectation from the security dilemma), but feels no reciprocal threat from the first side? It is noteworthy that only since August 2008 have prominent US political figures spoken explicitly about Russian aggression – and much more loudly since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine began in 2014 – but even here they do not adduce a direct threat to the United States itself. Some US officials, such as Vice President Joseph Biden, instead highlighted Russia’s weakness (Spiegel, 2009). Implementing economic sanctions as a response to Russian intervention also implies belief in the inherent weakness of Russia’s economy, if it is to be vulnerable to such measures. Most variants of constructivism also prepare us poorly to understand this state of affairs – Russia acting besieged, the West seeming oblivious. For constructivists, interstate relations and normative orders are founded on intersubjective understandings. Either both sides understand each other as enemies or they understand each other as friends. For the constructivist research agenda, the interesting question, as Koslowski and Kratochwil pose it, for example, is how the system moves from one set of intersubjective understandings to another. But what we have seen is something quite different. One side (Russia) claimed that it was facing a potentially dangerous enemy in the form of an expanding NATO alliance, whereas the other side claimed that it was treating Russia well. The United States, in its understanding, established a zone of peace right up to the Russian border – Russia should ‘thank us for this act’, in the US official’s words – yet Russia interpreted the same actions as threatening. How can we explain this state of affairs? When faced with the inadequacy of systemic-level theories, whether realist or constructivist, one response is to look to domestic politics. In judging ostensibly material factors, such as external threats or internal economic conditions, there is much scope for disagreement among domestic political coalitions, based on their divergent interests and values (Snyder, 1989; Evangelista, 1993). One version of how the Cold War ended focuses on the transnational coalitions that formed across state borders among supporters of moderation on each side. Opponents of militarization tried to persuade their governments to act in such a way as to bolster the position of the opponents of militarization on the other side (Evangelista, 1999). But in the case in question, we did not observe the level of internal debate that existed

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even during the Cold War – on either side. Support for NATO expansion received bipartisan support in the United States, with even erstwhile members of peace movements buying into the Democratic Peace argument. On the Russian side, as Andrei Kozyrev predicted in 1992, and as many others observed a few years later, democrats who supported a Western-oriented policy became increasingly squeezed out of the policy realm. Aleksei Arbatov, who played an influential role in military reform during the Gorbachev years, lost his parliamentary seat as the liberals dropped off the political spectrum and their parties failed to gain the minimum percentage votes for representation. On both sides, the scope for internal disagreement appears to have narrowed. That may mean a correspondingly reduced role for domestic politics in determining the nature of the international normative order. The reduced role for domestic politics in explaining the foreign policies of Western democracies suggests a paradox. On the one hand, it seems to be a defining feature of Western liberal democracies to open up domestic sites of contestation in their foreign policies; on the other hand, the notion of a strongly integrated Western community of values seems to blur the hard and fast line between domestic and international politics within that Western community.15 How, then, might Russia be expected to view the West, given this paradoxical relationship between ostensible support for plurality of opinion, on the one hand, and unity of values, on the other? In what follows, I consider this question as I seek to explain why what I call the ‘end of the Cold War’ international order failed to sustain itself and what might come next. I suggest two possible, and possibly complementary, explanations. The first explanation brings relative power back into the equation in a way that realists would find congenial. They might argue that Russia has felt threatened simply because its position had so weakened since the disintegration of the Soviet Union when faced with the unprecedented power of the United States. As the sole superpower, the United States did not need to think about Russia or even have a ‘Russia policy’, yet Russia still needed to concern itself about US actions such as support for NATO expansion and military intervention in its neighborhood. How do we explain why it took so long for Russia’s reaction to US and NATO policies to make any impression on the West? Was Russia speaking too quietly, or was the West simply not listening? Evidence has emerged from Wikileaks that in 2008 – some months before Russia’s war with Georgia – the US ambassador to Moscow got the message that NATO expansion was alarming the Russian leadership. 15

I owe this point, and indeed this specific formulation, to Benjamin Herborth.

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Ukraine and Georgia’s NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests. Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.

That Ambassador William Burns took Russia’s concerns seriously is without doubt. He made sure that his point would not be missed by giving this title to his memo: “Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s NATO Enlargement Redlines.”16 Yet Washington was clearly not listening. Here again, the factor of power might play some role in explaining the course of events. This explanation would suggest that Russia was simply too weak and preoccupied with internal economic and political disarray to respond any sooner, except with verbal complaints. Later, however, bolstered by windfall energy profits, having consolidated domestic authority, and having damped down the conflict in restive Chechnya, Russia was in a position to assert itself. By 2008 it could draw a new line in the sand: no NATO expansion into Georgia or Ukraine, no new missiles in Poland or radars in the Czech Republic without a suitable military response, and goodbye to the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, one of the clearest material manifestations of the end of military dimension of the Cold War. The second explanation for why Russia failed to find a modus vivendi with the West is more consistent with a constructivist approach, but one that gives pride of place to the domestic context and the role of identity than to intersubjective understandings at the systemic level. During the liminal period between the Cold War and the order that followed, Russia faced the prospect of identity creation, much as the Soviet Union had done in the wake of Iosif Stalin’s death (Hopf, 2000). The 1990s and the first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed a striking disjuncture between Russia’s emerging self-identity and how the United States understood the country. The US self-identity as world leader precluded Russia’s identity as an equal great power. As Ted Hopf has pointed out, 16

“Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s NATO Enlargement Redlines,” Memorandum of Ambassador William J. Burns, 1 February 2008, originally classified “confidential,” and sent, among others, to the US secretaries of defense and state, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US National Security Council, NATO, and the European Union, available at: http:// wikileaks.org/cable/2008/02/08MOSCOW265.html.

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the dominant discursive formation in the ‘identity landscape’ of Russia in the late 1990s was inclined to view the United States as a threat, in part because of US violation of the norms of sovereignty and multilateralism, which were important in constituting Russia’s identity as a great power (ibid., ch. 5). The dominant US discourse on the country’s identity, by contrast, assumed a ‘leadership’ role and took for granted that the United States was a force for good in the world (Leffler and Legro, 2008). However anachronistic the practice seemed, the mainstream press continued throughout the post–Cold War period to refer to the United States and its president as ‘the leader of the free world’.17 Whether because of power differentials or divergence of identities, the basis for a common vision of a normative order between ‘the West’ and Russia in the two decades following the Cold War seemed very slim. Domestic politics, civil society, and transnational relations played less of a role in influencing the nature of the post–Cold War international order than they played in ending the Cold War itself. 5

Domestic Politics and the Potentially Plural West

The potential – but still limited – significance of domestic politics becomes apparent when we consider how the change in US administrations from Republican to Democratic in January 2009 affected the West’s relations with Russia and how the crisis in Ukraine influenced politics within the United States and NATO. The Obama administration came into office fostering the impression that it was ready to depart from its predecessor’s unilateral and conflictual approach to foreign policy. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with then Russian President Medvedev in March 2009 and presented him with a big plastic button with ‘reset’ printed at the bottom, and peregruzka at the top. Using computer jargon, the Obama administration intended the button to symbolize the US intention to reset or re-boot US-Russian relations with the goal of improving them. Critics quickly pointed out a certain insensitivity in putting the Russian translation of ‘reset’ in Latin rather than Cyrillic script, not to mention a certain incompetence in translation: Clinton’s advisers mistakenly put the Russian word for ‘overload’ (peregruzka) in place of the one for ‘re-boot’ (perezagruzka). President Medvedev graciously declined to highlight the error, but it nevertheless took on a certain symbolic significance. It suggested the lack of interest in Russia on the part of US officials, which I identified as part of the 17

See, for example, Ash, 2008. The Economist did the same in its editorial endorsing Obama in the US presidential election: ‘It’s Time’, The Economist, 30 October 2008.

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explanation for how the ‘end of the Cold War’ ended. Put simply: were there really no Russian dictionaries or Cyrillic typefaces available to the US State Department? Even the displacement of Cyrillic characters by the alphabet of the West can be seen to represent the encroachment of the West on the East. In former Yugoslavia, for example, the Latin script has literally been displacing Cyrillic, especially in areas no longer under Serbian influence. Elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc, erstwhile allies and even former constituent members of the USSR – notably Georgia – emphasize English as the second language in their schools rather than Russian. In any event, obliviousness to Russia’s concerns appeared to be a solid bipartisan element of US foreign policy. If cultural encirclement were not enough to trouble the Russians, it is combined with the more traditional military type – again the product of a bipartisan consensus in the United States, apparently shared by the NATO allies in the community of Western values. The Obama administration continued its predecessor’s policy in training and arming Georgian troops – this time for deployment to Afghanistan rather than Iraq, but to the equal dismay of the Russians. In June 2009, US officials met with a Georgian delegation under the auspices of the new U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, signed by the Bush administration in January 2009, just as it was leaving office, and interpreted by some as ‘a surrogate guarantee of fast-track NATO membership’ for Georgia. A week later, Russian forces demonstrably carried out military exercises in the region (Radio Free Europe, 2009; Shanker, 2009; Schwirtz, 2009). The clearest manifestation of Russia’s rejection of the ‘end of the Cold War’ normative order came in its reaction to the events in Ukraine. In November 2013, the Ukrainian government, under President Viktor Yanukovych, rejected an Association Agreement with the European Union that its supporters had posed as a ‘civilizational choice’ for Ukraine – a rather instrumental ‘use’ of ‘the West.’ Yanukovych was more influenced by practical economic concerns. His corrupt rule had contributed to Ukraine’s economic stagnation, but the EU agreement and promise of involvement by the International Monetary Fund did not seem like a solution. Free trade in the short term would be disastrous for the eastern and southern regions of the country, with their uncompetitive, Soviet-era industries and their connections to the Russian military-industrial sector. The IMF was known for promoting painful austerity measures. At the same time Russia was offering a choice of carrots or sticks – to purchase Ukrainian debt and provide subsidized gas, if Ukraine would reject the EU agreement, or raise gas prices to world-market rates and call in its loans if it accepted. Yanukovych made his choice and the pro-Europe opposition forces mounted massive

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demonstrations in protest at Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev. Yanukovych reacted with brutal violence, directed mainly at students protesting peacefully. Later the protestors organized into self-defense forces, led prominently by extremist groups such as Svoboda (Freedom) and Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector), brandishing their fascist and nationalist symbols, such as the Wolfsangel used by the Waffen SS. They attacked the police and sought to storm government buildings by force, resulting in the deaths of numerous police officers and protesters. In the midst of the crisis, US officials crudely sought to influence the outcome and bring to power the Ukrainian politicians they most favored. The recording of a telephone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, appeared on YouTube, apparently after it was intercepted by Russian secret services (Markus, 2014). Putin had already convinced himself that the ‘colored revolutions’ – the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 that brought a pro-US politician to office, and the Orange Revolution that reversed a rigged election and led Yanukovych to cede power in 2004 – were Western plots. He made the same claim about the mass protests against his own return to power in Moscow in 2012. To hear Nuland and Pyatt discuss which Ukrainian politicians should be in the government and which should remain on the outside could only reinforce his fears. The leaked conversation reveals that Nuland was orchestrating a telephone call from Vice President Joseph Biden to Ukrainian opposition leaders and a visit from United Nations officials. That she was excluding the European Union from her plans (‘F∗∗∗ the EU’ is the quote that attracted most attention from the media) may have reassured Putin, but it also encouraged him to pursue policies to exploit a divided West. On 21 February 2014, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Poland brokered a deal between Yanukovych and opposition leaders that promised an end to the violence and a commitment to early presidential elections. Many protesters were dissatisfied with the agreement, and armed Pravyi Sektor and Svoboda militants issued an ultimatum for Yanukovych to resign, threatened members of parliament from the eastern and southern regions, and vandalized their offices. Many of the politicians fled for their lives. Yanukovych himself escaped Kiev the next day, and then was formally removed from office by the rump parliament, which then – in violation of the 21 February agreement – moved elections up to 25 May. Facing charges that its actions were unconstitutional, the parliament then dismissed five judges of the Constitutional Court. On 23 February, the new parliament passed a resolution revoking the 2012 language law that allowed the use of Russian and other minority languages

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for official business in regions where minority speakers represented at least 10 percent of the population. Under international pressure and in the wake of protests in Crimea and southern and eastern Ukraine, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov vetoed the measure four days later. But the damage was done and the stage was set for Russian armed intervention and subversion in support of separatist movements.18 Armed conflict in Ukraine, pitting Russia against its erstwhile ‘partners’ in Europe and the United States, put the final nail in the coffin of the post–Cold War normative order. Ironically, the crisis at the same time breathed new life into domestic and alliance politics. Whereas the expansion of NATO occasioned little debate in the United States, the imposition of sanctions against Russia and proposals to arm and train Ukrainian government and irregular ‘national guard’ forces generated considerable controversy. Prominent realist scholars, such as John Mearsheimer (2014) and Stephen Walt (2015), invoked ‘security dilemma’ arguments to explain Russia’s behavior; cautioned against measures that would escalate the crisis; and advocated negotiating a new security order that would guarantee Ukraine’s neutrality, regardless of the wishes of its citizens. A number of retired US diplomats and Russia specialists, including former ambassadors to Moscow, adopted a similar stance (e.g., Matlock, 2014). Within the alliance some disagreements emerged about how forcefully to respond to Russian intervention, with the so-called Russlandversteher (Russia understanders) coming under criticism as latter-day appeasers. Years before the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, then Russian President Medvedev, expressing dissatisfaction with the ‘end of the Cold War’ normative order, had called for a new European security architecture to supersede the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and, presumably NATO as well.19 With the United States oblivious to Russian interests and the effect of its policies on Russian threat perceptions, the prospects for negotiating a new order barely received a hearing. If any order emerges out of the chaos in Ukraine, it will be nothing like the short-lived and chimerical ‘end of the Cold War’ one. That order was premised on a unity of values in the West and a consensual Russian desire to embrace a Western identity. Both elements were already in doubt when Andrei Kozyrev practiced shock diplomacy with his late 1992 speech. More relevant for the subsequent course of events than a unity of values was the disproportionate power wielded by the United States and its NATO allies. As for Russia’s Western identity, it was embraced 18 19

For more discussion of the background to the crisis, see Evangelista, 2015b. Soloviev, 2009; ITAR-TASS, 23 June 2009; Kuznetsova, 2009. For analyses of the Russian proposals, see Makarychev, 2009, and Giusti, 2009.

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by only some Russians – and a diminishing number at that – who found it hard to embrace or identify with a West that kept throwing its weight around and acting in disregard of any plausible Russian concerns. Paradoxically, the conditions that might contribute to a stable postpost–Cold War normative order are a relatively stronger Russia – if not to balance the United States and Europe, then at least to get them to pay attention – and a rejection of the quest for common identities. As Russians come to recognize the genuine diversity of identities represented by the idea of the West, they might be willing to give expression to their own range of identities, until now suppressed in the interest of meeting the challenge of a seemingly monolithic West. Here a final paradox reveals itself: By its effort to get the West’s attention with military intervention in Ukraine, Russia provoked a response – however controversial and irresolute – that is likely to hinder the growth of its future power. Russia has neither the material strength nor an alternative ideology coherent or attractive enough to sustain a Cold War of the sort that divided the world for four decades. We cannot speak of a ‘new Cold War’ in that sense. Yet Russia certainly maintains the wherewithal to continue playing the role of spoiler and at least slow the triumphal march of the idea of the West. REFERENCES Ash, Jim (2008) ‘Obama Faces High Hopes but Skeptical Electorate,’ Ithaca Journal (Gannett News Service), 13 November. Breslauer, George W. and Richard Ned Lebow (2004) ‘Leadership and the End of the Cold War: A Counterfactual Thought Experiment’, in Richard K. Hermann and Richard Ned Lebow, eds., Ending the Cold War: Interpretations, Causation, and the Study of International Relations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 161–188. Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde (1998) Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner). Chernoff, Fred (1991), ‘Ending the Cold War: The Impact of the US Military Buildup on the Soviet Retreat’, International Affairs 67, 1, pp. 111–126. Deutsche Welle news analysis (2008) ‘Georgian Army May Be Tough Nut for Russia to Crack’, 8 September. English, Robert D. (2000) Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press). Erlanger, Steven (2009) ‘The Legacy of 1989 Is Still Up for Debate’, New York Times, 8 November. Evangelista, Matthew (1993) ‘Internal and External Constraints on Grand Strategy: The Soviet Case’, in Richard Rosecrance and Arthur Stein, eds., The Domestic Bases of Grand Strategy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993), pp. 154–178.

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(1995) ‘Why Russia Opposes Expansion: NATO Stay Away from My Door’, The Nation, 5 June. (1999) Unarmed Forces: The Transnational Movement to End the Cold War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). (2008) ‘The Chechen Conflict at 18: Historical and International Perspectives’, in Quaderni di Relazioni Internazionali, no. 8, October. (2015a) ‘Explaining the Cold War’s End: Process Tracing All the Way Down?’, in Andrew Bennett and Jeffrey T. Checkel, eds., Process Tracing: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). (2015b) ‘Crisi Ucraina, tra cause e possibili soluzioni’ (The Ukrainian Crisis, between Causes and Possible Solutions), Vita e Pensiero (Milan), no. 1, January-February. Fried, Daniel (2008) ‘Georgia, the US, and the Balance of Power: An Exchange’, New York Review of Books, 23 October 7. Friedman, George (2008) ‘Georgia and the Balance of Power’, New York Review of Books, 25 September. Giusti, Serena (2009) ‘La sicurezza dall’Atlantico agli Urali secondo la Russia’, ISPI – Policy Brief n. 114, January, http://www.ispionline.it/it/documents/ PB 114 2009.pdf. Goldgeier, James (1999) Not Whether but When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press). Herrmann, Richard K. and Richard Ned Lebow, eds. (2004) Ending the Cold War: Interpretations, Causation, and the Study of International Relations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan). Hopf, Ted (2000) Social Construction of International Politics: Identities and Foreign Policies, Moscow, 1955 and 1999 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). ITAR-TASS (2009) ‘Russian Foreign Minister Sums Up Vienna Talks on European Security Pact’, 23 June. Jervis, Robert (1995) ‘Legacies of the Cold War’, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2, 2, pp. 21–28. (2005) American Foreign Policy in a New Era (New York: Routledge). Kaiser, Robert G. (2004) ‘Gorbachev: “We All Lost Cold War”’, Washington Post, 11 June. Kaplan, Fred (2008) Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons). Knopf, Jeffrey W. (2004) ‘Did Reagan Win the Cold War?’, Strategic Insights, 3, 8 (August). Koslowski, Rey and Friedrich V. Kratochwil (1994) ‘Understanding Change in International Politics: The Soviet Empire’s Demise and the International System’, International Organization, 48, 2, pp. 215–247. Kozyrev, Andrei (1993) ‘The New Russia and the Atlantic Alliance,’ NATO Review, no. 1 (February 1993), pp. 3–6, http://www.nato.int/docu/review/ 1993/9301-1.htm. Kramer, Andrew and Thom Shanker (2007) ‘Russia Steps Back from Key Arms Treaty’, New York Times, 14 July.

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Kramer, Mark (2009) ‘The Myth of a No-NATO-Enlargement Pledge to Russia’, Washington Quarterly, 32, 2, pp. 39–61. Kuznetsova, Ekaterina (2009) ‘Russia No Match for NATO’, Moscow Times, 9 July. Lebow, Richard Ned and Janice Gross Stein (1994) We All Lost the Cold War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press). Leffler, Melvyn and Jeffrey Legro, eds. (2008) To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine (New York: Oxford University Press). Lewis, George N. and Theodore A. Postol (2007) ‘European Missile Defense: The Technological Basis of Russian Concerns’, Arms Control Today, October. Lieber, Keir A. and Gerard Alexander (2005) ‘Waiting for Balancing: Why the World Is Not Pushing Back’, International Security, 30, 1, pp. 109–139. Makarychev, Andrey S. (2009) ‘Russia and Its “New Security Architecture” in Europe: A Critical Examination of the Concept’, Centre for European Policy Studies, CEPS Working Document No. 310, Brussels, February 2009. Markedonov, Sergey (2009) The Big Caucasus: Consequences of the ‘Five Day War’, Threats, and Political Prospects, Xenophon Paper No, 7, International Centre for Black Sea Studies, Athens, Greece, May. Markus, Jonathan (2014) ‘Ukraine Crisis: Transcript of Leaked Nuland-Pyatt Call’. BBC Europe, 7 February. Matlock, Jack F. (2014) ‘Who Is the Bully? The U.S. Has Treated Russia Like a Loser since the End of the Cold War,’ Washington Post, 14 March. Mearsheimer, John J. (1990) ‘Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War’, International Security, 15, 4, pp. 5–56. (2014) ‘Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin’, Foreign Affairs (September–October). Medvedev, Dmitrii (2008) ‘Vystuplenie na Konferentsii po mirovoi politike’ (Speech to the World Policy Conference), 8 October, Evian, France, http:// archive.kremlin.ru/text/appears/2008/10/207422.shtml. Pape, Robert A. (2005) ‘Soft Balancing against the United States’, International Security, 30, 1, pp. 7–45. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (2009) ‘US, Georgia Report Progress in First Talks of Strategic Partnership’, 23 June, http://www.rferl.org/content/US Georgia Report Progress In First Talks Of Strategic Partnership/1760513 .html. Reagan, Ronald (1990) An American Life (New York: Simon & Schuster). Safire, William (1992) ‘Kozyrev’s Wake-up Slap’, New York Times, 17 December. Schwirtz, Michael (2009) ‘Russia Begins War Games Near Georgia’, New York Times, 30 June. Shanker, Thom (2009) ‘US to Resume Training Georgian Troops’, New York Times, 13 August. Snyder, Jack (1989) ‘International Leverage on Soviet Domestic Change’, World Politics, 42, pp. 1–30. Soloviev, Vladimir (2009) ‘New Security System Having Problems in the OSCE’, Kommersant, 24 June. Spiegel, Peter (2009) ‘Biden Says Weakened Russia Will Bend to US’, Wall Street Journal, 29 July.

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Tiron, Roxanna (2009) ‘Missile Defense Shift Redirects Billions in Government Contracts’, The Hill, 20 September. Walt, Stephen M. (2015) ‘Why Arming Ukraine Is a Really, Really Bad Idea’, Foreign Policy, 9 February. Wedel, Janine (2001) Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe, 2nd ed. New York: Palgrave.

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Conclusion The Ways of the West and the Road Ahead

Lene Hansen

There is a certain irony to this volume. On the one hand, it is clear that none of the chapters wholeheartedly embraces ‘the West’, ‘the West’ is hard to pin down, it is normatively problematic regardless of whether it comes in its singular form or clothed in the mantle of universalism, and it is declining. Yet, in spite of all this well-founded scepticism, ‘the West’ has managed ‘its’ authors to produce a remarkable range of insightful analyses. If nothing else, I believe the contributions to this volume show us that we should think twice before confining ‘the West’ to the dustbin of history or the archives of IR projects long gone. Scepticism is not just an academic virtue; in the case of this book it is truly productive. As Herborth and Hellmann laid out in their Introduction, ‘the West’ is ‘ubiquitous, undertheorized, and taken-for-granted at the same time, and it is precisely this combination of attributes, which seems to render it politically effective’ (p. 1). This combination of the fleeting and the self-evident makes it so hard to define ‘the West’, and hence, as Herborth and Hellmann note, any attempt to approach it as a subject in need of ‘its’ correct definition that would once and for all tell us what it really is is doomed to fail. As poststructuralist linguistics has told us for years, language is a relational sign system whose instability is only partially fixed through oppositional signs, but still, as the linguistic rubber hits the Realpolitical road, some signs are more elusive that others, and ‘the West’ is definitely high up that list. So, as ‘the West’ cannot be categorically defined – or rather, any attempt to impose ‘the’ definition onto the political and academic terrain that ‘the West’ traverses would be in vain – the way to catch it is through its usage. In another nicely put phrase by Herborth and Hellmann, the concern should be with what ‘the West’ does and how it is being used. This in turn also leads the editors to abstain from imposing a shared framework of analysis on their contributors. This has turned out to be a wise decision – not only because had the project depended upon such a shared framework, discussions over which framework might still be ongoing and we would not have a book to read, but also because the variation between the chapters shows us that ‘the West’ can be 280

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productively engaged in a number of ways. More specifically, although all chapters have taken on board the editorial instructions that ‘the West’s’ doings must be examined, they also come to rather different conclusions as to ‘the West’s’ past, current, and future conceptual and political success. There is also, as I argue at greater length later, a deeper tension between seeing ‘the West’ as a singular, particular entity, for instance as a ‘civilization’, and seeing it as invoked through universalist discourse. And, there is the question how ‘the West’ can be identified at all. I believe that this variation is worthy of closer scrutiny: why do the chapters differ in their conclusions and assessments? Do they make different ontological assumptions about ‘the West’? Do they have different epistemological ‘takes’ on ‘the West’? Or, are differences produced at the level of methodology all the way down to which texts are read? The contributions to this volume push our understanding of ‘the West’ and its analytics and political-normative implications further and my ambition is not, I should stress, to retroactively construct that shared framework of analysis which was absconded in the Introduction. Rather, what I want to pursue here is the question of what ‘the West’ does in the chapters themselves, what assumptions and conclusions, explicit and implicit, are made. What does that tell us about ‘the West’, and how might the insights produced by this book further future research on ‘the West’? The first part of this chapter provides an account of each chapter that discusses how ‘the West’ enters the analysis, and in what way it is approached epistemologically and methodologically; what predictions are made about its presence and disappearance and through which normative lens is ‘the West’ constituted? The second part of the chapter turns to key tensions that arise between the chapters, first over the status and stability of ‘the West’, particularly its ‘values’; and second, over how ‘the West’ is identified politically, epistemologically, and methodologically. The third part of the chapter suggests a loose framework for ‘the West’ composed of the relationship between institutions, ‘we’ concepts, and ‘values’, and it discusses briefly how the normative overtures of ‘the West’ might be engaged. 1

How ‘the West’ Works

Stefano Guzzini’s chapter starts us off with an analysis of the rise of geopolitics as a response to ‘ontological anxiety’. As Guzzini points out we should understand the social mechanisms that facilitated this revival – more specifically, in the present context, the way in which ‘the West’ is constituted within security discourses, or in Jutta Weldes’ terms, security imaginaries. ‘The West’ is negotiated within specific narratives and it is

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always ‘more than just a national reference’ (p. 24). This in turn calls for studies of how national and supra- or cross-national references, here ‘the West’ in particular, relate to each other. As Guzzini notes, this sets up a research agenda that calls for concrete empirical studies that show the extent to which ‘the West’ enters political discourse, and to what effect. ‘The West’ in short is a sign and an identity that can be appropriated in a number of different ways, not least in some that correspond to, or reinforce, a geopolitical imaginary. Arguments against Turkish membership of the EU mobilize for instance the trope of ‘the true West’ as the defender of white Christian Europe. This is a ‘West’ constituted through a racial-religious logic with boundaries hard, if not impossible, to penetrate. On the inside of ‘the West’, ‘Turks’ might have been born and raised within ‘Western’ countries, but still be constituted as ‘foreign’. Yet, as Guzzini notes, this is hardly the only construction of ‘the West’ in ‘Western’ discourses; another is of the West as ‘the beacon of civilization’, but a civilization whose values are in principle open to all. ‘The struggle’, in short, ‘is over the power to define what the West is’. Although Guzzini does not make it explicit, ‘the West’ of the ‘beacon of civilization’ imaginary seems less overtly – or at least, differently – tied to a geopolitical demarcation that works by way of sharp boundaries and distinctions. ‘The West’ that is invoked in Guzzini’s chapter is discursively constituted and to be studied through its articulation within particular national spaces. Like most of the other chapters, Guzzini does not explicitly discuss methodology, but from the examples he gives, it seems that ‘the West’ would be articulated explicitly in discourse. The impression one gets is also that although there are multiple ‘Wests’, the general category is in pretty good shape and likely to be around in ‘Western’ discourses for quite a while. Turning to Ole Wæver’s chapter, there is a lot of commonality with Guzzini’s in terms of how ‘the West’ enters foreign policy analysis. Wæver is also concerned with ‘the West’ as a large collective ‘we’ concept, and the focus on its relations to other concepts is emphasized in Wæver’s point that ‘the most important conceptual competition for the West is not in relation to its “opposites”, but in relation to other overlapping “we’s”’ (p. 37). Wæver tells us that he usually works through the same kind of bottom-up analyses for which Guzzini presents a research design, but that for the present chapter, he has chosen to embark on a top-down analysis based on an analysis of powers and regions. Wæver’s concluding prediction is that ‘the West’s’ significance is receding and that if and when ‘the West’ is being used, it will be with a content reminiscent of the present ‘North’, and more by critics than by ‘Westerners’ themselves. One of the reasons for the conceptual decline of ‘the West’ is that ‘East-West is

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the approach that continues Cold War logic in terms of defending our Western values into a similar fight now against new challengers, be they Islam or Asian authoritarianism’. This prediction rests on two assumptions: that political actors understand this logic and the self-destruction that perpetuating it would entail, and that ‘the West’ is not mobilized in an Us-Them domestic rhetoric which ‘overflows’ into the international arena, as was arguably the case with the Danish Muhammad cartoons of 2005–6. Where ‘the West’ as a discursive concept is at the heart of Wæver’s ¨ ¨ chapter, it works at a distance in Muller’s. Muller takes issue with what he sees as ‘the militant tendency inherent in some strands of Western liberal thinking’ (p. 63) focusing on writings on cosmopolitan democ¨ racy. This literature articulates, argues Muller, a vision of world politics where ostensibly universal values imply a normative hierarchy where liberal democracies come out on top. Were this vision to come true, it would imply that non-democratic states would live in perpetual fear of being invaded, and hence, in response one would assume that they would (re)arm. In the worst-case scenario, we have Western liberal universal¨ ism leading to world war. Thus, while Muller acknowledges that ‘after Auschwitz’ one cannot uphold sovereignty as an absolute value, such exceptional cases should not cloud the general message that sovereignty must be rehabilitated. This is not just because it promotes peace between states – the classical realist argument – but because non-intervention, paradoxically perhaps from a liberal perspective, provides those on whose behalf interventions are carried out with a dignity and self-determination ¨ that they otherwise would not have had. Comparing Muller’s chapter with the others that make up the first third of the book on ‘Theorizing the West’, his is at a more general, abstract level of analysis. ‘The West’ is not a ‘we’-concept studied through use in discourse, but rather ¨ comes through in Muller’s critical uncovering of the universalist pretensions, and the dangers of pushing those through, that resides within (at least parts) of Western liberal thinking and policy. This might not be the ¨ only incarnation of ‘the West’, but it is one that Muller warns against embracing. Patrick T. Jackson takes us to ‘the West’ through one of the most, if not the most, prominent ‘West-concept’ of the past 20 years, namely that of civilization. In the wake of Huntington’s 1993 ‘Clash of Civilizations?’ article, there was a concern among US policymakers and academics with civilizations in the singular, but this shifted under the Bush Administration to a discourse of universalism where civilization shreds its particularity. Discussions about ‘Western civilization’ and its values have, holds Jackson, largely vanished, and the vanishing of ‘the West’ has continued

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under Obama, who explicitly distances himself from ‘clashing civilizations’, for instance in his famed speech in Cairo in June 2009. ‘The West’ in Jackson’s analysis is thus, as in Guzzini and Wæver’s, a concept established in discourse. Situating ‘the clash of civilization’ within a careful historical analysis, Jackson holds that a main reason why ‘the clash’ gained such a hold on policy and academic discourse in the 1990s was its resonance with the dominant discourse that came before it, namely that of containment. Hence what made ‘the clash’ successful was, somewhat paradoxically, not that it fitted the ‘new’ agenda of the post–Cold War era, but that it drew upon ‘commonplaces’ familiar from forty-five years of ‘containment’. The reason why ‘the clash’ was forced off the discursive terrain following September 11 is also linked to that commonplace, in that the neoconservatives who promoted a universalist, interventionist foreign policy had been opposed to ‘containment’ all along. From the point of view of ‘the West’, one major implication – or fall-out, or unintended consequence – of ‘the clash’ seems to be, concludes Jackson, that ‘the West’ itself has vanished. Brent J. Steele approaches ‘the West’ through a concern with aesthetics defined as ‘the practice that bodies of centralized power . . . utilize to control their image, and image of a ‘Self ’ that provides a locus for action’ (p. 111). Steele’s more specific focus is on the ways in which images can ‘insecuritize’ a Self, for instance by conjuring negative models of past Selves. Situating ‘the West’ within this understanding of how images can produce insecurity, Steele takes the case of the photos and video from Fallujah in March 2004, where Blackwater contractors were burned and hung from a bridge, as ‘a flashpoint for US aesthetic insecurity’ (ibid.) that threw the US’s identity as ‘the standard-bearer of “the West”’ into question. Like Jackson, Steele is concerned with the relationship between ‘the West’, ‘the US’, and ‘civilization’, particularly after 9/11. But when Jackson argues that ‘the West’ disappears in favor of universal civilization, we have Steele arguing that events like Fallujah destabilized ‘the US’ and through this ‘the vitality of Western civilization’. It is possible, however, that this difference is produced – at least in part – as a consequence of ‘the West’ being ‘captured’ through different epistemological and methodological strategies. Jackson identifies the presence/absence of ‘the West’ through an analysis of whether ‘the West’ is explicitly articulated. Steele by contrast seems to operate slightly further removed from explicit semantics. As he puts it, ‘perhaps the West itself was not explicitly invoked by commentators and those who craft policy. But there are civilizational elements of universality embedded in this narrative’. Were we to retrace the moves Steele makes, his analytical strategy might be called one of ‘discursive inference’. He shows how neoconservative and

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other ‘patriotic’ responses to 9/11 held that ‘Western values’ were under attack and that Western/US weakness had encouraged terrorists. As Fallujah clearly did not represent a strong ‘American’ Self, one can ‘infer’ it as symbolic of ‘Western civilization’s decadence’ even if that term is not explicitly found in public discourse. Although ‘Fallujah’ might have been constituted through texts alone, it is significant, as Steele points out, that its visuality conjured past foreign policy crisis, most conspicuously the images of mutilated US soldiers in Mogadishu. The image ‘works’, in other words, in such a way that it will never ‘match up to the idealized image of the “triumphant” sketch of the West’ that commentators create, and it will thus always ‘lead to an assumption that the West is in decline. That is, unless, something is done to halt this decline’. Yet, this capacity of the image to question narratives of grandeur and strength is also what provides it with an inherent democratic potential. Benjamin Herborth’s chapter also starts off by identifying ‘a presumably “decadent” Western civilization’ (p. 137) as the target of the 9/11 attacks. As ‘the West’ could be the subject of attack, it could also be seen, in the terminology of the Copenhagen School, as a referent object. Historically, the dominant referent object has been the state – or the nation – and ‘the West’ obviously has a different quality in that it lacks several of the state’s key attributes: a territory, a sovereign authority, and a population whose main identity – when push comes to shove – is constituted through this referent object. This however should not prevent us from studying ‘particular instances of signification, in which implicit or explicit references to the West are being made’ (p. 142). It is not further specified how the ‘semantic analysis’ that Herborth here calls for theorizes ‘implicit reference’ – ‘explicit references’ one presumes consist of the word ‘the West’ itself being used – but it seems to enter the analysis as Herborth points out that the Torture Memos rely upon a ‘tacitly underlying notion of “the West”’ (p. 148), rather than an explicit invocation. An implicit reference is being made, holds Herborth, if there are ‘parallels and inter-linkages between securitization processes taking place in several Western societies’. Such domestic securitizations – which ‘framed terrorism as a broader assault on the Western “way of life”’ – would allow us to identify ‘the West’ at the aggregated level as well. The most apparent site where this ‘sui generis West’ comes through is that of extraordinary renditions, which Herborth argues is a practice that has sustained itself by erasing any demand for accountability. Adopting a more explicit semantic criterion, Herborth also notes that the practice of extraordinary rendition was supported by a European constitution of 9/11 as an attack on a Western partner and at least implicitly on Western civilization as a whole. One important thing to note about ‘the West’,

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concludes Herborth, is that it is a referent object that is ‘virtually impossible to localize’ (p. 148). Yet it is also this very vagueness that makes ‘the West’ ‘effective in integrating a broad set of performative acts, which relate to each other (through a chain of equivalence) simply because they share a reference to “the West”’. This, what we might call ‘integrative vagueness’ also comes through in the way in which a ‘Western community of values’ can be invoked without there being any demand for its content or origin to be specified. In comparison to the two chapters before it, Gabi Schlag’s chapter on NATO features less explicit discussion of ‘the West’ itself. What Schlag’s shows us, though, is that the relationship between NATO and ‘the West’ has always been an ambiguous one. NATO has, on the one hand, been integral to the production of ‘the West’, as evidenced by the title of Bradley Klein’s 1990 article, ‘How the West Was One: Representational Politics of NATO’ (Klein, 1990). Yet, on the other hand, as Schlag points out, there were no explicit invocations of ‘the West’ in the North Atlantic Treaty. Yet, were one to adopt a more implicit – or intertextual – criterion, akin to Herborth’s, one probably would probably see ‘the West’ as present in several of the passages that Schlag quotes, for instance of ‘civilization’ and ‘common heritage’ as uniting the signatories. As Schlag’s analysis demonstrates, such ‘NATO-foundational values’ have been reiterated on key occasions such as the Kosovo intervention and the response to 9/11. The question that Schlag leaves us with is thus whether this values-based discourse has become detached from its ‘Western’ anchoring and moved NATO towards a universalistic discourse. Where Herborth’s and Schlag’s chapters focus on relations ‘within the West’, we take a turn to the external relations with Christian Weber’s analysis of transatlantic policies towards China and Russia. Striking an ontological chord similar to that of Herborth and Schlag, Weber identifies ‘the West’ as a subject constituted through an intertwining of ‘Western civilization’ and a community of political values, namely those of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. ‘The West’, in short, is a discursive construction, and like all identities, it is constituted through difference to what it is not. During the Cold War, of course, the overarching Other was ‘the Soviet Union’, and Weber asks whether ‘the West’ is now articulated through the discourses on ‘China’ and ‘Russia’. Weber’s conclusion is that ‘the West’ is not adopted as a category of self-description, but values that were previously articulated as Western are now constituted as universal and global. A crucial element of this values-based discourse is that it allows ‘the West’ to speak on behalf of oppositional groups within the ‘non-West’, not least in China. In a conclusion that offers advance support for Wæver’s prediction that the

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future of ‘the West’ lies with those outside it, Weber concludes that it is in the discourses of China, and others critical of ‘the West’s’ intrusion into ‘their’ affairs, that the explicit ‘West’ is found. Ted Hopf’s chapter takes us even further into ‘the non-West’, in a neo-Gramscian and world systems theory study of contemporary Russia. Summing up a long and rich analysis, Hopf shows how the material standing of Russia is quite poor on a number of key issues and that this makes it ‘play a smaller role in Western hegemony than one would expect’ (p. 207). Hopf observes that there is a striking dissonance between Russia’s material performance and Putin’s and Medvedev’s claims that Russia is on its way to being a model neoliberal economy. The collective ‘we’-concept which is articulated in Russian discourse is that of ‘Europe’, while ‘Russian leaders make no claims of identification with other states or regions, say the US or China, or Japan, for example’ (p. 221). Neo-liberalism seems in other words to be situated outside of, or stripped of, a clear ‘Western’-‘US’ geographical anchoring. Hopf then holds that we get a better understanding of why the dissonance between materiality and elite discourse has occurred if we look to Russian ‘commonsense’ – that is, following Gramsci, the ‘popular receptivity to different ideas about political economy and its attendant social and political order’ (p. 205). After a study of a body of texts comprising 11th-grade history textbooks, novels, and a regional newspaper, Hopf concludes that there is no wider societal support for the vision put forth by Putin and Medvedev. Situating Hopf’s chapter in the context of the other chapter’s approach to ‘the West’, it is clear that it incorporates materiality in a much more explicit way than those before it. The West, moreover, is not a discursive category put in quotation marks, but is a designation that defines economic models, hegemony, and institutions. One should note, though, that Hopf’s analysis of ‘claims of identification’ implies an incorporation of a discursive conception of ‘the West’ as well. At the center of Gunther Hellmann’s chapter on security conceptions within the EU lies the theme of institutional politics. Comparing the EU and individual members of the EU on the one hand with the US on the other, Hellmann finds that there is ‘a distinctly European identity which is different from ‘the West’ embodied in the US’. Situating his analysis within debates over the EU’s foreign policy identity or status, Hellmann holds that the EU is not adequately captured by the concepts of ‘great power’ or ‘normative power’. In contrast to these concepts – and the realist, liberalist, or constructivist analyses that adopt them – Hellmann advocates an understanding of the EU’s security identity as produced through a mutually constitutive relationship between changing beliefs, changing practices and changing institutions. More specifically, Hellmann

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shows that while there is a remarkably high level of defense spending at the EU level, this is one that is linked to a conception of security as transnational, not ‘national’. This articulation of security implies, argues Hellmann, that ‘the EU has stopped defending “the West”’ (p. 232), and he documents this conclusion through what is probably the book’s most detailed textual analysis of the explicit use of the term ‘the West’. ‘The West’ can of course be identified if this term is explicitly used, but it is also identifiable through ‘commonalities’ – that is, ‘values such as “freedom”, “liberty” and “human rights”, “liberal democracy”, “individualism”, “Christian heritage”’ (p. 233n7). Taking these ‘commonalities of the West’ to the European Security Strategy of 2003 and the US National Security Strategy of 2006, Hellmann identifies a striking difference between the two, as the EU documents mobilize a much less ‘Western’ vocabulary. Assuming the EU is leaving ‘the West’, this raises the question whether ‘the US’ is becoming the sole carrier of ‘the Western project’, or, if we remember Jackson’s analysis of the universal civilizational discourse of both George W. Bush and Obama, if ‘the West’ itself is on its way out. The final chapter, by Matthew Evangelista, interrogates the relationship between Russia and the West with a particular focus on the US. Evangelista shows how the ‘End of the Cold War’ ended – that is, how the pro-Western policy and identity construction that Gorbachev and the first Russian leaders adopted gave way to a more sceptical view. This was in part the product of American policymakers being driven largely by domestic concerns and hence showing little ability – or willingness – to understand how the policies adopted were understood by Russia. By drawing our attention to the multifarious constitution of ‘the West’ within Russian discourse, Evangelista shows us that some of the key tropes within ‘Western-Western’ discourse that many of the previous chapters have identified can be found in ‘the outside’ as well. Looking to early post–Cold War discourses, although Russia’s identity is at times articulated as distinct from ‘the West’, it is at other times represented as part thereof. Interestingly, the conceptual ‘conduit’ between ‘Russia’ and ‘the West’ went through the concept of civilization and through ‘the norm for a state that treated its citizens decently at home and engaged in cooperative relations with other states’. 2

A Loose Framework for Theorizing ‘the West’

Within the space of a concluding chapter, it is hard, if not impossible, to do justice to the really rich, theoretically thoughtful, and empirically thorough chapters that this book contains. In the previous section, I have

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focused strategically on the conceptualizations and usages of ‘the West’, but I should hurry to reiterate that each chapter contains theoretical and empirical insights related to ‘the West’ and IR debates more broadly that I have not been able to cover. I also hope that even the short strategic summary readings have shown that there are plenty of trajectories along which research on ‘the West’ could continue. There are, as a consequence, also multiple conclusions that could have been written, and I am certain that other readers of this book will be able to identify themes, con- and divergences, and questions that I have not had the space to engage. All of that said, what I have chosen to focus on next is how we might further theorize ‘the West’ by interrogating some of the differences and disagreements between the contributions. Let me start by stressing that I find that one of the strengths of this volume is that it avoids the terrain of trite debates between material realist or liberal explanations on the one hand versus discursive-linguistic ones on the other. Some chapters, such as Hopf’s and Evangelista’s, provide an explicit account of how the two enter the analysis/research design, while others take a more implicit approach. To research ‘the West’ is to trace and engage ideational or discursive constructions, but such constructions are also always anchored within or legitimating particular material institutions and actors. Put differently, the research agenda of ‘the West’ is one of ‘ontology in material/discursive action’. Thus, as I read the contributions, while they differ in the extent to which material or concrete institutional factors are foregrounded, this is largely a consequence of the specific questions that concern the author rather than an indication that materiality – or ideational factors – do not matter. In other words, I do not see the material-ideational as the major front line along which trenches have been dug out to be defended. What I might suggest instead is that a loose analytical framework that theorizes ‘the West’ as made up by institutions, collective ‘we’ concepts, and ‘values’ could be said to unite the book’s contributions. I have summed up this loose framework in Figure 13.1. Figure 13.1 suggests that ‘the West’ is produced through, first, a set of values that are constituted as the embodiment of ‘the West’. The quotation marks around ‘values’ indicate that although certain ‘values’, such as ‘freedom’, are invoked so frequently in conjunction with ‘the West’ that they might seem simply to be Western values, they are essentially discursively produced and reproduced. Second, ‘the West’ is a large ‘we’concept, and this ‘we’-concept is always given through the articulation of more specific ‘we’-concepts. The most frequently analyzed ‘we’-concepts in this book are those of ‘civilization’, ‘the North’, or, more ambiguously, the national or regional entities of ‘Europe’ and ‘America’. Third, ‘the

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Lene Hansen Institutions * Order * Specific: NATO, EU, WTO

10.

8. 9 2. 12.

5.

3.

6.

7. 11.

4.

‘'We’' concepts

‘Values’

* Civilization(s) *‘North’America’// ‘Europe’ 2. Guzzini 3. Wæver 4. Müller

5. Jackson 6. Steele 7. Herborth

8. Schlag 9. Weber 10. Hopf

11. Hellmann 12. Evangelista

Figure 13.1 (Hansen): Theorizing ‘the West’ here

West’ is embedded within a set of institutions that might be either specific institutions such as NATO or institutions in a broader sense such as the economic world order. Each of the chapters differs in the extent to which it focuses on one or two of these ‘triangular points’ or in terms of what is going to be explained. Schlag, for instance, is examining the evolution of ‘the West’ as articulated through the institution of NATO, and Hellmann traces the differences in ‘values’ between EUrope and the US through official Security Strategies. Hopf looks at the extent to which Russia’s position in the global economic order dominated by Western institutions is supported by the values articulated at the popular level. ‘The West’ is thus what stands at the center of the triangle. As no chapter takes an exclusive material approach, a discourse of values and identity is required for ‘the West’ to be ‘the West’. And, although linked, the concept of civilization(s) and that of values are not identical: values provide ‘civilization’ with its content, but we might have ‘universal values’ articulated within a singular or a universal civilizational discourse. I have tried to plot the chapters into Figure 13.1, mostly for heuristic purposes, and one might debate where exactly each contribution should be located. The main point of this ‘plotting exercise’ is simply to visualize that no chapter adopts a position where only one point of the triangle is analyzed, that the specific location within the triangle might illustrate the particular

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focus that each chapter has adopted for this particular book rather than a grand claim to the other sides of the triangle not being important, and that, all put together, the book provides us with analysis that ‘covers’ the triangle as a whole. One way to use this triangle could then be to ask what would happen to ‘the West’ if there was a change at one of the end points. Several of the ¨ chapters, Muller’s in particular, address the political/strategic and normative dangers of speaking in a universalist discourse, and, as Herborth for example points out, the rhetoric of ‘the West’ has similar normative overtones. Following on from the preceding discussion, if ‘the West’ is constituted not only through explicit articulations, but through the secondary signs that come through a discourse of shared values and other large collective concepts such as civilization(s), the task is not only to shift, say, ‘the West’ to ‘The Free World’, as suggested by Wæver, but to ‘work’ at the level of the values, institutions and other ‘we’-concepts through which ‘the West’ has been constituted. Put differently, if ‘the Free World’ is merely taking the explicit articulation spot that ‘the West’ used to hold, but everything remained the same, the chances are that not much would change, either on the inside of ‘the West’ or in terms of the responses to ‘the West’ from the outside. 3

Western Values: Universal, Taken for Granted and Unstable

Another way to use the triangle would be to ask whether some of the contributors’ divergent views on the past, present, and future of ‘the West’ stem from their either emphasizing or reading ‘we’-concepts or ‘values’, or the link between them, differently. A key question here is whether ‘the West’, as ‘values’ and ‘civilization’, is a universal or a particular project. The universalism of ‘the West’ was stressed by Wæver, for instance, who held that ‘the West’ has ‘universalizing connotations but tie[s] these values to a particular place as priv¨ ileged’. A similar view of ‘the West’ also seemed to underpin Muller’s critique of cosmopolitan liberal theory. Read as a discursive practice, the West’s claim to be civilizing, facilitating, and assisting less fortunate others towards the standards of ‘the West’ is an enactment of power. At the level of the values usually identified as ‘Western’, some explicitly invoke ‘the’ human, such as ‘human rights’, while others, such as ‘individual liberty’ or ‘freedom’, do so more indirectly. Such values can be invoked by discourses that confine their application, either through the concept of civilization – ‘non-Western civilizations do not share the Western conception of the individual’ – or through the classical state sovereignty

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reasoning that states should be free to follow ‘their’ own values. But even statements that values are universal cannot avoid particularity (Walker, 1993). Las Casas thought of the Indians as humans that could be christened, but were not yet (Todorov, 1982), and the 1913 Carnegie Inquiry described the Balkans as ‘young clients of civilization’ to be helped into ‘civilization’ as such (de Constant, 1914, p. 8). ‘True’ universalisms, if we might use such a term, are those that are not even stated as such, because they are self-evident – take for instance the ‘universalism’ that individual human survival is valued over that of individual animals. Universalist discourse is always spoken from a particular place, with a particular content, by particular actors, and its articulation indicates that it is incomplete. Universalist discourse is also always resisted in some ways as those at the receiving end of the universalizing project contest its legitimacy or refuse to adopt the practices that the universalizers demand. This implies, for instance, that there is more of a genealogy between Bush’s universal civilization discourse and that of ‘the clash’ than Jackson’s analysis might show. Jackson is right to note that Bush explicitly avoided ‘the clash’, but Bush’s ‘struggle for civilization’ also comes with a history, not only of violent imposition of universality – thus, of course, producing more ‘clash’ in the real world than would Huntington’s more classical realist scepticism in the face of foreign ‘adventures’ – but of particularity within the concept itself. As Jackson expertly lays out, Huntington drew upon Spengler’s understanding of civilizational decline; yet, another influence was that of Braudel and the French Annales school. Braudel’s teacher and co-founder of that school, Lucien Febvre, held in an interesting analysis of the concept of civilization in 1930 that the concept was first used in its singular form as referring to ‘an absolute concept of a single, coherent, human civilization’ (Febvre, 1930, p. 232). The context in which this concept rose was that of the Enlightenment’s belief in science and classification through which all aspects of the material and social could be ordered and, when put in their proper place, be understood. The concept of civilization fitted the study of large-scale societies and could be used to classify the non-Western/non-European distance to ‘civilization’ itself. This vision of ‘civilization’ also implied a belief in others being able to become (almost as) civilized, and often, a European/Western responsibility for facilitating this process. Only later in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century did a concept of civilizations in the plural appear. If we take this – arguably truncated – conceptual history to post–Cold War discussions of civilizations, it is possible to identify a connection between ‘the clash’ and ‘the struggle for civilization’ in that ‘civilization’ already entailed a distance between that which was civilized and that

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which was not. At the time when ‘civilization’ came into use, the view was not that the world as a whole was civilized, but that it might evolve to that standard or else remain on the outside. There was, in that sense, already a particularity within ‘civilization’ itself, which, under given circumstances, could also be a license to intervene into those spaces not yet civilized. If we read ‘civilization’ through that lens, there is an element of continuity between Huntington and Bush rather than a radical difference, although their policy preferences obviously differed. Pointing to the particularity inherent in ‘civilization’ should be of interest not only to those who venture into, in Jackson’s words, ‘Huntington studies’, but to broader discussions of ‘the West’, because it illustrates that ‘civilization’ – a core ‘we’-concept in the history of ‘the West’ – and the sub-signs or values that come with it always invoke particularity (for a related argument about the particularity of NATO’s universalist discourse towards Russia, see Williams and Neumann, 2000). And singular civilizations always invoke universality on the inside, as ‘their’ singularity can only be maintained through clear distinctions between ‘our’ particularity and that of ‘the’ others (see also Walker, 1993). This in turn underscores the inherent instability in the concepts of ‘Western civilization’, ‘Western values’, or ‘the West’ as an ideational or discursive concept. The question of the stability of ‘the West’ is brought out directly or indirectly by virtually all the chapters in this volume. Evangelista, for example, holds that the idea of ‘the West’ contains a diversity of identities, whereas Hellmann states that ‘the West’ is constructed through a set of commonalities, such as ‘freedom’, ‘liberty’, ‘human rights’, ‘liberal democracy’, ‘individualism’, and ‘Christian heritage’. On a similar note, Weber, using the vocabulary of Laclau and Mouffe, states that ‘Democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law – all these concepts were brought into equivalence and grouped around the notion of a “Western civilization” that symbolized their commonness’ (p. 182). The extent to which such constructions of ‘the West’ are disputed can be approached as an empirical question, which raises the question of audience, whether that of a parliamentary opposition, a citizenry, or academics. Such an approach to the question of dispute might ask whether surveys such as those carried out by Eurobarometer support a view of such values as ‘Western’. One might note here perhaps that the survey mentioned in Hellmann’s chapter (p. 245n16) on the view of the EU’s neighbors simply assumes that ‘our values’ are given. But we might also address the question of dispute through textual and political practice. Here the question is not whether a survey shows support for a particular ‘value’ as Western, but how such chains of equivalence as laid out by Hellmann and Weber are sought to be stabilized while remaining fundamentally

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unstable. The implications of seeing such equivalences as unstable could be illustrated by a return to Huntington’s conception of Western civilization. As Guzzini shows, this conception is one that on the one hand, in Ajami’s words, contains ‘no fissures’, yet on the other has to fight to maintain its singularity. The challenge comes not only in the form of alien civilizations, most conspicuously for the US through the growth of the Hispanic population (Huntington, 2004), but also through decaying domestic values: ‘The clash between the multiculturalists and the defenders of Western civilization and the American Creed is, in James Kurth’s phrase, “the real clash” within the American segment of Western civilization . . . Domestically, this means rejecting the divisive siren calls of multiculturalism’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 307). It is worth noting that this is not ‘just’ a matter of weeding out multiculturalism, but of protecting a normative core. ‘Far more significant than economics and demography are problems of moral decline, cultural suicide, and political disunity in the West’, and one of the ways in which that ‘moral decline’ manifests itself is through ‘family decay, including increased rates of divorce, illegitimacy, teen-age pregnancy, and single-parent families’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 304). Huntington’s concern with the inner strength of the West is important not only because it brings out a conservative world view, but because it shows that ‘Western values’ must invoke particular forms of ‘Westernness’. For example, others might argue that ‘Western liberal values’ imply not a battle against single-parent families or divorce, but a political and social system that supports women – and men – who seek to leave their marriage/relationship – or who choose to become single parents from the start. Ironically, the difficulty of separating civilizations from one another comes out in Huntington’s lament that ‘the future health of the West’ depends on sorting out these weaknesses, ‘which, of course, give rise to the assertions of moral superiority by Muslims and Asians’ (Huntington, 1996, p. 304). It seems, in other words, that marriage and two-parent families are the sort of trans-civilizational values that might bind the world together. The point here is that civilizational distinctiveness is in need of constant performative ‘work’ to maintain its unstable difference to ‘the outside’ and its desired purity ‘on the inside’. It also shows, more broadly, that ‘Western values’ are always at risk of having their undisputed status destabilized. As Weber points out, what is ‘Western’ depends on a constitutive Other that is different from itself (Campbell, 1992; Klein, 1994), but ‘the West’ might be facing particular challenges because, unlike national identities, it lacks a clear territoriality and institutional platform from which

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it can be articulated. In this sense, ‘the West’ is at the same time taken for granted and inherently unstable. Many of the contributions to this book note that ‘the West’ is absent (Schlag, for example) or that it is in, or likely to, decline (Jackson, Wæver), and future studies of ‘the West’ might interrogate how and when the inherent instability of the West is brought out. One example of work along these lines is that of feminist analysis, which has pointed to the mobilization of Western, liberal values within the discourses that legitimate the interventions into Afghanistan and Iraq and the inability of this discourse to ‘follow through’ in terms improving women’s rights and status (Tickner, 2002; Enloe, 2004). Another way to approach the significance of unstable values is to ask what ‘values’ are being included and which ones are being excluded in constructions of ‘Western’ identity. Take, for example, the EU’s insistence that the Baltic countries had to abolish their use of the death penalty before they could become members of the Union, and contrast that to this being an issue that does not interfere with the proclamations of common values as binding NATO together. Or, consider how the EU has stayed away from integrating its policies on abortion or same-sex marriage, both issues that go to the core of ‘human rights’.1 My point here is that ‘Western’ values are performed through political practices that make certain issues ‘Western’ and some not. 4

The Presence/Absence of ‘the West’

One of the other tensions in the book as a whole is whether ‘the West’ is, as stated in the Introduction, ‘ubiquitous’, or in decline. This raises the question of the presence/absence of ‘the West’, a question which ties methodology, epistemology, and ontology together. For the chapters that adopt a linguistic, discursive epistemology, ‘the West’ is always constituted through discourse, either through explicit articulations of ‘the West’, or more indirectly through those signs that are thought to indicate ‘the West’, be that ‘liberal democracy’ or ‘human rights’. Although this might sound pretty straightforward, I think it is worthwhile to discuss in more detail what such implicit-explicit criteria imply and what they say about the ontological – and empirical – status of ‘the West’. First, it is obvious that to hold ‘the West’ as present exclusively through an explicit articulation of ‘the West’ would limit the analysis. For example, 1

An attention to such questions would also be a way to bring gender – which, except for a footnote in Jackson’s chapter, is absent from the volume – into a research agenda on ‘the West’.

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as Schlag notes, because ‘the West’ is absent from the NATO documents she studies, one would conclude that NATO has no connection to ‘the West’. Specific texts, here NATO documents, need therefore to be situated within a broader field of texts and political practice; but we also need to be open to the possibility that ‘secondary terms’ are so established as markers of a sign or identity that they can be used to identify an identity. This, for instance, is the strategy adopted in the chapters by Hellmann, Herborth, and Weber. Steele also takes this route arguing that the pictures of the burned contractors at Fallujah questioned the ‘American Self’ and hence the vitality of ‘Western civilization’. Yet, there is also always an instability in the ability of ‘secondary terms’ to define ‘something’ and we need therefore, as noted earlier, to incorporate that instability into our analysis. Thus, I read Schlag’s observation that ‘the West’ and NATO are synonyms as the outcome of constant discursive performances by political actors that seek to close the gap between the two. I wonder also if more could be said about the closure of the distance between ‘America’ and ‘Western civilization’ in Steele’s analysis. While on the one hand, one must define ‘the West’ through indirect discursive markers, one should also, on the other hand, recognize that such a definition is more elusive than one that relies upon explicit articulations. That this is not just methodological nitpicking is illustrated by the fact that the way in which an analysis adopts an implicit or explicit criterion of identification has implications for the conclusion about the presence/absence of ‘the West’. Let us take here Jackson’s conclusion that ‘the West’ is receding from US vocabulary. Jackson offers strong textual evidence for this shift, quoting for instance Bush’s 2006 fifth-anniversary speech for September 11. The short passage Jackson quotes contains no less than five times ‘freedom’ – and once ‘free nations’ – which is the first among the ‘commonalities’ defined by Hellmann as those which identify ‘the West’. Thus, if an implicit criterion is adopted, ‘the West’ looks less as if it were in decline than as if it were morphing into a ‘Westernuniversal’ discourse, an option explicitly adopted by Steele. To reiterate: my point is not that we should decide on either the explicit or the implicit criterion as that which truly defines ‘the West’ – it clearly can be said to be present through both – but that we might benefit from making the criteria we adopt more visible. Only then could we interrogate why implicit and explicit criteria might lead us to different conclusions about the status of ‘the West’. As Steele’s chapter shows, ‘the West’ might also be invoked through images. Given that visuals are (still) under-theorized and under-studied in IR, Steele’s chapter offers a very valuable account of images’ ability

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to ‘speak’ about collective concepts such as ‘the West’.2 Steele’s main analytical arguments are two, as I see it. One is that images conjure insecurity per se (the image of burned bodies hung from the beams of a bridge is bound to invoke the impression of vulnerability, at least at the level of the individual body). The second is that this image must be situated within an inter-visuality of past US foreign policy icons, most prominently the ‘Black Hawk Down’ video from Mogadishu, 1993. Both arguments are, I think, very well made. My question, though, is whether Steele attributes too much agency, or policy response, to the image itself. As Steele lays out, the immediacy and emotionality that these images produced are highly significant for understanding why the need for acting in response to ‘Fallujah’ was so forcefully argued, and ‘Mogadishu’ definitely played an integral part in this response – think for instance, counterfactually, about this event without images to accom¨ pany it (see also Moller, 2007; Hansen, 2011). Steele’s analysis compellingly shows that commentators argued that the image called for a forceful response, but the political ‘work’ that was put into granting the images this significance also shows that there is an inherent ambiguity in terms of exactly what policy response an image ‘demands’. Take for example the photos of emaciated prisoners in Northern Bosnia in 1992, which evoked an iconography of the Holocaust, but which failed to produce ‘Western’ action (Campbell, 2002; Brink, 2006). Put differently, why was the image from Fallujah not constituted as showing that once again, ‘we’ are making the mistake of ‘Mogadishu’, and the lesson should be to get out as quickly as possible? As Steele’s analysis also shows, images can be reconstituted in the light of later events. If ‘Fallujah’ equals action, and ‘Fallujah’ equals ‘Mogadishu’, then ‘Mogadishu’ comes to call for a forceful response, too. Or, to take the case of ‘Fallujah’ itself, it is not impossible that these images can be shifted from a discourse of ‘Western’ action to one that claims that ‘we’ can do nothing to civilize ‘Iraq’. Finally, I agree with Steele that an image can never fundamentally prove the triumph of ‘the West’ – as in, close that identity off from being questioned – yet the interrogation of such images need not necessarily lead to an assumption of decline. Rather, ‘interrogation’ might as well work towards a heroic canonization, as in the images of 9/11 fire fighters recapturing the emotional strength of ‘the American’. 2

Note also Guzzini’s nicely put observation that geopolitics ‘comes with the persuasiveness of the visual, the power of maps where the world is laid out before one’s eyes’ and Evangelista on the displacement of Cyrillic characters by the Latin script in the Hillary Rodham Clinton–Medvedev incident.

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A final theme worth raising is that of the relationship of ‘the West’ – and other ‘we’ concepts – to genre and institutional location. Is it that ‘the West’, or ‘civilization’ are, for instance, employed in certain settings, and through certain genres, and not others? Why, for example, was ‘the West’ not invoked in the NATO documents that Schlag analyzes when clearly it was used elsewhere? Or why is it that President Bill Clinton largely abstained from using ‘clash of civilization’ in his speeches and interviews when this term was definitely, as Jackson notes, part of the broader policy and media debate? Were such representations avoided because their use would have put pressure on existing policies, or because they would have provoked audiences at home and abroad? Are particular representations generally avoided in favor of universal ones when institutions and political leaders speak in their official capacity? What I am suggesting here is not that we should – or could – produce a finite list of where ‘the West’ can be used, but rather that in specific contexts, the differences in the explicit and implicit use of ‘the West’ even at the level of groups that share the same policy position is worthy of further study. 5

The End of ‘the West’?

In the light of the care and thought that have gone into all of the chapters, I think it would be foolish or at least pretentious to end with a grand claim on the ability of ‘the West’ to survive or a bulletproof solution as to how ‘the West’ might reinvent itself. Suffice it to say that I think the book’s contributors have shown us that because ‘the West’ is constituted through ‘values’, other ‘we’ concepts, and institutional embodiments, the key to a potential revitalization – or continuation, depending on one’s view of the present – lies in the dynamics through which these are linked. As hinted at earlier, if ‘the West’ is to be used not only by ‘outsiders’, and not only by conservative insiders in the Huntingtonian tradition, we need to rework the normative-civilizational overtones into a project that is more open, less messianic, and comfortable in its own ambiguity. That, of course, is much easier said than done, but I would like to recall the closing of Evangelista’s chapter, which I think provides a startingpoint for thinking about the road ahead. Evangelista wrote, ‘As Russians come to recognize the genuine diversity of identities represented by the idea of the West, they might be willing to give expression to their own range of identities, until now suppressed in the interest of meeting the challenge of a seemingly monolithic West’. So, if ‘the West’ is not monolithic, it cannot speak with the universalizing certainty that drives the rest of the world away. One way to de-monolithicize ‘the West’ is to ask what

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the West’s own subaltern is or has been. Huntington and the right-wing Europeans that Guzzini’s chapter describes are not inhabiting a space that has even been free of the non-West. Think for one thing of how the American West was conquered, or how ‘the South West’ includes parts – Texas – that belonged to Mexico before they became part the United States of America. Or, how Greenland has been a part of Denmark since the early eighteenth century. The point here is not simply to argue that ‘the West’ is made up of national/ethnic groups, which should be included, but that the very constitution of such ‘groups’ as different is evidence of fissures within ‘the West’ itself. If, as this book has shown so well, ‘the inside’ of the West matters for how ‘the outside’ perceives it, we might be well advised to open up the complexity of such ‘insides’ for those ‘outside’ to see.

REFERENCES Brink, Cornelia (2006) ‘Secular Icons: Looking at Photographs from Nazi Concentration Camps’, History & Memory 12, 1, pp. 135–150. Campbell, David (1992) Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Manchester: Manchester University Press). (2002) ‘Atrocity, Memory, Photography: Imagining the Concentration Camps of Bosnia – the Case of ITN versus Living Marxism, Part 1’, Journal of Human Rights 1, 1, pp. 1–33. de Constant, d’Estournelles (1914) ‘Introduction’, in Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment), pp. 1–19. Enloe, Cynthia (2004) ‘Wielding Masculinity Inside Abu Ghraib: Making Feminist Sense of an American Military Scandal’, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies 10, 3, pp. 89–102. Febvre, Lucien (1930) ‘Civilisation: Evolution of a Word and a Group of Ideas’, reprinted in Peter Burke, ed., A New Kind of History: From the Writings of Febvre, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), pp. 219–57. Hansen, Lene (2011) ‘Theorizing the Image for Security Studies: Visual Securitization and the Muhammad Cartoon Crisis’, European Journal of International Relations 17, 1, pp. 51–74. Huntington, Samuel P. (1993) ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’, Foreign Affairs 72, 3, pp. 22–49. (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster). (2004) Who Are We? (New York: Simon & Schuster). Klein, Bradley S. (1994) Strategic Studies and World Order: The Global Politics of Deterrence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). ‘How The West Was One: Representational Politics of NATO’, International Studies Quarterly 34, 3, pp. 311–325.

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¨ Moller, Frank (2007) ‘Photographic Interventions in Post-9/11 Security Policy’, Security Dialogue 38, 2, pp. 179–196. Tickner, J. Ann (2002) ‘Feminist Perspectives on 9/11,’ International Studies Perspectives 3, 4, pp. 333–350. Todorov, Tzvetan (1982) The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other (New York: Harper Perennial). Walker, R. B. J. (1993) Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Williams, Michael C. and Iver B. Neumann (2000) ‘From Alliance to Security Community: NATO, Russia, and the Power of Identity’, Millennium 29, 2, pp. 357–387.

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Index

9/11, 84, 122, 123, 136, 138, 149, 171, 263, 284 ABM treaty, 102, 266–267 accountability, 146 aesthetic insecurity, 115–117 aesthetics, 111–112 Agamben, Giorgio, 150 agency, 62, 69, 73, 120, 259 al-Qaeda, 124, 137, 143, 173, 263 American exceptionalism, 101 opposition to, 104 Anderson, Benedict, 40, 213 Antonio Gramsci, 203 archeology (Foucault), 41 Arendt, Hannah, 115, 120 Aron, Raymond, 23n13 articulation, 15, 42, 48, 140, 156, 159, 164, 169, 172 asecurity, 141 Ashcroft, John, 137 Ashley, Richard K., 16n5 austerity, 273 authorization, 145, 150, 198 autocracy, 60, 61, 62–63, 69–70, 140, 162, 184, 197 autonomy, 61, 72, 121 balancing, 88, 92, 99, 203, 264 Beck, Ulrich, 71–73, 146 Beitz, Charles, 64 Bigo, Didier, 142 bin Laden, Osama, 52, 125, 137 bipolarity, 46, 97, 236, 239 Bolton, John, 25 Boulez, Pierre, 136–137 Bourdieu, Pierre, 16n5 Braudel, Fernand, 292 Brazil, 3 Bull, Hedley, 195 Bull, Hedley and Adam Watson, 48 Bush, George H. W., 260

Bush, George W., 25, 45, 46, 60, 73, 84–85, 101–102, 129, 147, 149, 188, 232, 247, 261, 263, 266–267, 268, 273, 283 Cambridge School (of conceptual history), 40 Campbell, David, 94, 294, 297 capitalism, 2, 18, 203, 206, 216 capitalist world economy, 210 Central and Eastern Europe, 167, 168, 268 chains of equivalence, 182, 286, 293 Chavez, Hugo, 52 China, 3, 45, 47, 50, 55, 67, 74, 267 and human rights, 190–196 rise of, 183–190 China Olympics, 48, 49, 52 Christendom, 44 civic rights, 151 civilian power, 232 civilization, 25, 28–29, 83, 87–92, 122, 125, 131, 137, 142, 181, 184, 198, 221, 255, 273 concept of, 83–104 reified concept of, 27 clash of civilizations, 14, 60, 104, 128 Clausewitz, Carl von, 23 Clinton, Hillary Rodham, 272 Clinton, William J., 130, 264, 265, 298 Cold War, 17, 93–97, 160–172, 179, 246 end of the, 13, 31, 45, 238, 239, 254–276 lessons from the, 49 collective defense, 159, 162, 171, 238–239 colonialism, 48, 50 commonplace, 91, 99 commonsense, 203, 205–206, 214–215, 219 community, 54, 163, 172, 179, 195 conceptual change, 39–41, 43 conceptual history, 40, 292 confederation, 67

301

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Index

Congress of Mantua, 39 constructivism, 5, 42, 62, 259, 269 containment, 16, 96, 97, 99 contingency, 5, 37, 63, 112, 115, 142, 198 cooperation, 96, 158, 169, 171, 189, 223, 238 COP15, 48, 49 core, 204 cosmopolitism, 60–80 counter-power, 115–117 Cox, Robert, 203–205 Crimea, 156, 174, 256, 275 crisis management, 171 critical constructivism, 158 critique, 153, 159 CSCE, 254 cultures of anarchy, 13 death penalty, 295 decision, 146 democracy, 55, 63, 79, 139, 173, 198 vs. non-democracy, 60 democratic peace theory, 60, 62 Denmark, 26 de-politicization, 118, 139 Dershowitz, Alan, 152 de-securitization, 256, 263 d´etente, 17, 159, 236, 240 determinism, 19, 21, 157 deterrence, 76, 165, 166, 170, 171 de-territorialization, 234 Dewey, John, 112, 114–115 dialogue, 83, 103, 114, 169, 171, 242 difference, 3, 83, 91, 182, 196, 280 disciplining imagination, 119 discourse, 41–43, 157 discourse analysis, 37, 41, 87 discourse theory, 43 discursive structuration, 42 disorder, 126–128, 264 domestic politics, 42, 270 double-bind, 137 doxa, 16n5 Energy Charter, 257 Enlightenment, 292 essentialism, 184 essentialization critique of, 1, 43 EU, 25–26, 30–31, 51, 231–249, 274 admission of Turkey, 26, 282 Eastern enlargement, 169, 268 identity discourse, 25 weapons embargo against China, 190

Eurasian Economic Community, 223 Europe, 39, 50, 141 concepts of, 42 emergence of, 39–41 provincialization of, 55 European Security Strategy, 236 exception, 77, 102, 118, 119, 139, 141, 146, 150, 246 routinizing the, 148–151 exclusion, 31, 64, 65, 182 Fallujah, 116, 124, 126–131, 285 Febvre, Lucien, 292 Feinstein Report, 151 financial crisis, 46 foreign policy, 42, 87 foreign policy identity, 15, 24 Fortress Europe, 141 Foucault, Michel, 40, 41, 44, 112, 113–114, 115–117, 118–119, 146 foundational narratives, 159, 173 France, 26, 260 freedom, 55, 84–85, 103, 161–162, 173, 182 and security, 137 Fukuyama, Francis, 2–3, 38, 172, 197 Gadhafi, Moammar, 52 Gaidar, Yegor, 203 geopolitics, 18, 19–24, 173 German tradition of, 19 and Italy, 14 and organicism, 19 return of, 13 and Russia, 13–14 Georgia, 262, 263, 268, 271 Giddens, Anthony, 73 glasnost, 167 global governance, 60, 63 Goldsmith, Jack, 143 Gorbachev, Mikhail, 17, 167, 238, 255, 258–259, 261–262, 270, 288 Gramsci, Antonio, 204, 206 great powers, 38, 45–47, 93, 179–198, 232, 272 Guant´anamo Bay, 103, 143 ¨ Habermas, Jurgen, 71 Hall, Stuart, 1, 3, 4, 137, 181, 182 hegemony, 183 concepts of, 203–207 Held, David, 66–68 Helms, Jesse, 25 ¨ Hoffe, Otfried, 66–68 Hoffmann, Stanley, 156

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Index human rights, 49, 54, 60, 74, 79, 190–196 Huntington, Samuel, 14, 26–27, 30, 83–84, 86, 88, 89–92, 93, 97, 172, 197, 283, 292, 293, 294, 298–299 ICC, 25 identity, 16, 27, 51, 157, 182, 203, 232, 259, 268–272, 295 identity discourses, 24 IMF, 195, 223, 273 import substitution, 213 inclusion/exclusion, 43, 70 India, 3 individuals rights of, 65 inside/outside, 299 international law, 79 international society, 18, 48, 235 international system, 18, 62, 91, 179, 260 interpellation, 15 interpretation, 15, 183 intersubjectivity, 15, 119, 158, 256, 259 interventionism, 16 Iraq, 75 isolationism, 16 Italy, 14, 26 Jean, Carlo, 14, 22, 23 Kant, Immanuel, 13, 61, 63, 69, 77, 152 Kennan, George, 96 Khatami, Mohammad, 83 Koselleck, Reinhart, 40 Koskenniemi, Martti, 142, 152, 174 Kosovo, 75, 233, 256, 267 Kozyrev, Andrei, 254–255 Kratochwil, Friedrich, 89, 121, 124n8, 131n12, 152, 259

303 mentalism critique of, 41 Middle East, 50 militant liberalism, 63, 80 militarist gaze, 22–24 missionary universalism, 76 modernization, 174 Mouffe, Chantal, 197, 293 Muhammad cartoons, 48 multilateralism, 263 multipolarity, 45, 46, 97 national interests, 5, 18, 24, 25, 185, 243 national security, 141, 232, 236, 244, 245 national security state, 232, 236 nationalism, 25, 27, 260 NATO, 102, 156–174, 238, 248, 254, 262–268 Eastern expansion, 265 strategic concept, 165 natural resources, 208 neo-conservatism, 45, 60, 65, 73–77, 97–104 neoliberal hegemony, 213 neo-liberalism, 25, 203, 206, 215, 287 Netherlands, 26 Neumann, Iver B., 4n6, 28, 89, 169, 193 New International Economic Order, 48 Niebuhr, Reinhold, 129 non-liberal others, 64 normative power, 232 normativity, 72 norms, 72, 79, 113, 152, 192, 195–198 North Atlantic Treaty, 161 North-South relations, 47–50

Laclau, Ernesto, 182, 293 Lebow, Richard Ned, 258n4, 261 legitimation, 86, 94, 99, 141 liberal hegemony, 76 liberal universalism, 74 liberalism, 2, 63, 71 Luhmann, Niklas, 41, 146

Obama, Barack, 46, 60, 76, 85–86, 97–104, 143, 256, 272–273, 284 occidentalism, 51 ontological anxiety, 16, 18, 121 ontological insecurity, 15 Onuf, Nicholas, 94, 152 order, 5, 38, 46, 65, 67, 68, 75, 76, 102, 118, 139, 151, 255, 256, 261 and securitization/desecuritization, 142 Orientalism, 3–4 Ostpolitik, 17, 78

Mackinder, Halford John, 13, 19–22 macro-distinctions, 38 Malthus, Thomas, 21 Marshall Plan, 96 Maus, Ingeborg, 61, 63, 77, 198 Medvedev, Dmitri, 206, 215–223, 262, 272, 275

papal policies, 39–41 paranoia, 140 parliamentarian control, 66 particularism, 86, 87–92, 283, 291–295 Patriot Act, 149 peace research, 13, 17, 23n14, 149, 237, 245

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304

Index

peace-building, 79, 239 perestroika, 167, 238 performativity, 125, 139, 286, 294 periphery, 204 Pius II, 39 pluralism, 9, 49, 78 polarisation, 60, 62–64, 77–78, 80 polarity, 38, 45, 62 emerging structure of, 46 political authority, 5 political philosophy, 60 political theory, 75 populism, 26, 27 postcolonialism, 50, 197, 198 post-structuralism, 5, 41, 43, 158 power, 268–272 precaution, 166 prediction, 37 preemptive self-immunization, 147 public international law, 65 Putin, Vladimir, 55, 156, 203, 206, 215–218, 219, 223, 263, 266–267, 274 rationalization, 118 Ratzel, Friedrich, 20 Rawls, John, 64, 68–71 Reagan, Ronald, 17, 78, 258–259, 261 recognition, 16, 74, 197 regional powers, 45 regional security complex theory, 43, 44–47, 62 Rejali, Darius, 151 representation, 15 re-securitization, 14, 141, 256 Ringmar, Erik, 42, 89 risk, 150, 169 risk management, 150 risk society, 146 rogue states, 75 Rorty, Richard, 87, 136, 137 routinization, 119, 145 rule of law, 173 Rumsfeld, Donald, 22, 28, 30 Russia, 3, 13–14, 55, 254–276 and human rights, 190–196 and its Soviet past, 221 relative isolation of, 212 Said, Edward, 3–4, 27, 213 Schmitt, Carl, 118–120, 150 securitization, 19, 23, 62, 174, 188, 234, 246

securitization theory, 47, 137–142 security transformation of, 245 security communities, 173 security dilemma, 62, 76, 269 security imaginary, 15–18, 24 self-authorization, 174 self-interrogative imaging, 121–126 semi-periphery, 204, 207–210 signification, 43 Skinner, Quentin, 40 sovereignty, 77, 140, 185 Soviet Union, 160, 165, 167, 168, 182, 221, 254 Spencer, Herbert, 19 Spengler, Oswald, 38, 181, 292 state of emergency, 150 structuralism, 41 structures as unstable and incomplete, 44 subjectivity, 41, 159, 173, 198 superpowers, 45 symbolic orders, 158 symbolic representation, 182 systems theory, 41 technocracy, 146 theorizing, 5 Tiananmen, 186 torture, 103, 142–148, 149–152 torture memos, 143–148 Toynbee, Arnold, 181 transatlantic relations, 2, 13, 28, 30, 84, 97, 141, 160–172, 181–183, 231 transnational security, 236, 245 triumphalism, 2, 76, 172, 276 Truman, Harry S., 160 U.S., 16, 27, 50, 83–104 challenges to hegemony, 47 foreign policy of the, 45 national security strategy, 75, 234 Ukraine, 50, 156, 174, 222, 242, 248, 249, 256, 263, 269, 271, 272, 273–276 UN, 194–195 uncertainty, 146, 168 unilateralism, 263 unipolarity, 45 United Nations Security Council, 73 universalism, 51, 63, 73–77, 84, 86, 87–92, 190–196, 283, 291–295 universalization, 55 vitalism, 117–121

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Index Wallerstein, Immanuel, 204 Waltz, Kenneth, 62, 89, 91 war on terror, 101, 131, 148, 151, 173, 198 Warsaw Pact, 156, 167 Washington consensus, 46, 213 Weldes, Jutta, 15, 94, 281 Wendt, Alexander, 13, 42, 73, 95 West concept of the, 1, 5, 14, 97–104, 128, 151, 161, 183, 190, 196–198, 280 contestation of the, 3, 4–9, 14, 26, 27, 142, 158, 196, 206, 269 decline of the, 56, 83, 86, 125, 130, 172 de-monolithicization of the, 9, 299 descriptions of the, 2, 30, 180, 196 and emerging powers, 3, 48 everyday uses of the, 1, 4, 24

305 Fortress West, 14 future of the, 57, 132, 231 and hegemony, 2, 29 presence/absence, 295–297 teleologies of the, 39 Western civilization, 111, 158, 161, 172, 181 Western hegemony, 203, 206, 224 Western values, 54–57, 83, 84, 234, 283, 291–295 Wiener, Antje, 195 World Bank, 46 world capitalist economy, 204 world system, 204 WTO, 46, 204, 224 Yeltsin, Boris, 203, 254 Yoo, John, 143, 152

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