The Intervention And Peace Mechanisms

1657 WordsMar 8, 20167 Pages
Introduction Sub-Saharan Africa has been the ‘problem child’ of the international community ever since the end of decolonization. The continent is drowned in development aid while simultaneously being locked into a colonial power structure wherein foreign powers decide the fate of its natural resources. No other continent has witnessed such a bizarre combination of foreign thievery and foreign goodwill. Furthermore, it has seen a rather large percentage of civil (or so-called intrastate) wars during the last 50 years - from Sierra Leone to Kenya and from Zimbabwe to Angola, the continent appeared to burn (Herbst 2000: 270). While some of these conflicts have now been curtailed, civil wars in states like Nigeria remain a multi-faceted…show more content…
Together these factors form a paradigm in which power and security paired with the human nature of “competition, diffidence and glory” amongst humans becomes the main concern (Hobbes 1985: 185). Modern-day realism retains the idea that states exist in anarchy, while claiming that there is not constant war but “relentless security competition with the possibility of war looming in the background” (Mearsheimer, 1994: 9). In such situations, a classic security dilemma emerges, evolving as both states or groups start competing over security measures, yet in the end neither will feel secure enough and a conflict becomes inevitable - a phenomenon known as a ‘spiral of insecurity’. As security dilemmas only arise under certain conditions, there is a chance to avoid them: the balance of power. This balance seeks to provide equality or stability between the states that compete, by preventing any one nation from becoming sufficiently strong so as to allow it to enforce its will upon the rest. The goal is to protect each state’s or group’s own safety and to attain a balance because of this objective of self-protection (Waltz 1979: 106). Despite the rather pessimistic paradigm of realism in which states cannot trust one another and must always be prepared for conflict, there have been suggestions that pursuing realist policies can lead to a more stable world where there is lesser conflict. Unlike their neo-liberal counterparts,
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