CIAO DATE: 04/07
Winter 2006 (Volume 5, Number 4)
Diplomacy in a Changing World (PDF, 13 Pages, 204 KB)
We have witnessed, since the end of the Cold War, a dramatic shift in the way which international actors manage their diplomacy and foreign policy. Two key factors have fundamentally influenced the contemporary international relations. The cornerstone of these factors is the fast development of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and its impact on diplomacy practices. New ICTs have effectively threatened the official diplomats’ central position in the conduct of foreign affairs, and they have undermined some of diplomats’ principal functions as well. The new ICTs, especially global television channels and Internet, have replaced in many cases ambassadors as a main resource of foreign information.
Rethinking International Relations Theory in Islam: Toward a More Adequate Approach
(PDF, 16 Pages, 264 KB)
The legal foundation of foreign relations in Islam is based on Sharīy’ah. The original sources of Sharīy’ah are the Quran and the Prophetic traditions (Sunnah). Derived from Sharīy’ah is the Fiqh or Islamic jurisprudence which covers the myriad of problems and issues that arise in the course of man’s life. (al-Mawdūdī, 2002) Among the main issues which the contemporary Islamic jurisprudence attempt to deal with are foreign relations in Islam. Muslim jurists have developed different opinions about the organizing principle of foreign relations in Islam. Some (hereafter referred to as traditionalists) who were influenced by the realistic tendency of Islamic state, particularly during the periods of Conquest, believe that foreign relations in Islam originally depend on the attitude of non-Muslim groups or states toward Islam and Muslims. Therefore, the basis of foreign relations of Islamic state is fight, but under certain conditions. In contrast, other jurists (hereafter referred to as pacifists or non-traditionalists) believe that the origin of foreign relations in Islam is peace, because the Quran unambiguously states “there is no compulsion in religion.”(2: 256) Accordingly, the principle of war advocated by traditionalists is, non-traditionalists believe, not compatible with this unrelenting Quranic rule. The differences over the original principle of foreign relations in Islam are usually attributed to the fact that exegetes of the Quran most often diverge in their approach to analyze and understand the related Quranic verses, and this create a dilemma in Islamic jurisprudence. The problem is complicated because proponents of both approaches depend on Quranic verses to justify their claims. That is why there is a need to rethink international relations theory in Islam and to develop a more adequate approach through which peaceful and cooperative relations between Muslim and non-Muslim societies are perceived. The purpose of this paper is to deal with this issue through (1) examining the main assumptions of traditional theory, (2) investigating their validity; and (2) incorporating non-traditional opinions into a more cohesive approach as an alternative.
Islamic Fundamentalism and the Rise of the Fourth International Revolution (PDF, 40 Pages, 309 KB)
In the past, many Muslims divided the world into two parts, which were Dar Al-Harb and Dar-Al Islam. The former pertained to places that did not follow Islam, whereas, the latter was a label for the places that did. Supposedly, Islam also had to spread to these other areas where it was not present. Coincidentally, certain followers of this faith, known as Islamic fundamentalists, still stick by this idea today. These individuals have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to resort to desperate measures in order to spread Islam. Perhaps, the best illustration of this is the hijackings on September 11, 2001.
Not only has this fundamentalist initiative caused unfortunate terrorist attacks like the one from above, but more broadly it seems to have led to another international revolution. To demonstrate this point, this paper will proceed through two steps. First, an analysis of a chapter in Martin Wight’s Power Politics will be conducted because Wight perfectly describes the developments, which begin to transpire if and when a revolution is taking place. Second, this paper will examine the most recent actions of pertinent international actors ranging from the aforementioned fundamentalists to the United States. This behavior is similar to these very same developments that Wight described several years ago.
Arab Middle East Governments: Security Concerns, Priorities and Policies (PDF, 16 Pages, 172 KB)
Adnan M. Hayajneh
The aim of this paper is to present an examination of the security concerns, priorities and polices in the Arab Middle East governments. The paper will argue that internal security issues are the main security challenges in the Arab Middle East world. The paper consists of several parts including, assumptions of the study, definitions of security, the security menu and approaches to deal with it.
The importance of the study is its point of departure from previous studies that concentrated on the regional aspects of security and ignored the internal security issues. They treated the external threats as the independent variable. This study will argue that external threats are the dependent variable and internal security issues are the independent variable (see Khatchik, 2003). Thus, if this theory is verified we can ask policy makers to change their view of security. More importantly it will affect our approaches of how to deal with security. The problem with security studies in the Arab world is the establishment of the causal relationships.
The Zimbabwean Entrapment (PDF, 20 Pages, 250 KB)
Terence M. Mashingaidze
Soon after independence in 1980 Harare quickly became Southern Africa’s diplomatic hub and a key player in the Frontline States` efforts to dismantle apartheid and colonialism in Southern Africa. Zimbabwe adopted a policy of non-alignment in international affairs and its foreign policy trajectory was governed by sanctity of the right to life, self-determination, defense of national sovereignty, anti-imperialism, equality of sovereign states, and non-inteference in the internal affairs of other states1. Zimbabwe adhered to the positions of the Southern African Development Community2, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the Commonwealth. In 1983/4 and 1991/2 Zimbabwe assumed one of the nonpermanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. Assumption of these positions gave it significant skills in international affairs.