Low Expectations? Stabilization and stability operations as the ‘new normal’ in international interventions

We are pleased to present the workshop “Low Expectations? Stabilization and stability operations as the ‘new normal’ in international interventions”. This terrific workshop will take place at the University of Trento, in February (2nd-3rd, Department of Sociology and Social Research).

Here you’ll find all the details.

Here below additional info on the event and the programme.

The notion of “stability” and the practice of “stability operations” experienced a resurgence in the last decade. The United Nations, with operations in Haiti, in the Central African Republic, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Mali has re-framed the lexicon and practice of its interventions in this direction. NATO has been similarly focusing on “projecting stability” as one of the cornerstones to guarantee the Alliance’s security.
The reasons for such re-framing are diverse. The lengthy, costly and casualty-heavy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq inevitably led to intervention fatigue. In the last decade or so, either interventions in conflict-ridden countries did not take place (as in Syria) or were based on minimal footprint (as in Libya), at least compared to the previous large-scale operations with ambitious social, economic and political engineering goals. In this evolving context, the conceptual and operational parameters of these stabilization interventions are still opaque.
This workshop aims at dissecting how these “new” practices emerged and are unfolding, how they have been analysed in the academic literature, what are their sub-components (e.g. what role civil-military relations or intelligence play in these operations), and how they are linked to the broader security and development discourse.

Program

Day 1, Friday, February 2nd

13:00 pm Light Lunch
2:00 pm Roberto Belloni (University of Trento) & Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
Introduction to the Workshop
2:15 pm Stefano Costalli (University of Florence) & Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
Promoting democracy or averting war? Regime transitions, international interventions, and political instability
3:15 pm Jana Krause (University of Amsterdam)
Communal violence in the shadow of civil war: Implications for Stabilization and Protection
4:15 pm Coffee break
4:30 pm Marina Henke (Northwestern University, USA)
Why do UN peacekeepers die?
5:30 pm John Karlsrud (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo)
Getting the Right Tool for the Wrong Reasons? Examining United Nations Stability Operations
6:30 pm End of Day 1
8:00 pm Social dinner

Day 2, Saturday, February 3rd

9:00 am Mats Berdal (King’s College, London)
NATO’s Attempt at Stabilisation in Afghanistan, 2003-2014: Issues and Lessons
10:00 am Luca Raineri (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa) & Francesco Strazzari (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa & Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo)
Hybrid orders and stabilisation efforts in the Sahelo-Saharan space
11:00 am Coffee break
11:15 am Roberto Belloni (Trento) & Irene Costantini (“L’Orientale” University of Napoli)
Iraq 2003-2017: changing approaches to stability
12:15 pm Discussion on future prospects
1:00 pm Light lunch
2:00 pm Tavola Rotonda – Roundtable (in Italian):
Lo studio della pace e della guerra in Italia e nell’Unione Europea – The study of peace and war in Italy and in the European Union

Participants:

  • Valentina Bartolucci (Agency for Peacebuilding, Bologna)
  • Roberto Belloni (University of Trento)
  • Vincenzo Bove (University of Warwick)
  • Stefano Costalli (University of Florence)
  • Irene Costantini (”L’Orientale” University of Napoli)
  • Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genova)
  • Sara De Simone (University of Trento)
  • Bernardo Monzani (Agency for Peacebuilding, Bologna)
  • Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna)
  • Francesco Strazzari (SSSUP, Pisa & Oslo)

Convenors:

  • Roberto Belloni, University of Trento
  • Francesco N. Moro, University of Bologna

 

See you in Trento.

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No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities

We are organizing a panel at the next SGRI conference (Trento, June 29-July 1).

As reported in there website: The annual SGRI Conference is an opportunity for scholars throughout Italy to come together and discuss topics that are relevant to international relations. The 2017 Conference will be held for the sixth time in Trento from June 29th to July 1st and will be organized by IPLab (International Politics Laboratory), a joint venture involving the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the University of Trento.

Here you’ll find a list of the all panels.

Here below the details of “our” panel (“No time for Uncertainty. The European Defense and Security in the Time of Terror: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities“):

Chair: Giampiero Cama (University of Genova)
Discussants: Francesco N. Moro (University of Bologna) & Fabrizio Coticchia (University of Genova)

Date: TBD
Room: Sala Grande

According to the European Union Global Strategy “terrorism, hybrid threats, economic volatility, climate change and energy insecurity” are significantly endangering Europe (EUGS, 2016). The EUGS emphasizes the need for an “appropriate level of ambition and strategic autonomy”, enhancing common efforts especially on cyber, counterterrorism, energy and strategic communications. In other words, Member States should “move towards defence cooperation as the norm”, providing a greater contribution to collective security, working closely with its allies and partners, such as NATO. The panel aims at collecting empirical papers that, through different methodological perspectives, try and understand how current transformations (political, such as Brexit and Trump election but also technological, such as the “rise” of drones) are impacting traditional European and national security practices.

The panel explores how Member States, as well as the EU, have faced so far the above- mentioned challenges, examining in details the following key-areas: (a) shared assessments of internal and external threats (e.g., Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including the role of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and satellite communications); (b) the evolution of digital capabilities to secure data, networks and critical infrastructure; (c) the transformation of (national and European) counter-terrorism; civil-military relations in operations; (d) the development of European procurement (especially regarding full- spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities); (e) the military doctrines at the national and regional level.

Confirmed Papers: 

  1. Edoardo Baldaro (Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa), The EU in the Sahel: Assessing Strengths and Limits of the European Integrated Approach to Conflict
    Nowadays the EU is facing renewed security threats coming from its instable Eastern and Southern borders. State fragility and civil conflicts in the peripheries are considered as factors that can endanger European internal security and cohesion, asking for concrete initiatives and responses by European institutions. The European Union Global Strategy (EUGS)introduces a new ‘integrated approach to conflict and crisis’, in order to propose innovative and shared solutions concerning conflict-management and crisis-relief.Adopting an ideational and social constructivist approach to the study of European foreign policy, this article aims to explore the “fragile state” and “resilience” concurring policy paradigms informing this new European strategic concept. Analysing the EU’s initiatives in the Sahel, one of the regions where the EU elaborated and tested its renewed approach, the paper underlines ideational and practical weaknesses of the European action, focusing the attention on three dimensions: 1) inter-agency efficiency and cooperation; 2) EU – member states coordination; 3) effects on local governance and environment. We finally argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers from cognitive problems and lacks internal cooperation.

    In the conclusion I argue that even if the EUGS is going in the right direction, the EU still suffers of cognitive and normative problems and pays a lack of internal cooperation, all factors that can still put into question the EU’s approach to fragility and conflict in the South.

  2. Eugenio Cusumano (Leiden University), Migrant Rescuing as Organised Hypocrisy: EU Maritime Missions Offshore Libya Beyond Humanitarianism and Border Control
    In October 2014, the Italian Navy maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operation offshore Libya Mare Nostrum was replaced by the EU border agency Frontex operation Triton, followed in 2015 by the Common Security and Defence Policy mission EUNAVFOR Med ‘Sophia’. Both Triton and EUNAVFOR have increasingly advertised their  involvement in SAR operations. As the two missions focused on reducing illegal entries to Europe rather than SAR, their commitment to migrant rescuing was not matched by consistent action. This paper conceptualizes the mismatch between humanitarian rhetoric and activities primarily meant to reduce migrant flows as a form of organised hypocrisy. Based on a decoupling between talk and action, organised hypocrisy allowed EU maritime missions to reconcile contradictory pressures from their external environment, such as EU willingness to reduce maritime migrations and the normative imperative to act against the loss of life at sea
  3. Artem Patalakh (University of Milan Statale), Soft Power Revisited: How Attraction Works in International Relations
    The paper puts forward a constructivist interpretation of how Joseph Nye’s soft power works in International Relations (IR). In particular, it focuses on the functioning of attraction, soft power’s main pronounced mechanism. On the basis of a theoretical literature review, the author identifies three primary issues that require further specification in Nye’s account, namely a clear disentanglement between hard and soft power, a psychological mechanism behind attraction and the relationship between agentic and structural forces in the soft power relationship. To address these issues, the author locates soft power in the constructivist IR paradigm, viewing power in its broadest terms (as including all the four “faces” of power). Then, the author applies French and Raven’s typology of power bases to build a framework that classifies attraction into three types, each with a particular psychological mechanism: “rational” attraction (which means that actor A is positively evaluated by actor B of the basis of its actions that do not aim at other IR actors), “social” attraction (which implies that A is positively evaluated based on how it treats other IR actors) and “emotional” attraction (which happens if B is positively evaluated by A, because B is useful for A to fulfill its identity, its perceived position among other IR actors). Having said this, the author uses insight from social psychology to provide theoretical explanations for each type of attraction, illustrating them with relevant examples from contemporary international politics.

  4. Mirco Elena (USPID)

 

 

See you soon in Trento…

 

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“Guerra, Pace e Sicurezza alle Porte del Mediterraneo” (2017)

Anche quest’anno il Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche (DISPO) dell’Università di Genova organizza il ciclo di seminari. “Guerra, Pace e Sicurezza alle Porte del Mediterraneo”, che si pone lo scopo di approfondire i temi relativi all’evoluzione della sicurezza internazionale attraverso una serie di workshop e convegni con accademici, politici, giornalisti, esperti e practitioner del settore.

Tali eventi, direttamente collegati ai corsi “Guerre, Conflitti e Costruzione della Pace” di Andrea Catanzaro e del nostro Fabrizio Coticchia, e del corso di Relazioni Internazionali di Giampiero Cama, sono aperti a tutti gli studenti.

Qui i tre seminari organizzati per Marzo e Aprile.

Il seminario esamina il complesso processo di integrazione del mercato europeo della difesa alla luce dei più recenti eventi (“Brexit”, EU Global Strategy, European Defence Action Plan, elezione del Presidente Trump) e le sue possibili implicazioni politiche e istituzionali. Alla fine del seminario saranno brevemente presentate le attività di stage proposte dallo IAI – Istituto Affari Internazionali di Roma.

Il workshop ha l’obiettivo di esaminare l’evoluzione del rapporto tra ricerca scientifica, informazione e movimenti nell’ambito degli studi sulla pace e la sicurezza in Italia. Il recente rapporto di “Osservatorio Mil€x” sulle spese militari in Italia rappresenta una interessante occasione per affrontare i temi della difesa e della sicurezza dal punto di vista “empirico”. Appare sempre più opportuno, infatti, interrogarsi sullo stato della “peace research” in Italia, per comprenderne le cause del lento affermarsi nella penisola e le caratteristiche dei più recenti sviluppi.

Il workshop ha l’obiettivo di esaminare l’arco di instabilità che caratterizza la sponda meridionale del Mediteranno, con particolare riferimento alla Libia e al Sahel. L’obiettivo sarà quello di illustrare la recente evoluzione dei conflitti locali, il ruolo di organizzazioni criminali e terroristiche, e la complessa relazione tra gli stati dell’area ed i paesi europei in rapporto ai temi della sicurezza. Il workshop cerca di esaminare in modo approfondito tali argomenti grazie alla vasta conoscenza in materia degli autori, i quali da anni svolgono ricerca sul campo.

Ci vediamo a Genova (ci saranno delle grosse novità per il secondo anno del workshop su “Conflicts&Institutions di Giugno…stay tuned)

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