This special issue is the attempt to scrutinize the current transition process of the regimes at the domestic or regional level as well as the global level. Its title ‘Regime Transition and Violence’ reminds us of the democratic peace theory. Following the end of the Cold War, there had been some optimistic prospect that the waves of democratization would transform the world order into more peaceful one, which the democratic peace theory suggested.
However the use of force for the regime change brought about more violent situations, which we could notice in the case of Iraq. In addition, the liberal democracies themselves as well as the liberal international order began to face serious crisis, which questions the plausibility of “the end of history” argument.
In other words, the rise of illiberalism and the consolidation of competitive authoritarianism seem to rebuke the liberal view of progressive history, which presupposes the inevitable transition toward the liberal democracy. Unlike the prospect of the democratic peace theory, the real world order seems to be rearranged in accordance with the deepening crisis of liberal order. Articles in this special issue argue about the problems with way in which the post-liberal world order (the post-liberal peace) as well as the domestic order is reconfigured each other.
The liberal democratic regime, which survived confrontation with the fascist and communist regimes, has spread throughout the world, but with the loss of its enemies, it has acquired the problem of creation of legitimacy and effectiveness by oneself. The crisis of the liberal democratic regime, which is unable cope with this, has been pointed out.
In this paper, noting the various countries where the liberal democratic regime has been consolidated, we discuss the transition of legitimacy and the concomitant repositioning of violence through the reconsideration of the various discourses of political theory that point out the transition of legitimacy, an element of the political regime.
First, we examine the discourses that have noted the transition of legitimacy in the liberal democratic regime. Specifically, we focus on the articulation of the legitimacy of liberalism and democracy; examine the discourses of 1) the undoing of democracy by neo-liberalism (W. Brown), 2) the crisis of liberalism due to populism, also referred to as the shadow of democracy (J.-W. Müller), and 3) the suspension of liberal democracy due to rules in the state of exception (G. Agamben); and discuss the transition from liberal democracy to another type of legitimacy.
Next, we examine discourses that point out the transition of the legitimacy of the sovereign or national state system (international political system), which is a prerequisite of liberal democratic regime. Specifically, focusing on the articulation of the legitimacy of sovereignty and nationalism, we examine the 1) disruption of sovereignty due to racism (M. Wieviorka), 2) ruin of nationalism due to cosmopolitanism (U. Beck), and 3) transformation of legitimacy due to the formation of a new form of polity, ‘Empire’ (M. Hart & A. Negri), and discuss the transition from sovereignty and nationalism to another type of legitimacy.
In addition, we discuss the transition of legitimacy based on the articulation of various discourses by dividing them into the three levels of national political regime, international political system, and the level of the intersection of international politics and national politics. Finally, we sketch the repositioning of violence associated with the “triple transition” of legitimacy and discuss the challenges that confront it.
U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 brought about not only distortion of state building, but also the problems that affected political turmoil in the Middle East as well as international politics. This paper aims to argue the impacts that the U.S. invasion of Iraq had toward the process of Iraqi state building and toward regional politic in the Middle East, by focusing first on external factors brought about by this invasion, and second on internal factors caused by political rivalry among Iraqi political elites.
This paper makes three main findings. First, the new regime had no choice but relying on cooptation policy to local leaders in order to stabilize its government, which was quite similar to the mechanism of rule by the former authoritarian Baʻthist regime. The reason of this similarity can be found in the fact that the regime change was brought about by the foreign invasion, and thus new regime had to be constructed by former-exile political elites who did not have any support bases of constituencies within local community. In addition, the introduction of the Western democratic system that political representation should be equal according to population of ethnic and sectarian groups resulted in manifestation of sectarian difference. These external factors caused problems in the building of political institutions.
Second, Iraqi internal actors deconstructed democratic institutions brought in from outside and began to utilize them according to their own interests. The fact that democratization was proceeded without the establishment of state institutions made it possible for Iraqi actors to use these democratic institutions for their own political purpose. Thus, the new regime had no choice than becoming authoritarian in order to stabilize its government. Moreover, it was unavoidable for international society to ignore this authoritarian regime as it prioritized stability of Iraq.
Third, this tendency, however, resulted in the spread of opposition movements within Iraq and subsequent loss of control of opposition-led areas. It was these areas where so-called Islamic State penetrated in and agitated sectarian conflicts among Iraqis.
Hence, it can be said that sectarian conflicts spread inside and outside Iraq as a result of the interaction of the fact that U.S. invasion brought about problems in democratic institutions and the fact that Iraqi internal actors utilized these institutions for their own interests. In other words, when the problems that were brought about by external factors are used as political tools of internal actors, specific problems to the country become manifest, which results in spreading to regional politics in a very violent manner.
This article examines how non-state actors struggle to rule the areas void of sovereignty. The areas void of sovereignty is not a new issue in international politics. There have been many such areas within weak states. Traditionally, the existence of such areas has been a domestic, not an international, matter. However, the recent trend of globalization and its effects have changed the situation. For example, the Islamic State (IS), which emerged along the Iraqi-Syria border, recruited international fighters from all over the world using the internet and social media. As a result, the existence of ungoverned territories became known all over the world. Hence, the struggle to establish control over these areas void of sovereignty is deeply related to the stability of international order.
In Iraq and Syria, IS, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) all sought to control the ungoverned territory. On the one hand, IS attempted to establish a sovereign state based on jihadist ideology. On the other hand, the global community supported the KRG and the PYD to combat IS. The legitimacy of the KRG and PYD in international politics increased during the war on IS.
In 1991, at the end of the Gulf War, the KRG established a de facto autonomy in northern Iraq; its formal autonomy was recognized by the Iraqi central government in 2004. For the KRG leadership, the war against IS was looked upon as a rare opportunity to achieve independence. Hence the KRG quickly held the independence referendum on September 25, 2017. However, the neighboring countries (Turkey and Iran), the patron state (the United States), and the parent state (Iraq) all opposed this referendum and the KRG’s independence. After the independence referendum failed, KRG lost the disputed territory in Iraq and its relationships with neighboring countries deteriorated.
The PYD is an organization that operates under the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the umbrella group for managing the mobilization of Kurds across the Middle East. PYD became the leading Kurdish group in Syria because its military unit, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), gained the support of the United States and its allies in the war against IS. However, Turkey views the PYD as part of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an illegal, armed group in Turkey. Hence, Turkey continues to battle the PYD in northern Syria.
As a result, no actor can fully control the areas void of sovereignty in Iraq and Syria. However, exploring the cases of the KRG and PYD shows how maintaining good relations with neighboring states is a condition for the survival of non-state actors.
In 2011, in the aftermath of the collapse of Gaddafi regime in Libya promoted by the aerial bombardment of NATO, President Rousseff of Brazil proposed “Responsibility while Protecting” (RWP) in UN General Assembly. Brazil submitted the detailed concept note of RWP constituted of numerous proposals that are to complement “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P): among them, to place the three pillars of R2P under the strict political subordination and chronological sequencing, to impose strict conditions on the use of force, and to establish a proactive mechanism of monitoring and evaluation of military activities by Security Council so as to assure accountability.
The principles of “non-interference” and “non-use of force” had been long-held diplomatic traditions of Brazil as they were in other Latin American countries. However, in the 21th century, under Lula da Silva’s administration, Brazil expressed a new attitude of “non-indifference” in addition to the traditional non-interference and participated in United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with the view to promote its presence as a candidate of new permanent member of Security Council. Nonetheless, Brazil was skeptical about R2P, assuming it as a new form of right of interference and maintaining traditional idea of “sovereignty as shield”. RWP was the way to reconcile the traditional idea and Brazil’s new role in UN as an emerging power.
Brazilian proposal of RWP had major repercussions in international community because the overthrow of Libyan government had caused considerable concerns about R2P among emerging powers and developing countries. They concern for possible “misuse” of R2P as a tool to achieve regime change with armed force reflecting particular interest of the West. The implementation of R2P became the focus of controversy between the supportive West and skeptical South. While the West criticized RWP preferring to keep operational flexibility of military activities in implementing R2P, the emerging powers, especially South Africa and India, and some developing countries supported RWP to prevent selective invocation of R2P and misuse of the mandate. Failing to reach consensus, Brazil virtually withdrew RWP proposal.
Almost as if to inherit this proposal, in 2012 China proposed “Responsible Protection” (RP) similar to RWP. However, in contrast to Brazilian RWP invented to bridge the gap between the supporters and the skeptics of R2P, Chinese RP is like a “long wall” or seawall to guard the cohesion of skeptical countries against R2P from the erosion by global tides of the idea of ‘sovereignty as responsibility’.
RWP was an important attempt where non-Western country had played a significant role as a norm-shaper in international norm-making process in which the West had been dominant. Brazilian efforts to bridge the global gap would continue to give instructions in global norm-making on humanitarian issues and intervention.
In the 1990s, Sub-Saharan Africa encountered many armed conflicts and, consequently, experienced several regime changes resulting from military victories or the elections following the ratification of peace accords. In this series of events, major international actors, such as the United Nations and developed countries, intervened in Africa under the guise of peace building and promoting democracy to further their own interests in pursuing a new world order during the post-Cold War era. In such a situation, many African countries had to simultaneously accomplish numerous difficult tasks related to aspects such as security, recovery, reconciliation, and democracy. As a result, whereas some countries were successful in these tasks, others failed and had to encounter escalating political instability.
Approximately 20 years have passed since then; today, one of the most important changes that one can find in Africa is the significant enhancement of the region’s political and military capacity to respond to conflicts. This paper focuses on this capacity notably exercised by several regional organizations in Africa and discusses two observations regarding this development. First, this enhancement is an outcome of fulfilling the transition toward realizing “African Solutions to Africa’s Problems,” an idea that has received international acclaim since the 1990s. Second, the cooperative task sharing that is implemented between African countries and actors outside Africa, such as the United Nations, has enhanced the region’s capacity to respond to conflicts.
Further, this paper examines the unintended outcomes of this enhancement in Africa’s capacity to respond to conflicts. In recent years, several African countries have engaged in active military operations against armed Islamist groups, whose activities, on their part, have escalated the violence occurring in the region. It is true that such operations are the result of autonomous efforts by African countries to satisfy their own security interests. However, in the current global context, their activities imply that they are participating in the “war on terror” led by developed countries. In addition, the recent initiatives for conflict resolution in Côte d’Ivoire and the Gambia by a regional organization in West Africa reveal that some African countries are so confident of their military capacity that they have a radical conviction that military intervention by these countries in other African counties is justified if the purpose is to secure or stabilize democracy in the latter. These unintended outcomes of capacity enhancement can be clearly described as both an ambiguity and a paradox of finding “African Solutions to Africa’s Problems.” By highlighting this aspect, this paper portrays the relationship between the new world order, regime changes, and violence in twenty-first-century Africa.
Any government that emerges from repression or conflict faces challenges related to transitional justice. In recent years, the focus of studies on transitional justice has shifted from the prosecution of perpetrators to reparations for victims. For a government that has just emerged from repression or conflict, granting reparations to victims is a major burden in terms of finances and capabilities. There are many examples of governments that have refused to compensate victims or that have discontinued payments after a short time. Yet, an increasing number of governments have continued to grant reparations to victims since the 2000s. What is the reason for such growth? Researchers in several past studies have analyzed the processes by which transitional justice mechanisms are diffused across national boundaries, though most of the studies have focused on the spread of trials against perpetrators and trials associated with truth commissions. Only a small number of studies have addressed the spread of reparations for victims.
This paper provides an analysis of the causes for the increase in governments that are granting reparations to victims, with a special focus on the 2000s. I make use of Jelena Subotic’s framework of hijacked justice to explain interactions between international actors and domestic political elites. In the 2000s, domestic political elites appeared, making strategic use of reparations to victims as a means for achieving economic growth and national security. They employed terms like collective reparation and community reparation. Moreover, international actors, including international NGOs and international organizations, began collecting information about countries that were implementing collective and community reparations, suggesting that reparation for victims could be integrated into development projects. In this paper, I refer to this idea as development-centered reparation. Once this idea came to have international influence, it allowed domestic political elites to justify their use of reparations to initiate other policies. The result was an increase in governments granting compensation to victims as a transitional justice mechanism.
To ascertain processes such as the one described above, I use primary sources from international organizations and NGOs to investigate international actors’ perceptions of reparation as well as changes in their perceptions. In this paper, I examine Morocco and Colombia as examples of countries that continuously grant reparations to victims and investigate the interactions between international actors and domestic political elites in both countries.
A quarter century has passed since the release of the Agenda for Peace in 1992, which, retrospectively, can be marked as the beginning of recent surge in peacebuilding research and practice. The institutionalization of the term “peacebuilding” appears to be a success, as many organizations around the globe incorporated the term framing their own activities in post-conflict and transitional countries. This can be symbolically represented by the establishment of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Support Office in 2005. On peacebuilding research, major publishers have released books such as Palgrave Advance in Peacebuilding and Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding, published in 2010 and 2013 respectively, and the peer-reviewed journal entitled Peacebuilding was launched in 2013. So-called “liberal” peacebuilding debate is also taking place between two camps: policy-oriented research and critical research. While former seeks effectiveness of peacebuilding practices, while the latter seeks a quality of peace built as a result of peacebuilding practices. Taking these developments into account, this article will analyze a strategy of peacebuilding policy by looking into terms such as “rule of law” and “legal pluralism.” In this process, the article will look into the police reform and chiefdom police reform in Sierra Leone. The first section of the paper will explain how “rule of law” fits into peacebuilding policy by examining the police reform in Sierra Leone (1998–2005). The second section will explain how “legal pluralism” fits into peacebuilding policy by examining the chiefdom police reform in Sierra Leone (2008–2017). The paper points out that a difference between the two approaches—rule of law and legal pluralism—results from a different conception of the term “policing.” The former is based on the narrow understanding of policing, while the latter is based on the broader understanding. The paper raises following three points. First, the intent of this article is to make a point that revising peacebuilding strategy is necessary in order to improve quality of peace built via peacebuilding practices. Second, the paper argues that, instead of making peacebuilding policy and research into a normative framework and a standard set of assumptions about how post-conflict and transitional countries should be reformed, peacebuilding policy and research need to be context-based. Third, paper also points out that whether peacebuilding policy will be context-based or not will largely be affected by politics surrounding actors engaged in peacebuilding in each case.
This article examines the nature of the rule of law in international criminal justice through a critical evaluation of deterrent theory, the most widely accepted argument supporting international criminal tribunals today. Contrary to the assumptions of deterrent theory, the premise of which is centralized enforcement of international law, it argues that the rule of law in international criminal justice is decentralized in two ways. First, it requires the consent of sovereign states to establish jurisdiction and the cooperation of states to enforce international criminal law. Second, beyond the direct execution of international criminal law, the legal norm embodied by international criminal courts to end impunity for the perpetrators of grave human rights abuses encourages states to conduct human rights trials in their domestic courts.
The article begins by reviewing the logic of deterrence. Deterrent theory has become prominent as an increasing number of international prosecutions are directed at the perpetrators of ongoing violence. It is assumed that the threat of punishment will deter the perpetrators from further criminal acts and, thus, prevent the escalation of conflict. In this instance, deterrent effects are viewed as conveyed in a manner that applies domestic deterrent theory of punishment at an international level. While this domestic analogy tends to emphasize the coercive power of law, this article demonstrates that the power of international tribunals to constrain the conduct of sovereign states and individuals has been weakening. While the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals were executed on the strength of the victors’ overwhelming power, today, international tribunals as exemplified in the ICC and hybrid courts basically require the consent of states.
The article then investigates the normative aspect of international criminal justice. It has a high level of legitimacy—it is recognized as legitimate by a majority of states in the world. This fact encourages voluntary compliance of international criminal justice at a national level. However, the problem is what to do with the remaining countries. Grave human rights abuses are committed in a minority of undemocratic states whose levels of political liberties are extremely low. These countries tend to remain outside the international criminal system. It is difficult to prosecute atrocious state leaders without regime change, but international criminal justice as it is implemented now merely “complements” the functions of sovereign states. It has neither the power to coerce regime change nor the normative power to encourage voluntary human rights trials in national courts.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 adopted in 2000, which is regarded as a landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security, recognized that men and women experience conflict differently, and that women play an integral role in conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery. It urged Member States to increase women’s participation in all aspects of peace and security processes and incorporate gender perspectives into all post-conflict efforts. It also called upon all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence in situations of armed conflict. This Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda developed into a comprehensive normative framework, followed by seven subsequent UNSCRs.
The strengthening of the WPS norms and its spread, however, are not necessarily linked to concrete actions and results promoting gender equality in conflict-affected societies. Indeed, even though in Liberia the first female African president was elected with the strong support from women’s organizations and the United Nations PKO explicitly mandated WPS agenda was deployed, there has been no major improvement in the women’s political, economic and social situation. Women are still left in a state of insecurity even after the conflict is over. The question that comes up here is how the WPS agenda is translated and introduced into post-conflict peace-building policies and how they affect the domestic society.
This paper utilizes the concept of ‘hybridity’ which is promoted by the critical peace-building scholars to explain the interaction of power between local and international actors in the post-conflict settings. It analyzes what kind of hybridity was created in a case study of gendered security sector reform (SSR) in Liberia from two perspectives, firstly from the perspective of international and local actors, and secondly considering the gender approach. Through the analysis of hybridity, this paper identifies factors that promote or impede the acceptance and implementation of international norms, that is, the power structure inherent in international/local as well as gender that causes gaps in women’s security needs.
One of the key significances of this research is that it sheds light on women’s grassroots activities in promoting ‘everyday peace’ by using the WPS agenda as informal SSR activities that mainly deviates from the formal SSR framework. Most people in developing countries depend upon informal security providers such as elders and chiefs for the maintenance of order. Thus, the reform of formal security sectors such as police, military, judiciary do not necessarily directly lead to the security of women living in post-conflict societies. This research, which regards local female activists as agents in the positive creation of hybridity, aims to present a new perspective to bridge hybrid peace study and gender/feminism study.