CIAO DATE: 02/01
Volume XXXV No. 3 (July-September 2000)
While important new international schemes have been launched for the Balkans in the last year, they are aimed almost exclusively at economic and institutional problems and neglect security aspects, since dealing with the latter would touch on delicate political questions. But these strategies can hardly be implemented in an insecure environment; and at the same time, economic recovery and democratisation cannot bridge the security gap. Addressing the security question calls for radical reconsideration of both the democratic agenda and the agenda of integration with Europe, putting the focus squarely on state-building and enforcement of the rule of law.
Enigmatic Iran is once again giving the lie to predictions. What was hailed as the new revolution following the general elections early this year is slowly being turned around by entrenched power structures and vested interests. Whether or not the country can undergo a "soft" transition towards a pluralist system basically depends on the conservatives and their willingness to continue to play the parliamentary game. Though the regime has already lost its real source of legitimacy, it remains to be seen whether Khatamis offer of a new legitimacy based on parliamentary democracy will be enough to find a non-traumatic way out of Khomeinis revolution.
TEPSA Europe Forum
While a series of decisions have been taken by European actors in recent years to strengthen capacities in the field of defence, the progress made in integrating defence markets on the supply side must now be matched by similar progress on the demand side. Here a number of stumbling blocks still persist, created mainly by the specific connotations of the 15 national markets. The objective is to do away with these and give the current rationalisation process, which has already taken some important steps, a real European and transnational dimension.
Italian Foreign Policy
After Italys rather awkward handling of Abdullah Ocalans unexpected visit to Italy in December 1998, later phases of the crisis involving the Kurdish leader, while initially causing a deterioration in Turkish relations with Greece and the European Union, eventually led to a rapprochement with both and the admission of Turkeys candidature to the EU in December 1999.
Reform of the composition of the UN Security Council to provide equitable representation of the organisations members in the new century has been a very sluggish process. Italy has played an active role and is now advocating a solution which envisages a new category of rotating non-permanent members, as opposed to a simple increase in the numbers of either of the existing categories, permanent or non-permanent. It is also in favour of a European Union seat on the Council, which could, if approved by the EU member states and not opposed by the members of the Security Council, be achieved without reform of the Charter.
Transatlantic Relations in Flux
The end of the Cold War and the emergence of the American unipolar power are straining the Western political order. In order to preserve and expand transatlantic cooperation, both Europe and the US must first recognise that such an order exists a system of institutions deliberately created with a positive vision of relations among Western countries in mind and then work to strengthen these institutions, in the knowledge that they can make the exercise of power more restrained and routinised, but that they can also make that power more durable, systematic and legitimate.
The remaining global hegemon, the US, now finds itself with an excess of power, once created and mobilised against the "enemy". But the combination of this and the recent decline in presidential power does not make for a good "imperial function" in a globalised world system. It seems unlikely that the world will continue to be unipolar in the future; a new world order must make room for new powers and contain them in a rule-based system of shared risks and responsibilities. The European Union itself suggests the advantages of shared hegemonies. Europes efforts to establish a collective and more self-sufficient defence should, therefore, be welcomed instead of hindered.
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While a certain optimism prevailed in the early nineties, control regimes for nuclear, biologial and chemical (NBC) weapons increasingly came under pressure in the second half of the decade. The article briefly reviews the state of implementation of the various regimes and warns of the seriousness of the challenges facing them.
Book Reviews and Notes