Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft
International Politics and Society 4/2003


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Michael Dauderstädt
When Security Becomes Unaffordable. The Difficult Stabilization of the Unequal World

Klaus Eßer
Cooperation Which Can Change the World. In Favor of a Reorientation of European Development Policy

Peter W. Schulze
Russia: Joining U.S. Hegemony as Junior Partner or Pushing For a Multipolar World

Uwe Krüger
The Poker Game Over the Oil in the Caspian Sea


Michael Dauderstädt

When Security Becomes Unaffordable
The Difficult Stabilization of the Unequal World

The occupation of Iraq costs more than Iraq’s gross domestic product, and the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague costs more than the Serbian justice budget. The rich countries cannot play police, prosecutor and judge for all of the failed and rogue states of this world. But the latter’s own state powers are part of the problem which produces the threat to the prosperous democracies. Suppression and self-enrichment by the dominant elites at once feed the anger of the terrorists, the justified liberation movements and the inclinations of those affected to seek their salvation in the rich countries and/or illegal acts. The world-wide inequality not only causes a large proportion of the threats to which the USA and, in the second line, Europe are exposed, but also means that combating the problem with military intervention and violent regime change becomes a quite fruitless and increasingly unaffordable business. The strategy of the American conservatives is based on the intimidation of “evil” states and the liberation of poor societies. However, it overlooks the intermeshing of political and economic power which cannot be tackled by forcing back the state alone, especially if the same state is needed by the USA in the fight against terrorism. The reform of the failed societies rather requires an efficient state which produces and distributes public goods without bias, which guarantees property rights and which promotes economic development. Tackling such tasks via external integration and protectorate regimes is extremely expensive and involves new risks. The presence of rich occupiers and aid workers creates new, politically fought-over sources of income and makes it more difficult for a self-sustaining economy to develop. In the world of nation states, the strategy of intervention by force presupposes changes to international law to impose more restrictions on the sovereignty of the nation states. In terms of Realpolitik, those restrictions can only be enforced against weaker countries. This increases the incentives for potentially affected regimes to compensate for their weakness not least by acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, those problems must rather be tackled by an intelligent combination of integration tied to conditions, diplomatic pressure and change within society.


Klaus Eßer

Cooperation Which Can Change the World
In Favor of a Reorientation of European Development Policy

Development policy should discard its priority of fighting poverty, both in the interest of the poor countries themselves and in Europe’s own interest. The poor countries are characterized by a dismal governance record which impedes the overcoming of problems of growth and poverty. Bilateral and multilateral development cooperation should concentrate on the industrializing countries with the strongest economies (China, Brazil, Russia, India etc.). 11 countries in this group account for roughly two-thirds of the population, the gross domestic product, the exports and foreign direct investment of all developing countries; they harbor the bulk of the technological and industrial potential outside the industrial countries. In the context of meso-economic partnership programs, the steering capacity and the systemic competitiveness of these countries can be boosted in such a way that a lasting partnership emerges which is in the interest of both parties. The focus should be on those meso-policies which promote the acquisition of skills in information and communication technology, which strengthen the social foundations for economic growth (e.g. education reforms and the building of institutions which are related to specific production clusters), which integrate environmental policy in economic policy, and which reinforce social capital. Since meso-policies shorten the period during which a country’s exports are based on raw materials and low wage labor and increase the demand for raw materials and foodstuffs from surrounding poor countries, this also expands the scope for the poor countries to grow into the world economy as low-wage exporters. Such a cooperation with the strongest emerging economies contributes to a joint shaping of the globalization process. In the longer term, it might even reverse the trend in global problems such as the digital divide, poverty and global consumption of the environment.



Peter W. Schulze

Russia: Joining U.S. Hegemony as Junior Partner
or Pushing For a Multipolar World

After a decade without a clear foreign policy profile and a clear assignment of foreign policy responsibilities, Russia has re-emerged as a major player in world politics. Gone are the days when the country shifted back and forth between competing strategy designs, adhering in part to an illusory super-power concept and dreaming up unrealistic ideas of Eurasian strategic alliances that would constitute a counterweight to the West. Since Putin became President, the country’s foreign policy has been driven by the overwhelming priority of internal economic and social development. This long-term project needs stable external parameters and reliable partnerships with the great economic powers. Accordingly, Russia is now taking care to be perceived as a reliable cooperative partner within a broad “Western” alliance, whose current focus is the fight against international terrorism. It wants by every means to avoid ending up in the type of renewed isolation that resulted from its ill-conceived oscillating policy during the Yugoslav secession wars. But the country’s recent success in consolidating its economy and its political institutions has also given it new self-confidence in external affairs. It has declined to support its newly found American ally over Iraq while maintaining basically good relations with the US. However, this decision of Putin continues to be contested in the internal Russian foreign-policy debate. The “Atlantic” faction advocates a policy of full support for the USA, which it unquestionably regards as the world hegemon. This view considers alternative foreign policy options to be unrealistic. In particular, it does not see much value in lining up with the notoriously ineffective European Union. The “Triangular” faction also wants good relations with the USA, but it considers America’s unilateralist tendencies to be damaging to Russia’s long-term interest of becoming a key power within a UN-moderated multipolar world. This interest is compatible with the EU’s interest in an enhanced pan-European peace order that needs an internally stabilized democratic Russia as an important pillar. While a solid US-Russian partnership adds to Russia’s weight in dealing with the European Union, an intensifying long-term cooperation with the EU would strengthen the country’s independence vis-à-vis America’s hegemonic claims. More so than the “Atlantic” option, the “Triangular” project is contingent on Russia’s sustained economic development.



Uwe Krüger

The Poker Game Over the Oil in the Caspian Sea

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the newly independent states in Central Asia and the Caucasus have been trying to liberate themselves from the Russian embrace with the help of international consortia. Here, the oil reserves in the Caspian Sea and the pipelines which make the oil accessible to the markets and promise the transit countries both income and influence are of central significance. However, the status of the Caspian Sea is disputed by the riparians. This is impeding progress on exploitation. And more importantly, the high expectations of oil wealth have not yet been met. Up to 30 billion tons of oil reserves are presumed, but only three billion tons are really secured. This corresponds to just under two percent of the world’s reserves. The Gulf region, with almost two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves, remains at the center of the oil market. Russia is the world’s second leading oil producer and the world’s leading gas producer, but has less than five percent of the world’s oil reserves at its disposal. Despite the limited significance of Caspian oil, several states are battling for influence in the Caspian region. The main party here is Russia, which not only has commercial interests but also wishes to cement its position as regional hegemonic power and is exploiting the conflicts between the Caucasian states and the hostile ethnic groups within them. Turkey is endeavoring to gain strategic significance as a transit country for oil, via the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project. Iran, which has its own rich oil resources, also harbors regional power ambitions. However, due to massive American pressure, it has been losing out both in the exploitation of the Caspian deposits and in the pipeline poker. Not least in the context of the war in Afghanistan, the USA is also present in the region. It is trying to repress the Russian influence, to isolate Iran and to occupy positions vis-à-vis China, the emerging major power.



Kassian Stroh

Water: An Advocate for Reason
Win-win Solutions for the Nile River Basin

One of the most important international water conflicts is taking place on the Nile, particularly between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. Many observers believe that this conflict will culminate in war. In fact, however, the Nile conflict is unlikely to turn violent. On the contrary. Six factors explain why the conflict is being managed on an increasingly cooperative basis, even though the underlying problem is getting worse. (1) Cooperation enables the overall amount of available water to be increased, and it is possible to sharply improve the efficiency of water use. These two points mean that the consumptive use of water (e.g. for irrigated agriculture) no longer implies a zero-sum game. (2) The awareness of mutual dependency greatly promotes the willingness of the riparians to cooperate, since it makes win-win situations apparent. (3) The hydrologically based power of the upriver states is offset by the greater political, military and economic power of downriver Egypt. Such opposing power asymmetries impede unilateral action. (4) Future cooperation is favored by the history of existing cooperation. In particular, the exchange of technical data about the Nile Basin has contributed to confidence-building. (5) The willingness to cooperate is enhanced by the existence of principles of international law – even though they are not binding – which regulate water conflicts and recognize the fundamental claims of all riparians. (6) External players with an interest in a constructive arrangement (international institutions, donor countries) provide incentives for cooperative behavior between the riparians by imposing corresponding conditions on aid.


Reiner Bernstein

The “Road Map” and the Blocked Routes to Middle East Peace

The goals of the “Road Map” are probably just as unrealistic as the Oslo agreements were, because clarification of all of the problems that exist between Israel and the Palestinians is not scheduled to be achieved until 2005. This means that, like their predecessors, the new plans are exposed to the risk that permanent rules will be delayed. The focus is on political sovereignty. Here, Israel argues that since Jordan ceded sovereignty for the West Bank in 1988, no Arab rule can claim undisputed legitimacy. This belief has found expression in territorial acquisitions, Jewish settlements, military no-go zones, control posts, etc. In contrast, the Palestinian Autonomous Authority bases its claim on international law, from which it derives an entitlement to found the state of Palestine in the occupied territories of 1967 (with the exception of the Golan Heights). Whilst there are no negotiated solutions in sight, Judaism and Islam are experiencing a renaissance as politically activated religions. They define a peaceful settlement in theological terms and aim to render it an exclusive right untouched by the vagaries of history. The Palestinians are badly torn apart in domestic politics by their stance on the Israeli occupation. Since Yasser Arafat has found a rival in the person of Makhmud Abbas, the question of what strategy should be used to counter Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is becoming more of an issue: What is the significance of concepts for negotiations? Can the Israeli military machinery be withstood over a longer period by the use of force, and what role do suicide attacks play in this? Finally, can civil disobedience mobilize world opinion in favor of the Palestinian claims? The Palestinian population has gained political self-confidence since the first “Intifada” (1987 to 1992) and is no longer satisfied with victimhood, but wishes to act as a historic subject fighting for its collective future. The time for interim agreements is over. Both sides have manipulated them for their own interests and have lost sight of the fact that they can only survive together. But the “Road Map” ignores this. Political thinking is still focusing on the option of the two-state solution at the end of the negotiation process. However, all of the Israeli governments have blocked this option by their interventionist policies, the latest example being the “fence”. The Europeans should do all they can to bring Israel and Palestine closer to the old continent.



Stephan Hensell

Typically Balkan? Networks of Patronage, Ethnicity and the Dynamics of Violence in Macedonia

With hindsight, the fighting which broke out in 2001 between Albanian rebels and state security forces in Macedonia seems to prove those right who have always forecast an escalation of ethnic conflict there. However, the dynamic of the conflict in Macedonia does not follow the logic of escalation of an allegedly typical Balkan war. The process of state-formation in Macedonia is going hand in hand with the encouragement of a national consciousness which defines a Slav-Macedonian titular nation against an Albanian minority. Ethnicity determines access to networks of patronage and a place in the expanding public sector. Albanians and Slav Macedonians thus enjoy different prospects of social improvement and are subjected to the process of modernization to differing degrees. The two groups in the population are developing in different social and economic spheres, i.e. a growing ethnic segregation is taking place. Since the beginning of the 1990s, economic liberalization and privatization have been creating a new socio-economic situation. On the Albanian side, political parties are forming, and there are increasing calls for political participation. In response, the Macedonian power-holders are integrating part of the Albanian activists into the clientelistic networks of the state. This increases the competition for the income opportunities this provides. Politics is becoming criminalized. Irregular enrichment opportunities are gaining in significance, particularly in terms of illegal trade with other countries. However, the participation of the Albanians in the corresponding clientelistically organized networks remains restricted to isolated groups. The Albanian camp is becoming divided into established networks of patronage on the one hand and the non-integrated on the other. The latter particularly includes the young, whose previous option of emigration is blocked by the economic situation in Europe. In addition to the social discrepancies between the two ethnic groups, this means that discrepancies are also arising within the Albanian camp, with post-socialist opportunities and restrictions being unequally distributed and new lines of inclusion and exclusion established. Against this background, the Macedonian UÇK is emerging as an armed movement of the non-integrated. The guerilla fighters are aiming to achieve not only improvements over the post-war arrangement in terms of the Albanian minority status, but also integration into the existing system of Albanian patronage. The fight of the UÇK for more minority rights is thus inseparable from inner-Albanian competition for political and economic opportunities.



Siegmar Schmidt

South Africa: The New Divide

After it came to power in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) pursued an active welfare policy. But its economic and social reforms also reflected the political compromise which had made possible the transition to democracy and which precluded sweeping redistribution. With regard to social policy, the ANC-dominated governments concentrated on (a) massive investment in basic infrastructure (water, electricity), (b) on the extension of social services (health care, education, food for school children) and (c) on affirmative action to compensate for the decade-long discrimination against the black African population. Economically, the ANC governments pursued the re-integration of South Africa into the global economy. But economic growth remained weak and provided insufficient new employment opportunities. At the same time, many jobs for less skilled workers were lost during the 1990s due to productivity hikes. As a consequence, unemployment stayed at the extremely high level of 30-40 percent of the labor force. The ANC reform programs altered South Africa’s class structure significantly. Many black Africans were able to join the upper class as professionals and successful business people and the middle class as teachers, nurses, industrial workers etc. The racial divide that had characterized South African society before 1994 was overcome. But about forty percent of the population still live in poverty. These are the unemployed, those with ill-paid jobs in the domestic sector and in agriculture, and retired workers who have seen the real value of their pensions decline. Moreover, there are hardly any prospects of improvement for any of them. Altogether, disparities within the African majority of the population have increased. The poor are not worse off than before, but there are many more of them now. Yet this new divide, which runs counter to the high expectations at the onset of ANC rule, does not threaten political stability, for four reasons. (1) Due to its historical role as the successful liberation movement, the ANC continues to enjoy support from the majority of Africans. (2) The massive investment in basic infrastructure and social services has indeed improved the lives of the poor. (3) The ANC has launched integrative political projects such as the New Partnership for Africas Development which have strengthened a common identity. (4) Contrary to those segments of the population who benefited most from ANC policies, the interests of the poor are not articulated in the political market place. There is no party to the left of the ANC-led alliance which is capable of organizing the marginalized poor. South Africa may follow the Latin American path: a society deeply divided along class lines but with a functioning polity and relatively stable political institutions.

© Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | net edition malte.michel | 9/2003