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1-2 / 2016 Content

91 (2016) 1-2: Free Trade / Flight and Refuge

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Editorial
Andreas von Arnauld / Michael Staack / Christian Tomuschat


Debate

The United States’ Geo-economics: Global Arms Race against China

Josef Braml

The United States are trying to prevent China from gaining more influence through its monetary and trade policy. While his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, “pivoted to Asia” trying to contain China with his Transpacific Partnership Initiative (TPP) in cooperation with American allies, Donald Trump bases his strategy on the strength of his military and his nationalistic economic policy. He is ready to confront China, which would also affect America’s friends. Yet allies may buy the goodwill and the protection of the USA, if they pay tribute in terms of bilateral trade, especially if they invest in American weaponry. The geo-economics of the United States is the major driver of a new global arms race that is increasingly being waged in Asia and the Pacific region. Partners of the United States in Asia and the Pacific are being upgraded with new security arrangements and arms deliveries against a possible aggression from China.

Focus Articles: Free Trade – Opportunity and / or Risk for a Sustainable World Order?

Food, Security and Free Trade:
How global development paradigms and interdependencies limit the policy space of national actors

David Betge

The liberalization efforts of the World Trade Organization (WTO) with regard to agriculture were supposed to create a fair global trade system and international food security. But instead, the Agreement on Agriculture of the WTO, in the context of a global development paradigm focussed on capital-intensive agriculture, led to the reduction of policy space of national actors. In various emerging economies this led to narrow agricultural development policies, which negatively affected small-scale agriculture. But also large-scale, export-oriented agriculture felt significant pressure because the industrialized countries did not follow through on their commitments. Against this background, the negotiations for a new international trade agreement are stagnating. At the same time, the situation of small-scale farmers and landless people has worsened.

 

The “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP) and Free Trade Associations in the controversy – Instruments of Peace or Promotion of War?

Bernhard Rinke

The question whether free trade and TTIP serve peace or conversely promote war, is answered completely contrary in the current and highly politicized debate. In the article at hand, this observation is taken as an occasion to closer examine free trade in terms of peace policy and security policy. In the first instance, an internal perspective (significance of a free trade area for its members among each other in terms of peace policy) is distinguished from an external perspective (significance of a free trade area towards third parties in terms of peace policy). Resulting from this, the connection between peace and war on the one side and free trade on the other, is much more complex and ambiguous, than the public debate often suggests.


The Pragmatism and Justice of International Investment Arbitration

Andreas Eibelshäuser

International investment arbitration has become a contentiously discussed issue in Europe. Opposing voices, however, too often disregard the merits of this method of dispute settlement. This often leads to categorical opposition within the public rather than concrete proposals. This paper aims at formulating a constructive critique, viewing the controversy as a conflict between pragmatism and justice. Drawing on Jürgen Habermas and Rainer Forst, it is argued that the system lacks legitimacy because it is not sufficiently subordinated to common societal norms. To gain control over the international investment arbitration system and with it basic legitimacy, the paper builds up to suggest an international investment appeals facility.


Focus Articles: Flight and Refuge – Perspectives from Interdisciplinary Peace Studies
Renaissance of border controls – Protection of national identity or illustration of national egoism?

Claus Dieter Classen

The article pleads against the reestablishment of systematic border controls in Europe. The Union law allows these controls only in case of systematic shortcomings concerning the external border controls, but such shortcomings do not exist. Candidates to asylum have to have the possibility to apply for asylum directly at the border. Furthermore, strict border controls are not possible at the sea, the obligation to rescue shipwrecked personens prevails. The argument put forward referring to the state of necessity does neither convince from a legal nor from a political point of view.


Migration out of, as and into Violence
Conceptual Reflections on the Nexus of Human Mobility and Political Violence

André Bank / Christiane Fröhlich / Andrea Schneiker

In current debates, migration and political violence are perceived to be tightly connected with each other. Such connections are not only often based on simplifications and generally lack an empirical base, but they also lead to under-complex solutions for some of the biggest political and humanitarian challenges of our times. This contribution combines insights from migration research and peace and conflict studies to develop a more differentiated agenda on the migration-violence nexus which can guide both research and policy. It presents an analytical framework that captures the multiple connections of the migration-violence dynamic on and between inter-/transnational, national and local levels. Against this background, human mobility is understood as (1) flight out of  violence, (2) as a violent process in itself as well as (3) as a transition into violence.


The non-participation of refugees as structural and cultural violence
Analysis and suggestions for the comprehensive inclusion of refugees

Norbert Frieters-Reermann

Most of the recent research on the situation of refugees in Germany is focusing on their emergencies, problems and traumas. This perspective is extremely important to understand and address the specific psycho-social problems and related needs of refugees. But often refugees also have a lot of potentials, resources and skills, which are still too little recognized and considered. The full inclusion and participation of refugees can only succeed if structural and cultural exclusion and discrimination will be overcome.