Regime Change

From Democratic Peace Theories to Forcible Regime Change


This book analyses the recent and on-going regime changes, their internal causes and the external factors that either stimulate or obstruct political reforms. Comparing today’s political reforms with the evolution of the political systems in the Western world, and especially with the sequencing of and congruence between the development of civil institutions and economic and political systems then and there, permits to reveal serious problems with the current attempts at regime change. A comparison of the processes started by Gorbachev in Russia and the Chinese reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping, and the current situation in these countries and their respective positions in the world, highlights both the benefits and dangers of radical reforms. The second part of the book is devoted to the study of moral, legal and political aspects of various forms of external interference with the aim of influencing change.

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Rein Müllerson is the President of Tallinn University Law School. 1994-2009 - Professor of International Law at King’s College, London. 2004 - 2005 the UN Regional Adviser for Central Asia. In 1992-94 -Visiting Centennial Professor of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since 1995 - a Member of the Institut de Droit International.
Chapter 1 – From an African village to a global village
1. Ex Uno Plures in the evolution of humankind
2. Is E Pluribus Unum replacing Ex Uno Plures?
3. Homogenisation of the world and heterogenisation of individual societies
4. ‘Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat’?
Chapter 2 – Whither goest thou, the world?
1. Universal history and historical determinism
2. Current regime changes: socioeconomic and political problems
3. Problems of liberal democracy and democratic capitalism
4. Limits of social democratic choice in a globalised world
5. Any viable alternatives?
Chapter 3 – On the futility and danger of external attempts to ‘democratise’ China
1. China’s rise and the changing balance of power
2. Modernising China – a democratic China?
3. A small diversion to illustrate the point: the Kyrgyz tragedy of 2010
4. Back to China: reforms, not revolution
5. The world’s reaction to China’s rise
6. From Westernisation to Sinification?
Chapter 4 – Regime changes in Russia: Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin
1. Understanding Russia or believing in Russia
2. Collapse of the USSR and the emergence of Yeltsin’s Russia
3. On Putin’s authoritarianism
4. Russia and its close neighbours
5. Russia – a part of Europe?
Chapter 5 – Democratic peace theories and regime change
1. Theory and politics of democratic peace
2. Problems with democratic peace theories
3. Immanuel Kant and the XXI century world
4. On the war-proneness of some democratising states
Chapter 6 – Humanitarian intervention, civil wars and regime change
1. Use of force and humanitarian concerns in ‘modern’ and ‘post-modern’ international societies
2. The Kosovo case revisited
3. Recognition of Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia
4. The Libya case
5. The Syria tragedy
6. Humanitarian intervention and regime change: some generalisations
7. From humanitarian intervention to R2P or ‘old wine in new bottles’?
8. Intervention in civil wars or internal disturbances and regime change
9. Determinants of success: efforts of interveners or characteristics of the target society?
Conclusions, index.
All those interested in most topical issues of international law and politics. Students of international relations and law, governmental officials and NGO activists.