2-3/2003 Content

78 (2002) 2–3: American World Politics

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The United States and International Law
Georg Nolte

The role of the United States in the international system was already a viru­lent question before the third Iraq war. Now this question has become acute. It particularly affects international law: Are certain actions and con­trover­sies, especially those in connection with the Iraq war, symptoms of a profound crisis of international law in general? The article looks for an­swers by focussing on the conduct of the United States in three particularly important areas of international law, i.e. lawmaking by international trea­ties, the law on the use of force and international economic law. Some re­flections on the reasons for the conduct of the United States are followed by ten theses.

Iraq – Demise of International Law?
Christian Tomuschat

The US-British attack on Iraq was contrary to international law: Self-defence could not be invoked, and the Security Council had not authorized the invasion either. The operation has brought into jeopardy the principle of sovereign equality of States. Notwithstanding their violation of a central rule of international law, the occupation forces are obligated to ensure law and order in Iraq. It appears necessary to improve the workings of the Security Council, basing such a reform on the concept of institutional responsibility of all its members, as well as of all other conventional mechanisms for the maintenance of international peace and security. The United States, too, will reach its legitimate political objectives much more effectively within the framework of cooperative mechanisms.

„Redeemer Nation” – Religious Roots of American Exceptionalism
Jürgen Moltmann

This contribution discusses a central aspect of the world view American World Politics is based upon, namely its deep rootedness in the belief of the American nation as a “chosen people” designated to redeem the world. For this pupose the basis of American political messianism and its em­bedded­ness in apocalyptic thinking is outlined, the significance of self-sacrifice for fulfilling the national destiny is emphasized, the idea of the manifestation of this destiny through successful expansion and conquest (mani­fest destiny) is sketched out, and the experimental character of the American Dream of establishing a universal democratic polity is explained. This „American experiment“ is critisized because it can not be made uni­ver­sal, because it can not be repeated, and because there is no possibility left to correct any mistakes.

Beyond Iraq: The Crisis of the Transatlantic Security Community
Thomas Risse

The transatlantic relationship is in a deep crisis, but it can be repaired. The transatlantic relationship constitutes a security community based on a col­lec­tive identity and common values, on complex (economic) inter­de­pen­dence, and on common institutions regulating the relationship. While inter­dependence remains intact, there are cracks in the collective identity. Most important, the common institutions such as NATO and the under­lying norms of multilateralism and cooperation have suffered during the cur­rent crisis. The conflict stems from domestic developments on both sides of the Atlantic leading to different perceptions of contemporary secu­rity threats and different prescriptions how to handle them. To repair the trans­atlantic security community, a new transatlantic bargain is needed. To enable a new bargain, a European counter-vision to the one articulated by the Bush-Ad­ministration must be developed.

Europe in World Politics:Junior Partner of the United States or Anti-hegemonic Alternative?
Volker Rittberger / Fariborz Zelli

The authors argue that the currently debated options of a future European foreign policy towards the United States – either providing an anti-hege­monic alternative (balancing) or being Washington’s junior partner (band­wagoning) – lack both theoretical foundation and practical feasibility. In­stead, in order to be acknowledged as a major player in world politics, the EU should adopt a strategy which – in accordance with the principal-agent model – promotes Europe’s “speaking with one voice”, based on the on­going agreement of the principals on the EU’s role as a civilian power. How­ever, the Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which has recently been presented by the European Convention, falls significantly short of the institutional reforms necessary to pursue such a strategy.

Further Article

Challenges for Peace Research at the Beginning of the 21st Century
Volker Rittberger

This contribution summarizes the development of peace research in Ger­many. Starting from the assessment that German peace research has not man­­aged to achieve more than a rather marginal status some central objec­tives and tasks of peace research in general are formulated and the main tendencies of peace research in Germany are outlined. Against the back­ground of the changes in the international system after the end of the East-West conflict some new challenges are named and some main fields for future research are identified. Finally, the importance of the Deutsche Stift­ung Friedensforschung (German Foundation for Peace Research) which has been established in the year 2000 is highlighted for leading German peace research out of its marginal existence, for providing it with sustain­able financial ressources in order to help it achieve its policy-oriented goals, for promoting communication with politicians as well as the general public, and for educating a sufficient number of academic professionals.


East Timor – Conflict Resolution through the United Nations
Monika Schlicher / Alex Flor

On 20 May 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared East Ti­mor’s independence. Preceded by five centuries of Portuguese colonial rule, the country had been independent only a few days of the year 1975, im­mediately followed by 25 years of occupation by the mighty neighbor Indonesia, which annexed the island half as its 27th province after a military invasion. From September 1999 to 20 May 2002, East Timor was governed by a United Nations Transitional administration. This marked the end of a long and painful conflict that only recently had attracted the world’s atten­tion. The aim of the article is to point out the causes and the process of the con­flict. It assesses the contribution of the United Nations in conflict reso­lu­tion analyzing the transitional administration and focusses on some chal­lenges of independent East Timor. Particular attention is paid to the juris­diction not only in East Timor but also in Indo­nesia for the prosecution of per­sons responsible for gross human rights vio­lations committed in East Timor in 1999.