Simons Working Paper Series in Security and Development

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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

Outer Space in Russia’s Security Strategy (SWP 64)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

This paper shows how and why Russia’s outer space strategy and capabilities have evolved since the 1990s, including recent diplomatic initiatives on outer space governance. The leadership has placed space strategy in the context of defence requirements and state military control. No longer economically competitive in the race for control of outer space, Russia still invests in new technologies and also uses diplomacy – working with UN and other disarmament organisations – to influence the growing militarisation of space. It has come to promote a collective approach to the problem, rather than one dominated by the richer and more powerful states.

Note: This paper will appear as Chapter 19 in the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Russian Security Strategy, edited by Roger Kanet.

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“Ending up in Buenos Aires”: Affective Mobilities of Urban Toba Indigenous People (SWP 63)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

In this paper, I analyze the forms of mobility and the affective modulations that shaped the trajectories of indigenous people from the Chaco region to the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they now live. Considering the macro-structural forces of political and economic process as insufficient to explain why, how and when indigenous people moved to the city, I focus on habits around movement and affective modulations that made indigenous people previously living in rural Chaco region to “end up” in the capital city of the country. These movements were unusual in their form, as the first arrivants had little connections and no hosting institution in the city. Through an analysis of the life histories and trajectories of indigenous people who are now living in and indigenous barrio (poor neighborhood) in Buenos Aires, this research traces the specific affective states that triggered travels to the city. I produce an “odd” typology of these affective mobilities that emerged as common forms of experience within larger context. My aim is to offer an alternative analysis of mobility, one that departs from preconceived understandings of migratory push and pull factors and engages with the lived experience of urban indigenous people who move in spite and across multiple socio-economic constraints.

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Financial Statecraft: No Longer Limited to the Incumbent Powers (SWP 62)

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

Traditional analyses of financial statecraft typically assume the term refers to major powers exercising influence over weaker states by such means as foreign aid blandishments or banking system sanctions. Newer scholarship highlights the subtler political influence advanced capitalist democracies also wield through their centrality to global monetary and financial markets and governance networks. Not surprisingly, rising powers are keen to expand the venues through which they too can support their larger foreign policy visions through tapping into state levers of control over cross-border currency, credit, and investment flows, as well as tilting international regulatory reforms toward their preferences. The article concludes with a comparison of United States’ and China’s financial statecraft capabilities and recent actions.

 

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NATO's and Canada's Responses to Russia since the Crimea Annexation of 2014: A Critical Literature Review (SWP 61)

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

This report seeks to better understand how NATO and Canada are adapting to new patterns of conflict involving Russia, with the goal to suggest how Canada can better respond conceptually, politically and strategically. It reveals significant “gaps” in both the academic and grey literature and policy. The four areas of NATO and Canadian responses since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 examined in this report are: diplomatic; military (conventional and nuclear); “hybrid warfare” (focusing on information and cyberwarfare); and partnership with Ukraine. At a time of flux in the alliance and in Russia’s behaviour, policy makers are applying old and new concepts simultaneously, and are sometimes responding to events ahead of conceptual thinking about them.

This paper is based on a report to Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on the findings from a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis grant awarded to Dr. Jackson in 2017. The full online report can be accessed here.

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Is India Becoming the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ Sought by Hindu Nationalists? (SWP 60)

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

Over the past 30 years, Hindu nationalism has risen to a position of dominance in Indian politics. Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party political wing of the ‘family’ of Hindu nationalist organisations, does not win electoral majorities all over the country, Hindu nationalist ideas – what we term ‘banal Hindutva’ – are now firmly part of everyday politics. This chapter traces the growth since the early twentieth century of organizations and movements that reject liberalism and secular understandings of the nation, through to the establishment of political dominance by the BJP under Narendra Modi. Thanks largely to Modi’s inspiration, the BJP has effectively projected the idea of a ‘new India’ that is a land of hope and opportunity, downplaying the welfare state upon which most people’s well-being depends. Our examination of the relationship between Hindutva, demonstrative religiosity and incidents of communal violence, mainly against Muslims, finds that there are many local reasons for the occurrence of inter-community tensions that can give rise to violence but whether they do or not depends heavily upon how governments act. The chapter both opens and concludes with accounts of  majoritarian action under BJP governments since 2014, and argues that Narendra Modi’s regime may be described as an instance of authoritarian populism.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.’

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