Problems in Global Politics

University of Nottingham (2018)

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Course Handbook


1. Introduction: Problems in Global Politics

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Lecture 1 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • What are the main problems in global politics in 2018?
  • Are they all related to security?
  • Can they be best tackled by unilateral or multilateral approaches?

Reading

Required Reading

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The Economist, The World in 2018

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2. American Empire

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Lecture 2 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • Is America best described as an ’empire’? What’s wrong with other labels like ‘superpower’ or ‘hegemony’?
  • In what ways does America have imperial pretensions?
  • Is the ‘American Empire’ a force for good in global politics?
  • All empires rise and fall.  How do you assess American power on the global stage today?

Workshop 1: America and the World

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Workshop 1 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think the election of Donald Trump will do to notions of an American ’empire’?
  • What do you envisage for the state of the US-UK ‘special relationship’ in the era of Trump?
  • What similarities and differences did Obama’s foreign policy have with his predecessors?

Reading

Required reading

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Dumbrowski & Reich (2017) ‘Does Donald Trump have a Grand Strategy?’

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Cox, Michael (2003) The Empire’s Back in Town: or America’s Imperial Temptation – again,’ Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 32, No.1, pp.1-27

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Ignatieff, Michael (2003) The American Empire: the burden, New York Times, 5 January, 2003

Recommended reading

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Lundestad, Geir (2002) “Empire by Invitation” in the American Century,  Diplomatic History, Vol.23, No.2, pp.189-217

Mann, Michael (2005) Incoherent Empire

Ferguson, Niall (2004) Colossus: the Rise and Fall of the American Empire

Doyle, Michael (1986) Empires

Aron, Raymond (2009) The Imperial Republic: the United States and the World, 1945-1973

Johnson, Chalmers (2004) The Sorrows of Empire: militarism, secrecy and the end of the Republic

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Simes, Dimitri (2003) ‘America’s Imperial Dilemma,’ Foreign Affairs, Nov/Dec 2003

Appleman Williams, William (2009) The Tragedy of American Diplomacy

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3. Britain and the World

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Lecture 3 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • Is the relationship between the US and the UK really ‘special’?
  • Is the US Britain’s most important ally?  Does this account for Britain’s relations with Europe?
  • What impact will Brexit have on Britain’s global role?

Reading

Required Reading

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Rees, Wynn (2017) ‘America, Brexit and the Security of Europe,’ The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol.19, No.3, pp.558-572

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Wright, Thomas (2017) A Post-American Europe and the Future of US Strategy, Foreign Policy at Brookings

Recommended Reading

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Danchev, Alex (2006) ‘The Cold War “Special Relationship” Revisited,’ Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vol.17, No.3, pp. 579-595

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Danchev, Alex (2007) ‘Tony Blair’s Vietnam: The Iraq War and the ‘Special Relationship,’ in historical perspective,’ Review of International Studies, Vol.33, No.2, pp.189-203

Dumbrell, John (2001) A Special Relationship: Anglo-American Relations in the Cold War and After

Renwick, Robin (2016) Fighting with Allies: America and Britain in peace and war

Louis, Bull & Wilson (1986)  The ‘Special Relationship’: Anglo-American relations since 1945

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4. From the Global War on Terror to the Rise of ISIS

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Lecture 4 Presentation

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See also Terrorism and Counter-terrorism on the International Security page

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See also Terrorism on the Global Security page

Discussion Questions

  • Why did the United States choose to fight Afghanistan and Iraq in the GWOT?
  • Why did many of America’s European allies disagree with the US approach?
  • Does ISIS represent a new type of terrorist threat?
  • Did the outbreak of the Syrian civil war or the legacy of the American invasion of Iraq create the conditions for the rise of ISIS?

Workshop 2: Interventionism

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Workshop Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • When should states intervene?
  • What constitutes a successful intervention?
  • What happens after intervention?  How can states withdraw?

Reading

Required Reading

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Zelin, Aron (2017) How Al Qaeda Survived Drones, Uprisings and Islamic State, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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Hegghammer, Thomas (2016) ‘The Future of Jihadism in Europe: a pessimistic view,’ Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol.10, No.6

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Kilcullen, David (2005) ‘Countering Global Insurgency,’ Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol.28, No.4, pp.596-617

Recommended Reading

Pantucci, Raffaello (2015) We Love Death as You Love Life: Britain’s suburban terrorists

Roy & Scoch (2017) Jihad and Death: the global appeal of Islamic State

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Lieber & Press (2013) ‘Why States Won’t Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists,’ International Security, Vol.38, No.1, pp.80-104

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McCrisken, Trevor (2013) ‘Obama’s Drone War,’ Survival, Vol.55, No.2, pp.92-122

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Lister, Charles (2014) Profiling the Islamic State, The Brookings Institution

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Wood, Graeme (2015) ‘What ISIS Really Wants,’ The Atlantic, March 2015

Burke, Jason (2011) The 9/11 Wars

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Boyle, Michael (2008) ‘The War on Terror in American Grand Strategy,’

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Rees, Wynn (2009) Securing the Homelands: TransAtlantic cooperation after Bush, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol.11, No.2, pp.108-121

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Laub, Zachary (2016) The Islamic State, The Council on Foreign Relations

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Fishman, Brian (2014) The Islamic State: A persistent threat, Prepared testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, 29 July, 2014

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Phillips, Andrew (2014) ‘The Islamic State’s Challenge to International Order,’ Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol.68, No.5, pp.495-498

Further Reading

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Rogers, Paul (2012) ‘Terrorism, Chapter 15 from Security Studies: an introduction by Paul D. Williams

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5. Revolution and the Arab Spring

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Lecture 5 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • What is the Arab Spring?  A revolution?  A series of revolutions?  An uprising?  A blip?
  • How can we explain these events?
  • How significant is the political change that took place?  Who for?
  • What is civil resistance?
  • Is a non-violent revolution possible?

Workshop 3: Bringing Down a Dictator

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Workshop 3 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • What characteristics do successful revolutions share?
  • What role should the international community play, if any, in bringing down a dictator?
  • Are revolutions/coups driven by domestic or external factors?

Reading

Required Reading

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Gause, Gregory (2011) ‘Why Middle East Studies Missed the Arab Spring,’ Foreign Affairs, Vol.90, No.4, pp.81-84, 85-90

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Byman, Daniel (2013) ‘Explaining the Western Response to the Arab Spring,’ Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol.36, No.2, pp.289-320

Recommended Reading

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Dalacoura, Katerina (2012) ‘The 2011 Uprisings in the Arab Middle East,’ International Affairs, Vol.88, No.1, pp. 63-79

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Rampen & Tuffrey (2012) ‘How Arab Revolutionary Art Helped Break the Spell of Political Repression,’ The Guardian, 5 May, 2012

Erickson-Nepstad, Sharon (2011) Nonviolent revolutions: civil resistance in the 20th century

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Schock, K. (2013) The Practice and Study of Civil Resistance, Journal of Peace Research, Vol.50, No.3, pp.277-290

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6. The Rise of China

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See also the China in the International System page

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Lecture 6 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • Why have commentators pointed to the South China Sea as a potential flashpoint for conflict?
  • Does China uphold or challenge international norms?
  • Assess the legacy of President Obama’s “Asia Pivot”

Reading

Required reading

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Ikenberry, John (2008) ‘The Rise of China and the Future of the West,’ Foreign Affairs, Vol.87, No.1, pp.23-37

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Etzioni, Amitai (2011) ‘Is China a Responsible Stakeholder?’ International Affairs, Vol.87, No.3, pp.539-553

Recommended reading

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Foot, Rosemary (2001) ‘Chinese Power and the Idea of a Responsible State,’ The China Journal, Vol.45, No.1, pp.1-19

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Johnston, Alastair (2013) ‘How New and Assertive is China’s New Assertiveness?’ International Security, Vol.37, No.4, pp.7-48

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Ratner, Ely (2011) ‘The Emergent Security Threats Reshaping China’s Rise,’ The Washington Quarterly, Vol.34, No.1, pp.29-44

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Fangyin, Zhou (2016) ‘Between Assertiveness and Self-restraint: understanding China’s South Sea Policy,’ International Affairs, Vol.92. No.4, pp.869-890

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Shambaugh, David (2011) ‘Coping with a Conflicted China,’ The Washington Quarterly, Vol.34, No.1, pp.7-27

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Pu, Xiaoyu (2017) ‘Ambivalent Accommodation: Status signalling of a rising India and China’s response,’ International Affairs, Vol.93, No.1, pp.147-163

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Morton, Katherine (2016) ‘China’s Ambition in the South China Sea: is a legitimate maritime order possible?’ International Affairs, Vol.92, No.4, pp.909-940

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7. Drivers of Contemporary Russian Policy

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Lecture 7 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • Did the West provoke Russia into seizing the Crimea?
  • Should the West have treated Ukraine as a buffer state?  Why or why not?
  • What is hybrid warfare and how is it new?
  • What challenges does Russian foreign policy pose to the West?

Reading

Required Reading

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Tsygankov, Andrei (2015) ‘Vladimir Putin’s Last Stand: the sources of Russia’s Ukraine Policy,’ Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol.31, No.4, pp.279-303

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Fawn, Rick (2004) Ideology and National Identity in Post-Communist Foreign Policies

Recommended Reading

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Allison, Roy (2014) ‘Russian “Deniable” Intervention in Ukraine: how and why Russia broke the rules,’ International Affairs, Vol.90, No.6, pp.1255-1297

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Renz, Bettina (2016) ‘Russia and “Hybrid Warfare”‘, Contemporary Politics, Vol.22, No.3, pp.283-300

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Owen & Inboden (2015) ‘Putin, Ukraine and the Question of Realism,’ The Hedgehog Review, Vol.17, No.1

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Galeotti, Mark (2016) ‘Hybrid, Ambiguous and Non-linear?  How new is Russia’s “new way of war”? Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol.27, No.2, pp.282-301

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Charap, Samuel (2015) ‘The Ghost of Hybrid War,’ Survival, Vol.57, No.6, pp.51-58

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Lanoszka, Alexander (2016) ‘Russian Hybrid Warfare and Extended Deterrence in Eastern Europe,’ International Affairs, Vol.92, No.1, pp.175-195

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Thornton, Rod (2015) ‘The Changing Nature of Modern Warfare: Responding to Russian Information Warfare,’ The RUSI Journal, Vol.16-, No.4, pp.40-48

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Deyermond, Ruth (2016) ‘The Uses of Sovereignty in Twenty-First Century Russian Foreign Policy,’ Europe-Asia Studies, Vol.68, No.6, pp.957-984

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Nikitina, Yulia (2011) ‘Lost in Translation: Is there a way to overcome the different political languages of Russia and the West?’  PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No.174

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Connolly, Richard (2016) ‘Hard Times?  Defence spending and the Russian Economy,’ Russian Analytical Digest, No.196

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8. Nuclear Weapons

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Lecture 8 Presentation

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See also the Nuclear Weapons page

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See also The Nuclear Archive pages at RobertMcNamara.org

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See also The Nuclear Bookshelf at RobertMcNamara.org

Discussion Questions

  • Is the spread of nuclear weapons to be welcomed?
  • Has a tradition of non-use emerged vis-à-vis the use of nuclear weapons?
  • Do you need nuclear weapons for nuclear deterrence?
  • Why have nuclear weapons not been used in war since 1945?

Reading

Required Reading

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Tannenwald, Nina (1999) ‘The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the normative basis of nuclear non-use,’ International Organization, Vol.53, No.3, pp.433-468

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Waltz, Kenneth (2012) ‘Why Iran Should Get the Bomb,’ Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012 issue

Recommended Reading

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Waltz, Kenneth (1981) ‘The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: more may be better,’ Adelphi Papers, No.171

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Cohen & Pilat (1998) ‘Assessing Virtual Nuclear Arsenals,’ Survival, Vol.40, No.1, pp.129-144

Sagan & Waltz (2013) The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: an enduring debate (Copy in study)

Gray, Colin (1999) The Second Nuclear Age(Copy in study)

Chestnut Greifens, Sheena ‘Nuclear Proliferation’ chapter 24 in Baylis, Smith & Owens, The Globalization of World Politics: an introduction to International Relations

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Paret, Gilbert & Craig (1986) The Makers of Nuclear Strategy: From Machiavelli to the nuclear age SEE SIDEBAR

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Workshop 4: Secrecy and Subversion in International Relations

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Workshop 4 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • What is going on beneath the surface of the various topics discussed in this module?
  • What role does intelligence play in global politics?
  • How do states intervene in the affairs of others in a deniable manner?

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9. Climate Change

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Lecture 9 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • Can members of the international community share a common understanding and norms?  How are norms diffused?
  • Are human rights a universal standard or do they merely reflect Western norms?
  • Are states vulnerable to naming and shaming campaigns when they do not adhere to international human rights norms?

Workshop 5: Climate Change: Arctic Security

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Workshop 5 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • Is environmental security about the impact of humans on the environment, or about the impact of environmental processes on things that people value?
  • Can climate change cause anarchy and conflict?  How?  Why?
  • How successful will international attempts to manage the impact of climate change be without the leadership and support of the United States?

Reading

Required Reading

Vogler, John (2016) Climate Change in World Politics:
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    1. Introduction

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    2. Framing and Fragmentation

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    3. The UNFCCC Regime

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    4. Interests and Alignments

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Ott, Hermann (2001) ‘Climate Change: an important foreign policy issue,’ International Affairs, Vol.77, No.2, pp.277-296

Recommended Reading

Corry & Stevenson (2017) Traditions and Trends in Global Environmental Politics: international relations and the Earth

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O’Riordan, Tim (2016) ‘A New Politics for Climate Change,’ Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, Vol.58, No.5, pp.2-3

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Dimitrov, Radislav (2016) ‘The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: behind closed doors,’ Global Environmental Politics, Vol.16, No.3, pp.1-11

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Scott, Shirley (2015) ‘Implications of Climate Change for the UN Security Council: mapping the range of potential policy responses,’ International Affairs, Vol.91, No.6, pp.1317-1333

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Tuchman-Matthews, Jessica (1989) ‘Redefining Security,’ Foreign Affairs, Vol.68., No.2, pp.168-177

Further Reading

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Dalby, Simon (2012) ‘Climate Change and Environmental Security,’ Chapter 21 in Security Studies: an introduction, by Paul D. Williams

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10. Transnational Organised Crime

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Lecture 10 Presentation

Discussion Questions

  • How has globalisation helped to enable the practice and spread of transnational organised crime?
  • Should transnational organised crime be considered a ‘security’ issue?
  • Is there a relationship between ‘fragile/failed states’ and transnational organised crime?
  • How should we tackle transnational organised crime?

Reading

Required Reading

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Williams, Phil (2012) ‘Transnational Organised Crime,’ Chapter 33 in Security Studies: an introduction, by Paul D. Williams

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Galeotti, Mark (2002) ‘Transnational Organised Crime: Law enforcement as a global battle space,’ Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol.13, No.2, pp.29-39

Recommended Reading

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Emmers, Ralph (2003) ‘ASEAN and the Securitization of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia,’ The Pacific Review, Vol.16, No.3, pp.419-438

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Miraglia, Paula (2012) ‘Transnational Organised Crime and Fragile States’ OECD-library.org

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Arquilla & Ronfeld (2001) ‘Transnational Criminal Networks,’ Chapter 3 by Phil Williams in Networks and Netwars

Edwards, Gill et al (2003) Transnational Organised Crime: Perspectives on global security

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Bergeron, James (2013) Transnational Organised Crime and International Security,’ The RUSI Journal, Vol.158, No.2, pp.6-9

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Eilstrup Sangiovanni, Mette (2005) ‘Transnational Networks and New Security Threats,’ Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.18, No.1, pp.7-13

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11. Revision

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Lecture 11 Presentation


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