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The Clash of Projections
Volume Editors: Vladimir Biti, Joep Leerssen, and Vivian Liska
Recent developments within and beyond Europe have variously challenged the very idea of Europe, calling it into question and demanding reconsideration of its underlying assumptions. The essays collected here reassess the contemporary position of a perceived “European” identity in the world, overshadowed as it is by the long antecedents and current crisis of triumphalist Eurocentrism. While Eurocentrism itself is still a potent mind-set, it is now increasingly challenged by intra-European crises and by the emergence of autonomously non-European perceptions of Europe. The perspectives assembled here come from the fields of political, cultural and literary history, contemporary history, social and political science and philosophy.

Contributors are: Damir Arsenijević, Luiza Bialasiewicz, Vladimir Biti, Lucia Boldrini, Gerard Delanty, César Domínguez, Nikol Dziub, Rodolphe Gasché, Aage Hansen-Löve, Shigemi Inaga, Joep Leerssen, and Vivian Liska.
Views of the Cuban Communist Party on the Collapse of Soviet and Eastern European Socialism
In Cuba Was Different, Even Sandvik Underlid explores the views of Cuban authorities, official press, and Party members as they reflect back on the collapse of Soviet and Eastern European socialism. In so doing, he contributes to a better understanding as to why the Cuban system – often associated with Fidel Castro’s leadership – did not itself collapse. Despite the loss of its most important allies, key ideological referents, and even most of its foreign trade, Cuba did not embrace capitalism.

The author critically examines and analyzes the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe as reported in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma, both as they unfolded and subsequently through the lens of additional interviews with individual Party members. This focus on Cuba’s Communist Party provides new perspectives on how these events were seen from Cuba and on the notable resilience of many party members.
Author: Yousra Abourabi
Depuis l’avènement du règne de Mohammed VI en 1999, le Maroc déploie une nouvelle politique étrangère continentale. Le Royaume ambitionne d’être reconnu comme une puissance africaine émergente dans son identité comme dans son espace de projection. Afin de satisfaire ces ambitions, l’appareil diplomatique se développe et se modernise, tandis qu’une identité de rôle singulière émerge autour de la notion de « juste milieu ». Cette étude présente, sur le plan empirique, les conditions de l’élaboration et de la conduite de cette politique africaine, et analyse, sur le plan théorique, l’évolution de l’identité de rôle marocaine à l'échelle internationale.

Since the advent of the reign of Mohammed VI in 1999, Morocco has deployed a new continental foreign policy. The Kingdom aspires to be recognized as an emerging African power in its identity as well as in its space of projection. In order to meet these ambitions, the diplomatic apparatus is developing and modernizing, while a singular role identity is emerging around the notion of the "golden mean". This study presents, on an empirical level, the conditions of the elaboration and conduct of this African policy, and analyzes, on a theoretical level, the evolution of the Moroccan role identity in the international system.
For the last thirty years the year 1989 has symbolized a European annus mirabilis, standing for such events as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the impending collapse of the Soviet Union. Cultural and political transformations in Western Europe due to the rise of the migrant crisis are now echoed in East-Central Europe. In Europe Thirty Years After 1989, the authors jointly explore the recent history of former socialist countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech republic, the Baltic States, and Russia. Thirty years ago some of these countries stood as a paradigmatic example of peaceful and liberal patriotism, but during the past thirty years some countries have experienced transformations in their values, memory and identity. A shift towards illiberal democracy has occurred, although not without the overlapping trends in Western and Southern Europe. This book is for those who wish to join and learn from the search for an interpretation and answer(s) to the question: what happened to the legacy of 1989 over the past thirty years, and why did these changes and transformations occur?
Volume Editors: Boris Barth and Rolf Hobson
The civilizing mission associated with nineteenth-century colonialism became harder to justify after the First World War. In an increasingly anti-imperialist culture, elites reformulated schemes for the “improvement” of “inferior” societies. Nation building, social engineering, humanitarianism, modernization or the spread of democracy were used to justify outside interventions and the top-down transformation of non-western, international or even domestic societies.

The contributions in Civilizing Missions in the Twentieth Century discuss how these justifications influenced Polish nation building, Scandinavian disarmament proposals and technocratic social policies in the interwar years. Treatment of the second half of the century covers the changing cultural context of European humanitarianism, as well as the influence of American social science on US foreign policy, more particularly democracy promotion.

Contributors are: Boris Barth, Rolf Hobson, Jürgen Osterhammel, Frank Ninkovich, Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, Karen Gram-Skjoldager, Esther Moeller, and Jost Dülffer.

Abstract

By the seventeenth century, the Spanish court had developed a well-established practice of gift-giving to foreign representatives. The richness and variety of such gifts pretended to foster the hegemonic and prestigious image of the Catholic king. However, those agents not pertaining to the medieval framework of Christendom posed several challenges: how to compare and commensurate their rank and dignity with European examples? How to adapt (and to what extent) the local system to quite different tastes and cultural backgrounds?

In: Diplomatica

Abstract

A crucial asset for cross-cultural communication during the early modern period, diplomatic gifts have been traditionally associated with courtly diplomacy and peaceful encounters. However, recent scholarship on this topic has emphasized how gifts can reveal bitter political rivalries and asymmetries of power. Building on this line of inquiry, this article explores the complex roles of gifts in the dynamics of cross-cultural violence on the frontiers of the Iberian empires in Southeast Asia. Through the examination of a wide array of sources, I aim to show how gift-giving turned into one of the multiple factors fueling the violent conflict between Moluccan sultans and Iberian authorities in the region between 1575 and 1606.

In: Diplomatica