Simons Working Paper Series in Security and Development

Receive updates for this collection


The Simons Papers in Security and Development are edited and published at the School for International Studies (SIS), Simon Fraser University. These working papers serve to disseminate research-in-progress by the School’s faculty and associated and visiting scholars. Our aim is to encourage the exchange of ideas and academic debate. All papers published in the series have undergone internal review by SIS faculty.

The series is supported by the Simons Foundation.


Series editor: Jeffrey T. Checkel
Managing editor: Martha Snodgrass

Global Finance Meets Neorealism: Concepts and a Dataset (SWP 59)

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

How might one conceptualize the international political dimensions of money and finance? As the world moves from a post-Cold War “unipolar moment” toward the greater uncertainty associated with multipolarity – or bipolarity/multipolarity – the zero-sum aspects of economic resources may take on heightened significance in national calculations. The paper proposes five national financial characteristics that sovereign governments sometimes wield as power capabilities: the country’s (1) position as an international creditor, (2) home financial market attractiveness, (3) currency strength, (4) international debtor presence, and (5) leverage in global financial governance. A new dataset on the global monetary and financial powers of states (GMFPS), covering 180 countries and 27 indicators from 1995 to 2013, constructs indices for four state financial power concepts, and also provides an updated overall material capabilities index. After profiling the US, Britain, Germany, Japan, and China, we suggest a recurring, although not inevitable, financial life cycle of major powers.

 

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Dark Forces Awaken: The Prospects for Cooperative Space Security (SWP 58)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

International cooperation on outer space security has fluctuated over the past decades, marked by periods of common endeavor and relative stability as well as times of destabilizing developments and rising tensions. The UN Group of Governmental Experts’ 2013 consensus report on Transparency and Confidence Building Measures, with its rich menu of measures and promised new levels of cooperative security conduct by states, was a diplomatic high-water mark. Regrettably, subsequent negative developments threaten to reverse the cooperative trend the report espoused. These developments include the introduction (by Russia and China) and rejection (by the US) of a revised draft treaty on the Prevention of Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT); the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a divisive resolution on “No First Placement” of space weapons; the failure of the EU to gain support for its proposed Code of Conduct; and escalating strategic tensions. This paper analyzes the reemergence of these “dark forces” as to their implication for multilateral diplomacy and suggests several remedial actions to preserve space security.

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Cooperative Measures for International Cybersecurity (SWP 57)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

Via stealthy means a new and promising environment of tremendous importance for humanity's welfare and prosperity is being compromised by damaging state action. The environment is cyberspace and its "militarization" by covert state operations is posing a threat to the continued safe and peaceful use of this crucial domain of information and communication. Diplomatic action to develop norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace have not kept pace with military developments. The wider stakeholder community will need to become engaged on behalf of cooperative security measures if the dogs of cyber war are not to devour the disciples of cyber peace.

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Mountain Militarism and Urban Modernity: Balkanism, Identity and the Discourse of Urban–Rural Cleavages during the Bosnian War (SWP 56)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

Recent years have witnessed a growth in research addressing the ways in which policymakers, academics and the media characterized the Bosnian war of the 1990s using a variety of problematic discursive frames. Relatively few scholars have explored how the conflict was often portrayed as a battle between innocent urban centres and an antagonistic countryside. This thesis* uses a discourse analysis of Western and Bosnian textual material to argue that perceptions of the Bosnian war have been characterized by a discourse that attributes the violence to cleavages between urban Bosnians and their rural counterparts. Moreover, I engage post-colonial theory to demonstrate that this discourse of urban–rural cleavages, in which Western and Bosnian urban self-identity was constructed in opposition to the supposed atavism of the Bosnian countryside, is an advancement of Bakic-Hayden’s concept of “nesting Orientalisms.” My findings problematize a common representation of the conflict, expand the concept of nesting Orientalism and help us to understand why urban participation in the ideologies and violence of the Bosnian conflict has often gone unexamined.

(*This working paper is a slight revision of the author’s MA thesis, which was defended at Simon Fraser University on January 11, 2017.)

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Methods in Constructivist Approaches to International Security (SWP 55)

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

Constructivists employ a characteristic set of mainly qualitative methods in their work on international security.  Over time, they have come – theoretically – to focus centrally on process; this has put a premium on methods that can capture and measure it.  In early constructivist work, methods were not a high priority – but this has changed for the better.  Unfortunately for these scholars, the social science world around them has not stood still.  A revolution in qualitative methods means that constructivists students of international security will – methodologically – need in the future ‘to run harder simply to stay in place.’

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Responsibility to Protect (R2P): The ICISS Commission Fifteen Years On (SWP 54)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

Canada played a crucial role in the birth of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2005, and can remain proud of its achievement in generating a new international consensus about how to respond to genocide and other mass atrocity crimes. Good progress has been made against the four relevant benchmarks – R2P’s role as a normative force, institutional catalyst, effective preventive framework and effective reactive framework. Despite the breakdown of Security Council consensus over Libya in 2011, and the failure since then of R2P to stop mass atrocity crimes in Syria, there are grounds for optimism about its more effective implementation in the future.

(This paper was adapted from a seminar given by the author in his capacity as the 2016–17 Simons Visiting Chair in International Law and Human Security, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 16 September 2016.)

 

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Values and Interests in Foreign Policy Making (SWP 53)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

Why should Canadians, Australians or anyone else care about human rights atrocities, health epidemics, environmental catastrophes, weapons proliferation or any other problems afflicting faraway countries when they do not have any direct or immediate impact on our own physical security or economic prosperity, viz. our traditionally defined national interests? Are concerns about ‘value’ issues just optional add-ons to states’ foreign policy? This paper spells out my long-held belief, which has its origins in the Pearsonian liberal tradition, that there is a third kind of national interest which every country should pursue: being, and being seen to be, a good international citizen. My argument – which I illustrate with reference to issues such as nuclear disarmament, aid policy, the treatment of asylum seekers, and the responsibility to protect populations against genocide and other crimes against humanity – is that acting as a good international citizen wins hard-headed reputational and reciprocal-action returns, and as such bridges the gulf between idealism and realism by giving realists good reasons for behaving like idealists.

(This paper was adapted from the author’s lecture, delivered in his capacity as the 2016–17 Simons Visiting Chair in International Law and Human Security, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 15 September 2016.)

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Pierre Trudeau and the “Suffocation” of the Nuclear Arms Race (SWP 52)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is known for his challenge to Canada’s NATO policy at the beginning of his tenure in power and his peace initiative at its end. Less well known is his support for innovative arms control policies designed to eliminate the technological impetus behind the nuclear arms race between the US and the USSR during the Cold War. At the first UN Special Session on Disarmament in May 1978, Trudeau delivered a speech outlining a “strategy of suffocation” that provided a novel package of four arms control measures that, taken as a whole, would represent an effective means of halting and eventually reversing the nuclear arms race. Although the superpowers were largely indifferent to them, these ideas helped spur the Department of External Affairs to invest in developing the institutional capacity to enable Canada to play a leadership role in future disarmament diplomacy.

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Outer Space and Cyber Space: A Tale of Two Security Realms (SWP 51)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

The concept of “global commons” has been applied under international law to certain special environments for which states have agreed to prohibit national appropriation and to treat these spaces as “the province of all mankind” (Outer Space Treaty 1967). After tracing the origins of the concept with reference to the law of the sea, the paper examines two relatively new environments, outer space and cyberspace, for which the status of “global commons” can facilitate the emergence of a cooperative security regime. The various diplomatic efforts to develop international security arrangements for these vital, if fragile, environments are reviewed and prospects for their successful adoption assessed.

Document type: 
Other
File(s): 

Business and Politics in Tamil Nadu (SWP 50)

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

Contrary to analyses of India’s new model of development that portray influential business groups and politicians as entwined and interdependent, there is strong evidence that the economic success of the state of Tamil Nadu has come about in spite of the actions of politicians rather than with their support. Interviews conducted in autumn 2015 with businessmen in Chennai, together with observations of the practices of state politicians, also do not support the argument that business is able to mold state behavior. Rather, the pro-poor social policies that have been pursued in the context of the competitive populism of the two main Dravidian parties – combined with benign neglect of business groups’ interests – have allowed high growth to be institutionalized in an electoral democracy with large numbers of poor citizens.

 

Document type: 
Other
File(s):