Ruta de navegación
Menú de navegación
COMMENT / Carlos Jalil
Covid-19 has forced many states to take extraordinary measures to protect the welfare of their citizens. This includes the suspension of certain human rights on grounds of public emergency. Rights such as freedom of movement, freedom of expression, freedom of meeting and privacy are affected by state responses to the pandemic. We therefore ask: Do states unduly affect freedom of expression when combating fake news? Do they unduly restrict our freedom of movement and meeting or even deprive us of our liberty? Do they infringe on our right to privacy with new tracking apps? Is this justified?
To protect public health, human rights treaties allow states to adopt measures that may restrict rights. article agreement 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provide that in situations of public emergency that threaten the life of the nation, states may take measures and derogate from their treaty obligations. Similarly, article 27 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), allows states parties to fail to derogate from their obligations in emergency situations that threaten the independence or security of the nation.
During the pandemic, some states have declared a state of emergency and, because of the impossibility of respecting certain rights, have derogated from their obligations. However, derogations are subject to requirements. General Comment 29 on States of Emergency of the UN Human Rights committee sets out six conditions for derogations, which are similar in the above-mentioned treaties: (1) official proclamation of a state of emergency and public emergency threatening the life of the nation; (2) proportionality required by the requirements of the status in terms of duration, geographical coverage and substantive basis; (3) non-discrimination (however the ECHR does not include this condition); (4) conformity with other international law obligations; (5) formal notification of the derogation to the respective treaty bodies (these must include full information on the measures, their reasons and documentation of laws adopted); and (6) prohibition of derogation from non-derogable rights.
The last condition is particularly important. The aforementioned treaties (ICCPR, ECHR and ACHR) explicitly set out the rights that cannot be derogated from. These, also called absolute rights, include, inter alia: right to life, prohibition of slavery and servitude, principle of legality and retroactivity of law, and freedom of conscience and religion.
However, derogations are not always necessary. There are rights that, on the contrary, are not absolute and have the inherent possibility of being limited, for which it is not necessary for a state to derogate from its treaty obligations. This means that the state, for public health reasons, may limit certain non-absolute rights without the need to give notice of derogation. These non-absolute rights are: the right to freedom of movement and meeting, freedom of expression, the right to liberty staff and privacy. Specifically, the right to freedom of movement and association is subject to limitations on grounds of national security, public order and health, or the rights and freedoms of others. The right to freedom of expression may be limited by respect for the rights or reputation of others and by the protection of national security, public order and public health. And the rights to freedom of expression staff and privacy may be subject to reasonable limitations in accordance with the provisions of human rights treaties.
Despite these possibilities, countries such as Latvia, Estonia, Argentina and Ecuador, which have officially declared a state of emergency, have resorted to derogation. Consequently, they have justified Covid-19 as an emergency threatening the life of the nation, notifying the United Nations, the Organisation of American States and Europe's committee of the derogation from their international obligations under the aforementioned treaties. In contrast, most states adopting extraordinary measures have not proceeded with such derogation, based on the inherent limitations of these rights. Among them are Italy and Spain, countries seriously affected, which have not derogated, but have applied limitations.
This is an interesting phenomenon because it demonstrates the differences in states' interpretations of international human rights law, also subject to their national legislatures. There is clearly a risk that states applying limitations abuse the state of emergency and violate human rights. It may therefore be that some states interpret derogations as reflecting their commitment to the rule of law and the principle of legality. However, human rights bodies are also likely to find the measures adopted by states that have not derogated consistent with the status pandemic. Excluding, in both cases, situations of torture, excessive use of force and other circumstances affecting absolute rights.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, courts and tribunals are likely to decide whether the measures adopted were necessary. But in the meantime, states should consider that extraordinary measures adopted should be temporary, in line with appropriate health conditions and within framework of the law.
March and April 2020 will be remembered in the oil industry as the months in which the perfect storm occurred: a drop of more than 20% in world demand at the same time as a price war was unleashed that increased the supply of crude oil, generating an unprecedented status of abundance. This status has highlighted the end of OPEC's dominance over the rest of the oil producers and consumers after almost half a century.
▲ Pumping structure in a shale oil field [Pixabay].
ANALYSIS / Ignacio Urbasos Arbeloa
On 8 March, in view of the failure of the so-called group OPEC+ negotiations, Saudi Arabia offered its crude oil at a discount of between 6 and 8 dollars on the international market while announcing an increase in production from 1 April to a record 12 million barrels per day. The Saudi move was imitated by other producers such as Russia, which announced an increase of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the same date, when the cartel's previous agreements expire. The reaction of the markets was immediate, with a historic drop in prices of more than 30% in all international indices and the opening of headlines announcing the start of a new price war. The oil world was stunned by the collapse in the price of crude oil, which reached historic lows on 30 March, with the price of a barrel of WTI dropping below 20 dollars, a psychological barrier that demonstrated the harshness of the confrontation and the historic consequences it could have for a sector of particular geopolitical sensitivity.
Saudi Arabia, the world leader in the oil industry because of its vast reserves and huge, export-oriented production, has resorted three times to a price war to obtain commitments from other producers to make supply cuts to stabilise international prices. The oil market, accustomed to an artificially high price, tends to suffer dramatic price declines when supply is unrestricted available . committee Due to the economic and political instability that these prices generate in the producing countries, they usually return quickly to the negotiating table, where Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) always await them.
The first experience of this subject took place in 1985, after the Iran-Iraq war and the oil crisis of the 1970s, Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud took the decision to increase production unilaterally in order to recover the market share he had lost to the emergence of new producing regions such as the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico. The experience led to a 50% drop in prices after more than a year of unrestricted production, which ended with a agreement in December 1986 by 12 OPEC countries to make the cuts demanded by Saudi Arabia and its allies.
In 1997, in response to Saudi Arabia's concern over the increasing displacement of its oil from US refineries in favour of Venezuelan and Mexican crude, the newly arrived Saudi monarch Abdullah bin Abdulaziz decided to announce in the midst of an OPEC summit in Jakarta that he would proceed to increase production without restrictions. The Saudi strategy did not count on the fact that the following year an economic crisis would break out among emerging markets with particular virulence in Southeast Asia and Russia, which plunged prices by 50% again until a new agreement was reached in April 1999.
With the 21st century, came the oil bonanza with the so-called commodity super cycle (2000-2014) that kept oil prices at unknown levels above 100 dollars between 2008 and 2010-2014. This bonanza made it possible to increase investment in exploration and production, generating new extraction techniques that were previously unknown or simply economically unfeasible. In 2005, the US was experiencing a worrying oil crisis, with production at an all-time low of only 5.2 million bpd compared to 9.6 million bpd in 1970. Moreover, energy dependence of approximately 6 million bpd was being met by increasingly expensive crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf, which after 9/11 was viewed with greater scepticism, and Venezuela, which already had Hugo Chávez as its political leader. goal High oil prices allowed the recovery of previously frustrated ideas such as hydraulic fracturing, which was given massive permits to be developed from 2005 onwards with the aim of mitigating the country's other major energy crisis: the rapid decline in domestic production of natural gas, a much more expensive and difficult commodity for the US to import. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, enabled an unexpected growth in natural gas production, which soon attracted the attention of the US oil sector. By 2008, a variant of fracking could be applied to oil extraction, a technique later called shale, leading to an unprecedented revolution in the United States that increased the country's production by more than 5 million barrels per day in the period 2008-2014. The change in the US energy landscape was such that in 2015 Barack Obama withdrew a 1975 law that prohibited the US from exporting domestically produced oil.
The Saudi reaction was swift, and at OPEC's Vienna headquarters in November 2014, it launched a new campaign of unrestricted production that would allow the Kingdom to recover part of its market share. The effects on international markets were more dramatic than ever, with a 50% drop in price in just 7 months. Multinational oil companies (IOCs) and national oil companies (NOCs) dramatically reduced their profits and were forced to make cuts not seen since the beginning of the century. Exporting countries also suffered the effects of lower fiscal revenues with many emerging markets plunged into unmanageable fiscal deficits, inflation and even recession, with Venezuela in particular sliding into the socio-economic chaos we know today. To Saudi Arabia's despair, the US shale industry showed unexpected resilience by maintaining production at 4 million barrels per day for 2016 from a peak of 5 million in 2014. Saudi Arabia did not understand that shale oil, unlike conventional oil, was not a mature industry, but an expanding one and development. US producers managed to increase the oil recovery rate from 5% to 12% between 2008-2016, the equivalent of increasing productivity by 2.4 times. In addition, the elimination of less competitive companies allowed for a reduction in the cost of services and easier access to transportation infrastructure. The nature of shale, with wells maturing in 18 months to 3 years, compared to 30 years or more for a conventional well, allowed production to be shut in for a short enough period of time to minimise the impact of lower prices, opting to keep the most competitive wells. Saudi Arabia gave up and opted for a 180 degree turnaround Degrees in its strategy, although it did manage to bring Russia to the negotiating table. The longest price war in history, after almost 22 months, ended with an unprecedented agreement among OPEC countries with the incorporation of Russia and its sphere of energy influence, group known as OPEC+. A Russia wounded by international sanctions and the weakness of its currency had given in to Saudi Arabia, which, however, had not managed to defeat the US shale oil revolution.
North American shale production has not stopped growing, and despite its effectiveness, it is the only region in the world with a similar industry, growing at a rate of more than one million barrels per day per year. This status has provided the US with robust energy security as it is not dependent on imports of Venezuelan or Gulf crude. The country achieved positive net oil exports at the end of 2019 for the first time in more than half a century, in addition to being a net exporter of natural gas, coal and refined products. Much of the Trump administration's geostrategic retreat in the Middle East is a response to the country's growing energy independence, which reduces its interests in the region.
The breakdown of group OPEC+:
As mentioned, during the first week of March, OPEC+ met in Vienna seeking a agreement for a further cut of some 1.8 million barrels per day to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 quarantine in China. The unease among producers was evident, having executed a similar cut in December 2019. Saudi Arabia was trying to share out as much of the production cuts as possible when Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said "niet", citing economic solvency for a drop in prices, scuppering any subject from agreement. It is not known whether Russia's refusal was the result of a well-thought-out plan or simply a bluff to gain ground in the negotiations, but it was the beginning of a new price war. As can be seen in the graph below, the drop in the price of crude oil in the first month has been historic, without a similar reference letter in the history of negotiations between producers. The increase in the availability of oil in the markets due to the Saudi strategy of loading tankers with crude from its strategic reserves, together with a dry stop of the Economics and the demand for oil, generated a sudden price depression hitherto unknown in the sector. Previous price wars normally had the stabilising element that the lower the price of oil products, the higher the consumption in the short term deadline. However, due to the economic effects of the quarantine, this market counterweight disappears, generating in one month what would otherwise have taken 12 to 15 months.
The effects of COVID-19 on global oil demand are estimated to have fallen by 12.5% in March and are expected to reach 20% in April. In the areas of Europe most affected by the quarantine, the drop in fuel sales at service stations has reached 75%, a figure that is very likely to be replicated in the rest of the advanced economies as the measures are tightened and which China is already beginning to leave behind after two months of confinement. The case of air transport is particular, as it consumes 16 million bpd and is currently totally suspended, with no clear date for a return to normality in international aviation. The partial stoppage of industrial production, the extent of which is still unknown, could lead to even greater drops in consumption. Such a status would not require increased production to generate a collapse in prices, which with the added pressure on the supply side are generating unprecedented levels of stress on storage, transport and refining capacity.
A historic agreement :
In early April, Donald Trump, fearful that an oil glut could further depress prices and destroy the US hydrocarbon industry, took the initiative to speak by telephone with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia. In a paradoxical move, the US President succeeded in bringing the major producers closer together to establish new cuts that would put an end to the price war. On 9 April, after several weeks of speculation, the largest ever producers' meeting took place at group , including OPEC members and 10 non-member countries among which Russia, Kazakhstan and Mexico stood out. After several days of negotiations, it was agreed to cut production by 23% in 20 countries with a combined output of more than 40 million barrels, leaving almost 10 million barrels out of the market, starting on the first day of May. The negotiations were coordinated by OPEC and the G20, which at the time was chaired by Saudi Arabia. In this way, a picturesque agreement was reached whereby the aforementioned 10 million barrels were reduced among the OPEC+ members, included in the table below, and another 5 million barrels were estimated to be reduced in an unspecified manner among the US, Canada, Brazil and Norway. The latter cuts, by the nature of their sectors, would be made through the free market and it remains to be seen how they will materialise.
There is some scepticism in the industry and markets about the effectiveness of these cuts, which amount to 10-15% of the oil consumed globally before the COVID-19 crisis. Consumption has fallen by around 20% and oil storage capacity is starting to run out, reducing the margin for absorbing surplus oil. In addition, the cuts will start to be implemented on 1 May, leaving a three-week window that could further depress prices. The nature of agreement, which is voluntary and difficult to monitor, leaves the door open to non-compliance with the established cuts, which are often difficult to apply due to the geological conditions of certain old wells or the existence of contracts that require financial compensation if supply is interrupted. In general, the level of compliance with OPEC agreements has been low, with a greater incidence in countries that export by sea and a lesser incidence in those that export by pipeline, which, unlike maritime cargoes, cannot be controlled by satellite.
The main actors:
Amid the wreckage of the OPEC+ negotiations, on 6 March Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) led a new palace coup in which former heir to the Saudi throne Mohammed bin Nayef and other members of the royal family were arrested and charged with plotting against Crown Prince MBS and his father Salman bin Abdulaziz. All this at a time when the heir to the Saudi throne seemed to want to consolidate his power with a risky new strategy after the utter failure of the Yemen War and the Vision 2030 national modernisation plan.
Saudi Arabia's undisputed leadership in driving the oil market is based on its ability to increase production by several million barrels in less than six months, something no other country in the world is able to do. The increase in production also allows Saudi Arabia to partially compensate for the decline in prices per barrel, which together with its foreign exchange reserves and access to cheap credit allows Saudi Arabia to face a price war with an apparent resilience far superior to that of any other OPEC country. The low cost of producing a barrel of oil in the country, at around $7, also allows it to maintain revenues in almost any market environment.
However, foreign exchange reserves, at $500 billion, are 30% lower than in 2016, and may be insufficient to maintain dollar-rial parity for more than two years without oil revenues, which is essential for a society accustomed to import-dependent opulence. Moreover, the fiscal deficit has been a major problem for the country, which has been unable to reduce it below 4% after reaching a peak of 16% in 2016 as result of an insufficient recovery in oil prices and the costs of the war in Yemen. Oil's energy dominance has an expiry date and Saudi Arabia's finances are addicted to an activity that accounts for 42% of its GDP and generates 87% of tax revenues. For the moment, the Saudi minister of Economics has already announced a 5% cut in budget by 2020, sample , agreement oil does not ensure an optimistic scenario. In any case, Saudi Arabia has been one of the big winners in the price war. In the failed March negotiations, Saudi Arabia produced 9.7 million barrels per day, a figure that had risen to 11 million barrels per day in the April negotiations. As the cuts are set on a proportional basis, in just one month the Saudi kingdom gained 1.3 million barrels of market share. Similarly, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund Petroleum Investment Fund (PIF) bought shares in Eni, Total, Equinor, Shell and Repsol during the month of April, in a context of stock market falls in these companies.
Russia stood firm at the start of the price war, highlighting the resilience of the Russian energy sector and the volume of the country's sovereign reserves, which are lower than those of Saudi Arabia but amount to 435 billion dollars and a stabilisation fund of another 100 billion: 33% more than in 2014. Paradoxically, international sanctions on the Russian oil sector have reduced its dependence on the outside world, allowing the devaluation of the freely convertible rouble not to affect production and partially compensate for lower prices. Russia' s capacity to increase production in the short term deadline, unlike Saudi Arabia, is less than 500,000 bpd, which leaves Russia unable to compensate lower prices with higher production, the main reason for the country's acceptance of the April negotiations result .
Vladimir Putin's leadership is unquestionable with a possible constitutional reform that would allow for an extension of his term of office delayed due to COVID-19. The Russian political elite's good relations with the oil oligarchy allow for unity of action in a country with greater atomisation and the presence of private capital in its companies. Alexander Novak's strategy seems to be in line with that of Igor Sechin, CEO of Rosneft, who is betting on a context of low prices that will end up deeply damaging the US shale industry. There is speculation about a possible US diplomatic intervention with the Russian government in favour of April's agreement OPEC+. Russia's Rosneft's latest move , abandoning Venezuela by selling all its assets to a Russian government-controlled business , may be one explanation for Moscow's concession to accept a agreement that for a month it tried, at least rhetorically, to avoid. The development of future US sanctions on the Russian oil sector will be a good indicator of this possible agreement.
For the US, falling oil prices mean one of the biggest tax cuts of all time, in the words of its president, with a price of less than a dollar per gallon. However, the oil industry generates more than 10 million jobs in the US and is a central activity in many states such as Texas, Oklahoma or New Mexico, which are fundamental for a hypothetical Republican victory in the 2020 elections. Moreover, the geostrategic importance of the sector, which has allowed the US to reduce its energy dependence to historic lows, has led Donald Trump to take on the responsibility of safeguarding the US oil industry. He himself coordinated the first steps for a major agreement, by means of pressure, threats and concessions. The truth is that the price crisis has come at a time of certain exhaustion for the sector, which was beginning to suffer the effects of over-indebtedness and pressure from investors to increase profits. Since 2011, North American crude oil, priced on the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) index, has experienced an evaluation 10% lower than that of Brent or the OPEC Basket, the other global indices, generating a hyper-competitive environment that was beginning to take its toll on shale producers, which since the end of 2019 have seen a 20% drop in the total drillingissue year-on-year. The North American market, which had already been experiencing storage and transportation problems since 2017, collapsed in the third week of April with negative prices due to the limitations to store oil and speculation in the futures markets.
Donald Trump has finally secured a global agreement that does not bind the US directly, but leaves it to the market to regulate the cuts that seem more than foreseeable. In this way, the Trump administration allows itself not to have to intervene in the oil market, something that would surely force the development of legislation and a complex discussion to save the polluting oil industry at the taxpayer's expense. From the Senate, several politicians from both parties have tried to introduce the need for tariffs or sanctions on those producers who flood the domestic market to the parliamentary discussion , recovering old initiatives such as the NOPEC Act. These threats have allowed the President to gain a strong position at the international level, being one of the big winners at the agreement OPEC+ in April. In fact, when negotiations seemed on the verge of collapse due to Mexico's refusal to take on 400,000 barrels per day of cuts, the US intervened by announcing that it would be the US that would take them on. Subsequent leaks have shown the existence of financial insurance taken out by Mexico in case of low oil prices, which would be charged per barrel produced. The US intervention, more rhetorical than internship since the country has no concrete production to cut, saved agreement from another failure.
Facilities for the refining of petroleum products [Pixabay].
Nothing will ever be the same again:
The shale oil revolution has transformed the oil industry and generated a new geopolitical balance to the detriment of OPEC. Since 2016, OPEC+ countries have made cuts estimated at 5.3 million barrels per day, while the North American shale industry has increased its production by 4.2 million barrels, making it clear that the oligopolistic strategy of the producing countries has come to an end. All that remains is the free market, in which they have an advantage due to lower production costs. However, eliminating a large part of the North American shale final would take more than three years of prices below 30 dollars, at which point a large part of the companies' debt would mature and the drop in new wells issue would seriously affect total production. A journey in the desert for many producing countries that have billion-dollar plans for economic diversification during this decade, probably the last decade of absolute energy domination by hydrocarbons. The world, unlike what was expected at the beginning of the century, has entered a period of oil abundance that will reduce energy costs unless coordinated intervention in the market remedies this. The emergence of new producers, mainly the United States, Canada and Brazil, coupled with the collapse of Venezuelan and Libyan production, has left OPEC 's market share in 2020 at around 33%, in free fall since the beginning of the century when it exceeded 40%.
Global demand for crude oil has declined to such an extent that cutbacks can only be expected to prevent a fall below $15 a barrel by prolonging the full filling of remaining oil storage systems as long as possible. Global oil storage capacity is one of the great unknowns in the sector, with diverging estimates. The bulk of the storage capacity is supported by importing countries, which since the 1973 oil crisis decided to create the International Energy Agency, among other things, to coordinate infrastructure to mitigate dependence on OPEC. The strategic nature of these reserves, coupled with the rapid development of these reserves in the last decade by China and its companies, make access to this information very difficult. In particular, China's Sinopec has developed a strategy of building oil storage facilities throughout the China Sea, including in foreign countries such as Indonesia, to resist any possible blockade of the Strait of Malacca, China's geopolitical weak point. Private companies also have onshore and floating storage capacity of undetermined volume that has already begun to be used in imaginative ways: disused pipelines, oil tankers and even trains and trucks now grounded by quarantine. In the short term, deadline, these strategic reserves will be gradually replenished at a rate similar to 20 million barrels per day, an estimate of the current differential between supply and demand. In 50 days, if no agreement is reached to cut production, the amount in storage would exceed 1 billion barrels, which would probably saturate the market's capacity to absorb more oil, leading to a total collapse in prices.
A return to economic normality is increasingly on the distant horizon, with sectors such as aviation and tourism set to be weighed down by COVID-19 for a long time to come. The impact on oil demand will be prolonged, especially given the storage capacity that will now act as a counterweight to any upward movement in international prices. The shale industry, with great flexibility, will begin to hibernate while waiting for a new, more favourable context. The COVID-19 crisis will have a particularly virulent impact on the oil-exporting countries at development , which have more delicate socio-economic balances. The oil world is undergoing major changes as part of the energy transition and development of new technologies. The COVID-19 crisis is only the beginning of the major transformations that the industry will undergo in the coming decades. An oft-repeated phrase to refute the already dismissed Peak Oil theory is that the Stone Age did not end because of a lack of stones, and contemporary society will not stop using hydrocarbons because of their depletion, but because of their obsolescence.
staff UNHCR building a tent for Venezuelan refugees in the Colombian city of Cúcuta [UNHCR].
COMMENTARY / Paula Ulibarrena
Restrictive measures imposed by states to try to contain the coronavirus epidemic mean that millions of people are no longer able to go to work or work from home. But not everyone can stop working or switch to teleworking. There are self-employed people, small businesses, neighbourhood shops, street traders or street vendors, and freelance artists who live practically from day to day. For them, and for many others who have no or reduced income, expenses will continue to mount: utility bills, rents, mortgages, school fees and, of course, food and medicine.
All these social impacts of the coronavirus crisis are already beginning to be questioned by those living in the "red zone" of the epidemic. In Italy, for example, some political groups have demanded that aid should not go to large companies, but to this group of precarious workers or needy families, and are demanding a "basic quarantine income".
Similar approaches are emerging in other parts of the world and have even led some leaders to anticipate the demands of the population. In France, Emmanuel Macron announced that the government will take over the loans, and suspended the payment of rents, taxes and electricity, gas and water bills. In the United States, Donald Trump's government announced that cheques will be sent to each family to cover the costs or risks involved in the pandemic.
In other major crises the state has come to the rescue of large companies and banks. Now there are calls for public resources to be devoted to rescuing those most in need.
In any crisis, it is the most disadvantaged who suffer the most. Today, there are more than 126 million people in the world in need of humanitarian assistance, including 70 million forcibly displaced people. attendance . Within these groups, we are beginning to see the first cases of infection (Ninive-Iraq IDP camp, Somalia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Venezuela report ), the cases in Burkina Faso are particularly illustrative of the challenge of responding in a context where medical care is limited. Malian refugees who were once displaced to Burkina Faso are being forced to return to Mali, and ongoing violence inhibits humanitarian and medical access to affected populations.
Many refugee camps suffer from inadequate hygiene and sanitation facilities, creating conditions conducive to the spread of disease. Official response plans in the US, South Korea, China and Europe require social distancing, which is physically impossible in many IDP camps and in the crowded urban contexts in which many forcibly displaced people live. Jan Egeland, director general of the Norwegian Refugee Agency committee , warned that COVID-19 could "decimate refugee communities".
Jacob Kurtzer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington warns that national policies of isolation in reaction to the spread of COVID-19 also have negative consequences for people facing humanitarian emergencies. Thus the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration have announced the end of refugee resettlement programmes, as some host governments have halted refugee entrance and imposed travel restrictions as part of their official response.
Compounding these challenges is the reality that humanitarian funding, which can barely meet global demand, may be affected as donor states feel they must focus such funds on the Covid-19 response at this time.
On the other side of the coin, the coronavirus could provide an opportunity to de-escalate some armed conflicts. For example, the EU has order ceased hostilities and stopped military transfers in Libya to allow authorities to focus on responding to the health emergency. The Islamic State has posted repeated messages on its Al-Naba information bulletin calling on fighters not to travel to Europe and to reduce attacks while concentrating on staying free of the virus.
Kurtzer suggests that this is an opportunity to reflect on the nature of humanitarian work abroad and ensure that it is not overlooked. Interestingly, developed countries face real medical vulnerability, indeed Médecins Sans Frontières has opened facilities in four locations in Italy. Cooperating with trusted humanitarian organisations at the national level will be vital to respond to the needs of the population and at the same time develop a greater understanding of the vital work they perform in humanitarian settings abroad.
The Alliance maintains its focus on Russia, but for the first time expresses concern about Beijing's actions.
NATO had begun 2020 in the spirit of leaving behind the internal problems of its particular annus horribilis - a 2019 in which the organisation had reached "brain death", according to French President Emmanuel Macron - but the absence of global normality due to the coronavirus crisis is making it difficult to fully implement internship what was agreed at the London Summit, held last December to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Alliance. Indeed, the London Declaration expressed concern about China's actions on issues such as 5G.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation [NATO] Member States
article / Jairo Císcar
internship NATO Summits bring together the Heads of State and/or Government of member countries and serve to take strategic decisions at the highest level, such as the launch of new policies (e.g. the New Strategic Concept at the Lisbon Summit in 2010), the introduction of new members to the Alliance (Istanbul Summit 2004, with seven new members), or the advertisement of major initiatives, as was done at the Newport Summit 2014, where the core coalition of what would later become the International Coalition against the Islamic State was announced.
The London Summit took place on 3 and 4 December to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Alliance, which had its first headquarters in the British capital. At the work meetings, attended by all 29 member states, the focus was on three main issues: (a) the continuing tension-distension between Washington and Paris; (b) the economic issue, both the trade war between the European and US defence industries and member states' defence investment; and (c) the management of an increasingly fractious Turkey.
a) The Washington-Paris dispute witnessed a new chapter in the two most committed countries' understanding of the Atlantic Alliance. While the US continues to insist on the importance of focusing the Alliance's efforts on an Eastern axis (against Russia and Middle Eastern jihadism), France wants NATO's strategic axis to focus on the South, on the African Sahel. This is a vision shared and supported by Spain, which participates in several missions on African soil such as EUTM-Mali or the Ivory Detachment in Senegal (which provides strategic transport in the area to the countries participating in AFISMA and especially to France). For Southern Europe, the greatest threat is the jihadist threat, and its centre of gravity is in Africa. Macron made this clear.
b) The economic issue remains fundamental, and was addressed at the Summit. Since the 2014 Newport Summit, at which the 29 members agreed to direct their efforts towards increasing expense in defence to at least 2 per cent of GDP, only nine have achieved goal (Spain is at the bottom, with a derisory 0.92 per cent, surpassed only by Luxembourg). The United States, at the forefront of defence investment within NATO, contributes 22% of the entire budget. The Trump Administration not only wants this increase so that the Alliance will have larger, more prepared and modernised armies, but it is framing the increase in an ambitious commercial strategy, with the F-35 "Lightning" as its main product. As an example, Poland: after reaching the required 2 per cent, the country announced the purchase of 35 F-35s and their software and technical support for $6.5 billion. In this way, the US was able to cope with the losses caused by the break-up of agreement with Turkey after the Ottomans purchased the Russian S-400 system. With this acquisition, Poland jo ins the club of seven other NATO members with this aircraft, facing the commercial offensive of the European producer bloc to continue selling "Eurofighter" packages and, especially, the recent Future Combat Air System (led by Airbus and Dassault), of which Spain is a member. Europe wants to create a strong Defence Industry community for reasons of self-sufficiency and to compete in the markets against the US industry, which is why we are facing a "mini" trade war between allied countries.
c) On Turkey, NATO's most uncomfortable member, there was a clear negative feeling. It is an unreliable ally, which is attacking other allies in Operation Inherent Resolve such as the Kurdish militias, considered terrorists by the Ankara government. Looming over the leaders present in London was the fear of a possible invocation of article 5 of the Washington Treaty by Turkey calling for active confrontation in Syria. NATO has little choice, for if it does not stand up to Erdogan, it would be pushing him into the Russian orbit.
The summit's final statement showed a change of focus within the Alliance: until now, Russia was the main concern and, while it remains a priority, China is taking its place. The Declaration can be divided into three blocks.
1) The first bloc functions as an emergency stopgap, intended to satisfy the most discordant voices and create a picture of apparent seamless unity. In its first point, member states reaffirm the commitment of all countries to the common values they share, citing democracy, individual freedom, human rights and the rule of law. As a gesture towards Turkey, article 5 is mentioned as the cornerstone of the North Atlantic Treaty. It is clear that, at least in the short to medium term deadline, Western countries want to keep Turkey as partner, being willing to compromise in small gestures.
Further on, the Alliance stresses the need to "continue to strengthen the capabilities, both of member states and collectively, to resist all forms of attack". With respect to goal , which is paramount for the US and the top-spending states, it says that good progress is being made, but that "more must and will be done".
2) The next block enters subject purely strategic and less political. The Alliance notes that the current international system is under attack by state and non-state actors. It highlights the threat posed by Russia to the Eurasian region and introduces irregular migration as source of instability.
With respect to this stabilisation, the Alliance's main thrusts will be to secure a long-term presence in Afghanistan deadline, a stronger partnership with the UN, as well as a direct NATO-EU partnership . The Alliance wants to increase its global presence and its presence at all levels. The Alliance wants to increase its global presence, as well as its work at all levels. sample is the forthcoming accession of North Macedonia as the Alliance's 30th member, sending a clear message to Russia that there is no place in Europe for its influence.
Clearly, for NATO we are in 4th generation conflicts, with the use of cyber and hybrid warfare. The commitment to 360° security within the Alliance is mentioned. NATO is aware of the changing realities of the battlefield and the international arena, and sample is committed to adapting and update its capabilities.
3) As a third block, for the first time China is mentioned directly as an issue requiring joint decisions. China's emerging leadership in the field of communications and the internet, especially with 5G technology, is of deep concern within the Atlanticist camp. In an operating environment where cyberwarfare and hybrid warfare will change the way in which conflict is dealt with, there is a need to ensure the resilience of societies that are completely dependent on technology, especially by protecting critical infrastructure (government buildings, hospitals, etc.) and energy security. In London, the importance of developing one's own systems so as not to depend on those provided by countries that could use them against consumers was also proclaimed, as well as the need to increase offensive and defensive capabilities in the cyber environment. It was recognised that China's growing influence in the international arena presents both opportunities and risks, and that this is an issue that needs to be closely and continuously monitored.
The Document ends with a statement of intent: "In times of challenge, we are stronger as an Alliance and our people are more secure. Our togetherness and commitment to each other has guaranteed our freedoms, values and security for 70 years. We act today to ensure that NATO guarantees these freedoms, values and security for generations to come".
While it was a bittersweet summit, with many misunderstandings and unfortunate comments, the reality is that, outside of politics, the Alliance is prepared. It is aware of the threats it faces, both internal and external. It knows the realities of today's world and wants to act accordingly, with a greater and more lasting involvement Degree . While words have often remained on paper, this Declaration and this Summit show an Alliance that, with its particularities, is ready to face the challenges of the 21st century - its old ghosts like Russia, and its new threats like China.
The UN Conference did little to increase international commitment to climate change action, but did at least boost the assertiveness of the EU
In recent years, the temperature of the Earth has risen, causing the desertification of lands and the melting of the Poles. This is a major threat to food production and provokes the rise of sea levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that there is a more than 95% probability that human activities over the past 50 years are the cause of global warming. Since 1995 the United Nations has organized international meetings in order to coordinate measures to reduce CO2 emissions, which arguably are behind the increases in temperature. The latest meeting was the COP25, which took place in Madrid this past December. The COP25 could be labeled almost a missed opportunity.
ARTICLE / Alexia Cosmello and Ane Gil
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme. The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report concluded that: "Climate change is real and human activities are the main cause". In recent years, rising temperatures on earth have contributed to the melting of the Polar Ice Cap and an increase in desertification. These developments have provoked the rise of sea levels and stresses on global food production, respectively.
In 1992, the IPCC formed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the goal of minimizing anthropogenic damage to the earth's climate. 197 countries have since ratified the UNFCCC, making it nearly universal. Since 1995, the UNFCCC has held an annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to combat climate change. These COPs assess the progress of national governments in managing the climate crisis, and establish the legally binding obligations of developed countries to combat climate change. The most significant international agreements emerging from UNFCCC annual COPs are the Kyoto Protocol (2005) and the Paris Agreement (2016). The most recent COP25(25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took place in Madrid in December 2019.
The previous conference(COP24) marked a significant improvement in international regulation for implementing the Paris Agreement, but crucially ignored the issue of carbon markets (Article 6). Thus, one of the main objectives of COP25 was the completion of an operating guide for the Paris Accords that included provisions for carbon market regulation. However, COP25 failed to reach a consensus on carbon market regulation, largely due to opposition from Brazil and Australia. The issue will be passed onto next year's COP26.
Another particularly divisive issue in COP25 was the low level of international commitment. In the end, only 84 countries committed to the COP25 resolutions; among them we find Spain, the UK, France and Germany. Key players such as the US, China, India and Russia all declined to commit, perhaps because together they account for 55% of global CO2 emissions. All states will review their commitments for COP26 in 2020, but if COP26 goes anything like COP25 there will be little hope for positive change.
COP25 also failed to reach an agreement on reimbursements for damage and loss resulting from climate change. COP15 set the goal of increasing the annual budget of the Green Climate Fund to 100 billion USD by 2020, but due to the absence of sufficient financial commitment in COP25, it appears that this goal will not be met.
It is worth noting that in spite of these grave failures, COP25 did achieve minor improvements. Several new policies were established and a variety of multilateral agreements were made. In terms of policies, COP25 implemented a global "Gender Action Plan," which will focus on the systematic integration of gender equality into climate policies. Additionally, COP25 issued a declaration calling for increased consideration of marine biodiversity. In terms of multilateral agreements, many significant commitments were made by a vast array of countries, cities, businesses, and international coalitions. Notably, after COP25, the Climate Ambitious Coalition now counts with the impressive support of 27 investors, 763 companies, 393 cities, 14 regions, and 70 countries.
But by far the saving grace of COP25 was the EU. The EU shone brightly during COP25, acting as an example for the rest of the world. And this is nothing new. The EU has been a forerunner in climate change action for over a decade now. In 2008, the EU established its first sustainability goals, which it called the "2020 Goals". These goals included: reducing GHG emission by 20% (compared to 1990), increasing energy efficiency by 20%, and satisfying a full 20% of total energy consumption with renewable energy sources. To date, the EU has managed not merely to achieve these goals, but to surpass them. In fact, by 2017, EU GHG emissions had been reduced not just by 20%, but by 22%.
The EU achieved these lofty goals because it backed them up with effective policies. Note:
i) The launch by the EU Commission in June 2000 of the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP). Its main goal is to identify and develop all the necessary elements of an EU strategy to implement the UN Kyoto Protocol of COP3.
ii) The EU ECCP developed the ETS (EU emissions trading system), which has helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy-intensive industries and power plants.
iii)The EU adopted revised rules for the ETS in February 2018, which set the limits on CO2 emissions of heavy industry and power stations.
iv)The EU opted for a "circular economy." In May 2018, the EU decided on new rules for waste management and established legally binding targets for recycling. In May 2019, the EU adopted a ban on single-use plastic items.
v) The EU limited CO2 emissions on the roads. In April 2019, stricter emission limits for cars and vans were passed. By 2029, both cars and vans will be required to emit on average 15% less CO2.
vi) The EU approved new regulations in May 2018 for improved protection and management of lands and forests.
If the EU is anywhere near as successful at combating climate change in the decades to come as it has proved itself to be in the past decade, the EU seems primed to achieve both its 2030 Goals, and its 2050 Goals (the European Green Deal). The 2030 Goals include cutting GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 (compared to 1990). Such new measures will make the EU's economy and energy systems more competitive, more secure, and more sustainable. The 2050 Goals are even more ambitious: they include the complete elimination all CO2 emissions and the achievement of a climate-neutral EU by 2050. The EU's 2030 and 2050 Goals, if achieved, will be a remarkable step in the right direction towards achieving the Paris Agreement objective to keep global temperature increase stabilized at 1.5ºC and well below 2ºC.
The European Green Deal and 2030 and 2050 Goals will demand far more effort than the 2020 Goals, especially in the political and economic spheres. Poland has yet to commit to the Deal, which has led the European Council to postpone the matter until June 2020. But progress in the EU towards the 2050 Goals is already underway. The Just Transition Mechanism was proposed in December 2019 to provide support for European regions projected to be most affected by the transition to climate neutrality. (This measure will also hopefully serve to assuage the concerns of Poland and other members.) The EU Commission is to prepare a long-term strategy proposal as early as possible in 2020 with the intention of its adoption by the Council and its submission to the UNFCCC shortly thereafter. Furthermore, the EU Commission has also been tasked with a proposal, after a thorough impact assessment, for an update of the EU's nationally determined contribution for 2030 under the Paris Agreement. The EU's example is reason to hope for a bright and sustainable future for the developed world.
Unfortunately, not every developed country is as committed to sustainability as the EU. While many efforts have been made at both the global and regional levels to combat climate change, it is abundantly clear that these efforts are horrendously insufficient. In order to properly address climate change, consistent commitment to sustainability from all parties is imperative. Those countries such as the US, China, India and Russia that abstained from committing to the COP25 resolutions need to begin following in the EU's sustainable footsteps and start behaving like true global citizens as well. If they do not, even the EU's exemplary efforts will not be anywhere near enough to slow climate change.
▲ Operations in cyberspace can be part of a status of hybrid warfare carried out by state or non-state actors [Pixabay]
essay / Ana Salas Cuevas
The hybrid threat is an all-encompassing term subject coordinated actions to influence the decision-making of States, making use of political, economic, military, civil and information means. These actions can be carried out by both state and non-state actors.
The term "Grey Zone" is used to determine the boundary between peace and war. It is a new tactic that has nothing to do with the real war that pits armies of different states against each other. Hybrid warfare is about achieving results by directly influencing society by demoralizing it. It is undoubtedly an effective tactic and much simpler for the attacking countries, since the investment, both economic and human, is lower than in real war. Resources such as propaganda, manipulation of communications, economic blockades, etc. are used. And in the absence of strong international legislation in relation to these conflicts, many countries consider this conflict to be a serious problem. subject of actions as tolerable.
Introduction: The Hybrid Threat
The term hybrid threat was popularized after the clash between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 to designate "the integration of unconventional and irregular tactics, techniques, and procedures, mixed with terrorist acts, propaganda, and connections to organized crime."
The goal Essential to the hybrid threat is to achieve results without resorting to actual war, pitting societies and not armies against each other, almost completely crumbling the distinction between combatants and citizens. The goal the military takes a back seat.
The actions carried out within this subject of conflicts focus on the employment from media such as cyberattacks, disinformation, and propaganda. They have as goal the exploitation of economic, political, technological and diplomatic vulnerabilities, breaking communities, national parties, electoral systems and producing a great effect on the energy sector. These performances are not random, they are planned and organized. These attacks are not linear in nature. They can have direct consequences in another area. For example, the drone attack on wells in Saudi Arabia in September 2019 had a direct impact on the Economics global.
Cyberspace has become a novel aspect in this scenario. Thanks in large part to the technological and information revolution, we are now facing a changing world order, in which the information provided by the media is accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the Internet is one of the most important fronts when talking about hybrid warfare. In this area, the rules are not clearly established and States and non-State actors have a greater margin of action in the face of the classical power of States. Fake news, disinformation and opinion-based facts are tools at anyone's fingertips to influence public order.
Through manipulation in these areas, the hybrid enemy manages to considerably weaken one of the most important pillars of the state or community to which its actions are directed: the trust of citizens in its institutions.
Ambiguity is one of the distinguishing characteristics of cyber activity. The hybrid enemy not only exploits the inherent difficulty of the network It is not only a global approach to attributing hostile actions to a particular actor, but rather reinforcing it through the use of hybrid strategies such as synchronization.
Cyberterrorism and hacktivism
As we have just seen, cyberspace is one of the preferred domains of the hybrid enemy. In it, he will frequently resort to cyberthreat, a cross-cutting threat with a very difficult attribution of authorship. This cannot be reliably substantiated in most cases, in which there are only suspicions, making it very difficult to obtain evidence. These cyberthreats could be divided into four blocks that we will proceed to analyze one by one.
First of all, cyber espionage has as its goal the political, economic and military spheres. Numerous states routinely resort to cyber espionage. Among them, some such as China, Russia, Iran or the United States stand out. States can carry out cyberespionage actions directly, using their intelligence services, or through intermediary agents such as companies influenced by those States.
Secondly, cybercrime, in most cases carried out for profit, and whose impact on the Economics global GDP is estimated at 2% of the world's GDP. The main targets of cybercrime are information theft, fraud, money laundering, etc. It is usually carried out by terrorist organizations, organized crime, and hackers.
Thirdly, cyber-terrorism, the main objectives of which are to obtain information and everything else. subject communications to citizens. The main actors, as can be deduced, are terrorist organizations and intelligence agencies.
Cyberterrorism has a series of advantages over conventional terrorism, and that is that it guarantees greater security over anonymity, in addition, there is a greater cost-benefit ratio and in the geographical scope there is a great advantage in terms of delimitation. In Spain, there was a reform of terrorist offences through Organic Law 2/2015, in which articles 571 to 580 of the Penal Code were fully reformed. At the same time, Organic Law 1/2015 also approved the reform of the Penal Code, affecting more than 300 articles.
Finally, fourthly, hacktivism, whose main targets are web services, along with the theft and unauthorized publication of information. When hacktivism is used for the benefit of terrorism, it becomes terrorism. The group Islamic terrorist DAESH, for example, uses cyber means to recruit fighters into its ranks. As agents, two groups stand out, the group "Anonymus" and "Luizsec," in addition to the intelligence services themselves.
Cyberterrorism has very specific aims: to subvert the constitutional order, to seriously disrupt social peace and to destroy our model global. This is an emerging threat of leave Probability, but high impact. The main problem with all this is the lack of existing legislation in this regard, but which is gradually emerging; For example, in 2013 the starting point was given with the publication of a communication from the committee of the European Union on security – the "European Union Cybersecurity Strategy" – from which the strategies must be reviewed every 5 years. This is in addition to Regulation 2019/881 of the European Parliament and the committee (EU) of 17 April 2019.
The concept of the grey area has recently been coined in the field of programs of study to describe the framework of the hybrid enemy's performance. The term describes a state of tension as an alternative to war, operating in a stage of formal peace.
The conflict in the grey zone is centred on civil society. Its cost, therefore, falls directly on the population. In any case, it operates within the limits of international legality. The protagonist is usually a major international state (a power) or a non-state actor of similar influence.
The actions of an enemy operating in the gray zone are aimed at dominating certain "zones" that are of interest to them. The types of responses within what is defined as the grey area will depend on the threat faced by the country in question.
Legal point of view
If we speak from a legal point of view, it is more accurate to use the term hybrid war, only when there is an open and not covert armed conflict.
Indeed, a major problem arises from the difficulty in applying appropriate national or international legislation to hybrid threat actors. Agents involved generally deny hybrid actions and try to escape the legal consequences of their actions by taking advantage of the complexity of the legal system. They act on the edge of the box, operating in unregulated spaces and never exceeding legal thresholds.
Hybrid Threat Responses
The response to the hybrid threat can occur in different areas, not mutually exclusive. In the military sphere, a direct military confrontation can even be conceived, which can be seen as "tolerable" if it avoids confrontation with a great power such as the United States or China. In the same way, these military confrontations are respected because of the defenselessness of the occupied territories in the face of the threat that the occupying State seeks to prevent.
In the economic sphere, the answer makes it possible to impose on an enemy the costs of subject which are sometimes more direct than military responses. In this field, one way to adopt non-provocative defensive measures is through the imposition of immediate and formal economic sanctions on an aggressor.
An example of this is the economic sanctions that the United States imposed against Iran for considering it a nuclear threat. To this end, it is important to highlight the substance of this matter.
In 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear programme was signed, committing Iran to comply with the agreement and the United States to withdraw the economic sanctions imposed. However, in 2018 Trump announced the withdrawal of the agreement and the reinstatement of sanctions. In the course of these events, several countries have spoken out about these unilateral decisions taken by the U.S. government. China and Russia, for their part, have expressed their disagreement, making official statements in favor of Iran.
Iran's case is a clear example of an economic response to the grey zone, where states use this element of power to deny the aggressor's participation in different institutions or agreements and control their zone of influence.
The United States, like many other powers, finds this status of superiority a decisive advantage in conflicts within the grey zone. Because of the importance of the financial and political power of the United States, the rest of the countries, including the European Union, cannot but accept this subject unilateral actions.
By way of conclusion, we can conclude that hybrid activity in the grey zone has important consequences for the society of one or more States as a whole, and produces effects that can have a global reach.
Hybrid threats fundamentally affect civil society, and can have a demoralizing effect that leads to the psychological collapse of a state. The employment This tactic is often referred to as "formal peace." Despite the fact that there is no direct confrontation between armies, this technique is much more effective since the attacking country does not need to invest as much money, time and people as in real war. In addition, the application of international law or the intervention of third countries in the conflict is minimal, as many consider this to be the case. subject of actions as "tolerable".
Undoubtedly, the gray zone and hybrid threats have become the new military technique of our era due to their effectiveness and simplicity. However, there should be tighter controls to ensure that this subject of such harmful military techniques cease to go unnoticed.
A characteristic aspect of hybrid warfare is the manipulation of communications and the use of propaganda. These actions are managed to sow citizens' distrust in their institutions, as is currently the case in the relationship between China and the United States, weighed down by US statements to the press about the plan presented by Xi Jinping in 2014 on the New Silk Road, and which denote a halt to the Degree distrust and rejection of the Middle Empire.
It is therefore appropriate for States and international institutions to establish "rules of the game" for this subject and thus maintain world order and peace.
A first essay of this text was presented as a paper at the XXVII International Defense Course held in Jaca in October 2019
Carlos Galán. (2018). Hybrid threats: new tools for old aspirations. 2019, from Real Instituto El Cano. Website
Lyle J. Morris, Michael J. Mazarr, Jeffrey W. Hornung, Stephanie Pezard, Anika Binnendijk, Marta Kepe. (2019). Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Grey Zone. 2019, by RAND CORPORATION. Website
Josep Barqués. (2017). Towards a definition of the "Grey Zone" concept. 2019, from Instituto Español de programs of study Strategic. Website
Javier Jordán. (2017). Hybrid Warfare: An Catch-It All Concept. 2019, from the University of Granada. Website
Javier Jordán. (2018). International Conflict in the Grey Zone: A proposal from the perspective of offensive realism. 2019, from Revista Española de Ciencia Política. Website
Javier Jordán. (2019). How to counter hybrid strategies. 2019, from the University of Granada. Website
Guillem Colom Piella. (2019). The Hybrid Threat: Myths, Legends, and Realities. 2019, from Instituto Español de programs of study Strategic. Website
Murat Caliskan. (2019). Hybrid warfare through the lens of strategic theory. 2019, from Defense & Security Analysis, 35:1, 40-58. Website
Rubén Arcos. (2019). EU and NATO confront hybrid threats in centre of excellence. 2019, from Jane's Intelligence Review. Website
Publisher: Geert Cami Senior Fellow: Jamie Shea Programme Manager: Mikaela d'Angelo Programme Assistant: Gerard Huerta publisher: Iiris André, Robert Arenella Design: Elza Lőw. (2018). HYBRID AND TRANSNATIONAL THREATS. 2019, by Friends of Europe. Website
An interview with Seyed Mohammad Marandi, University of Tehran. (2019). Iranians Will Not Forget the Hybrid War Against Iran. 2019, by Comunidad Saker Latinoamérica. Website
 This idea became popular among the defense community after the presentation of the essay "Conflict in the 21st Century." Guillem Colom Piella. (2019). The Hybrid Threat: Myths, Legends, and Realities. 2019, from Instituto Español de programs of study Strategic
 Reform of terrorism offences through Organic Law 2/2015. group of programs of study in International Security (GESI), University of Granada.
 Joint Communication to the European Parliament, committeeto the committee Economic and Social Wuropeo and the committee of the Regions. ̋ European Union Cybersecurity Strategy: An Open, Secure and Secure Cyberspace ̋.
[Hebert Lin & Amy Zegart, eds. Bytes, Bombs, and Spies. The strategic dimensions of offensive cyber operations. The Brookings Institution. Washington, 2019. 438 p. ] REVIEW / Albert Vidal
review / Pablo Arbuniés
[John J. Mearsheimer, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, Yale University Press, September 2018, 328 p.]
REVIEW / Albert Vidal
"For better or for worse, liberal hegemony is history". With such a statement, John J. Mearsheimer concluded his talk about his recently published book "The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities" at SOAS University of London.
In this book, Mearsheimer argues that the foreign policy of liberal hegemony, which was adopted by the US at the end of the Cold War, failed miserably. He explains that it happened because nationalism and realism always overrun liberalism.
In the first part of the book he defines liberalism, nationalism and liberal hegemony. He then explains why the US pursued liberal hegemony, and what is its track record. Finally, he reveals why liberal hegemony failed, and what can we expect in the future. Let's take a more detailed look into it.
Mearsheimer casts light on liberalism's two fundamental assumptions underpinning human nature: first, it assumes that the individual takes precedence over the group; second, liberalism assumes that individuals cannot reach universal agreement over first principles, and such differences often lead to violence.
In order to deal with this potential for violence, liberalism offers a solution that includes three parts: everybody has individual rights that are inalienable; tolerance receives a special emphasis, and a state becomes necessary to limit the threat of those who do not respect other people's rights. Such features make liberalism a universalistic theory, which is what turned the US into a crusader state.
According to the author, nationalism has its own core assumptions: first, humans are naturally social animals; second, group loyalty is more important than individualism, and third, aside from the family, the most important group is the nation. He then goes on to say that nations (bodies of individuals that have certain features that make them distinct from other groups) want their own states.
After that, Mearsheimer says that nationalism beats liberalism because human beings are primarily social animals. To show this, he recalls that the entire planet is covered with nation states, and liberal democracies do not even comprise a 50% of those nation-states.
This is just an attempt to remake the world in America's image and has several components: to spread liberal democracy across the planet, to integrate more countries into the open international economy and into international institutions. In theory, this would be extremely beneficial, since it would eliminate significant human rights violations (here the author assumes that liberal democracies do not engage in great human rights violations), it would make for a peaceful world (following the democratic peace theory) and it would eliminate the threat of foreign support to those who want to overthrow liberal democracy at home.
Why did the US pursue liberal hegemony?
After the Cold War, a moment of unipolarity made it possible, says Mearsheimer, for the US to ignore balance of power politics and pursue a liberal foreign policy. To this we need to add that the US is a liberal country, which oftentimes thinks itself as exceptional. This clearly prompted the US to try to remake the world into its image.
In this part of the book, Mearsheimer shows different failures of the US foreign policy. The first one is the Bush Doctrine and the Greater Middle East, which was a plan to turn the Middle East into a sea of democracies. The result was a total disaster. The second example is the awful relations between the US and Russia and the Ukraine crisis, which were the result of NATO's expansion. Thirdly, Mearsheimer criticizes the way the US has engaged with China, helping it grow quicker while naively thinking that it would eventually become a liberal democracy.
Why did liberal hegemony fail?
The reason is that the power of nationalism and realism always overrun liberalism; in words of Mearsheimer: "the idea that the US can go around the world trying to establish democracies and doing social engineering is a prescription for trouble". Countries will resist to foreign interference. Also, in large parts of the world, people prefer security before liberal democracy, even if that security has to be provided by a soft authoritarianism.
Liberal hegemony is finished, because the world is no longer a unipolar place. Now the US needs to worry about other powers.
A critique of his theory
Although Mearsheimer's thesis seems solid, several critiques have been formulated; most of these are directed toward issues that contradict some of Mearsheimer's arguments and assumptions and that have been left unaddressed.
1) In his introduction, Mearsheimer argues that individuals cannot reach an agreement over first principles. I believe that is an over-statement, since some values tend to be appreciated in most societies. Some examples would be the value of life, the importance of the family for the continuation of society and the education of the upcoming generations, the importance of truth and honesty, and many others.
2) When he describes the US foreign policy since the 1990s as liberal hegemony, Mearsheimer chooses to ignore some evident exceptions, such as the alliance with Saudi Arabia and other authoritarian regimes which do not respect the most basic human rights.
3) Many of the failures of the US foreign policy since the 1990s do not actually seem to derive from the liberal policies themselves, but from the failure of properly implementing them. That is, those failures happened because the US deviated from its liberal foreign policy. A clear example is what happened in Iraq: although the intervention was publicly backed by a liberal rhetoric, many doubt that Washington was truly committed to bring stability and development to Iraq. A commonly pointed example is that the only Ministry effectively protected was the Oil Ministry. The rest were abandoned to the looters. A true liberal policy would have sought to restore the education and health systems, state institutions and infrastructure, which never really happened. So blaming the failure to the liberal policy might not be adequate.
4) Although Mearsheimer proves the urge to intervene that comes with liberal hegemony, he doesn't show how a hegemon following realist principles would restrain itself and intervene in fewer occasions and with moderation. The necessity to protect human rights would simply become a willingness to protect vital interests, which serves as an excuse for any type of intervention (unlike human rights, even if they have sometimes been the origin of a disastrous intervention).
As a final thought, this book suggests a clear alternative to the mainstream views of most of today's foreign policy, especially in Western Europe and in the United States. Even if we disagree with some (or most) of its tenets, it is nevertheless helpful in understanding many of the current dynamics, particularly in relation to the everlasting tension between nationalism and universalism. We might even need to rethink our foreign policies and instead of blindly praising liberalism, we should accept that sometimes, liberalism isn't able to solve every problem that we face.
ESSAY / Albert Vidal
What once achieved great successes oftentimes seems to lose its momentum and, sometimes, it even can become obsolete forever. When this occurs, there are usually two options: one can either try to reform it and save it, or adapt to the changes and play resiliently. But taking that decision involves sacrifices, and there will always be victims, no matter what one chooses. We can see this happening today with the World Trade Organization (WTO), particularly in regards to its function as a forum for the multilateral liberalization of trade.
In this essay, I argue that the WTO has lost its function as a forum for the multilateral liberalization of trade; rather, its only function is now to settle disputes through the Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM).
I have developed three main arguments to support my opinion. First, the failure of the Doha Round has marked an inflection point. With tariffs in its lowest point ever, states decided to abandon the WTO structure due to its slowness and resort to other mechanisms such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) to liberalize the remaining barriers. The WTO has been deprived of one of its core functions, which could be toxic for smaller economies. Second, the uniqueness and effectiveness of the WTO's DSM has conquered many hearts in the international arena and most states rely on it to solve its disputes. It has functioned so well, that it is now dealing with some disputes that had previously been part of trade liberalization negotiations. Third, the WTO does not have a clear mandate to decide on today's most significant trade barriers: behind-the-border barriers. Most FTAs and RTAs deal with them in a more effective way than the WTO. Let's now develop these reasons.
Toward a system of elites
The first argument that supports my thesis has to do with the failure of the Doha Round and its consequences. If we look back to the average tariff rates of the past decades, we see how they went down from 22% in 1947, to 15% in 1965 and to less than 5% after the Uruguay Round. In 2004, the average tariff rate was less than 3.8%, and global tariffs remained highest in the least developed regions of the planet. The Doha Round, which began in 2001, was thought to address the remaining agricultural subsidies and other minor tariffs that still were in place. But in 2008, talks collapsed due to a lack of commitment by many parties: lobbies in Western countries pushed hard to maintain the agricultural subsidies, while developing economies demanded more protection for farmers.
Suddenly, some countries (in particular the biggest economies) realized that engaging in negotiations within the WTO framework wasn't worth it, since reaching consensus for such sensitive issues would be an almost impossible task. Besides, very few tariffs actually remained in place. Thus, they decided to resort to other channels, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs). What were the consequences of such drift?
Since 2001, more than 900 FTAs[3 ] and 291 RTAs have been signed: there has been a true explosion. They are attractive, because they deal with areas where the WTO has failed (e.g., non-tariff barriers and investment). FTAs and RTAs are technically allowed by the WTO, but they are problematic, because the members of such trade agreements end up forming their own blocs to trade freely, which excludes other minor countries. Consequently, FTAs and RTAs are now undermining the multilateral trading system, because them being preferential provokes trade diversion and increased costs. Besides, they reduce the value of a potential outcome from the Doha Round and, by abandoning the WTO framework, it is easier for bigger economies to use their bargaining power.
In short, powerful and rich members have removed the function of freeing trade from the WTO by engaging in FTAs and RTAs. They once came together to give this organization a role in liberalizing trade; now, following the functionalist theory, they have come together again to remove such function. One might ask, what will then happen with the WTO? Actually, not everything is lost.
What remains of the WTO: the most effective international tribunal
A second reason is that the WTO's DSM has functioned so well, that it has even absorbed some of the issues that were previously dealt with in negotiations. The DSM was created with the aim of resolving trade disputes among members, being one of the two initial functions of the WTO. Since 1995, members have filled more than 570 disputes and over 350 rulings have been issued, most of which have been complied with (compared to less than 80 rulings of the International Court of Justice in a longer span of time). Almost 100 cases have been settled by a mutually agreed solution before advancing to litigation. Such figures make it the most widely used and effective international tribunal in existence.
One might wonder how this is possible. The secret rests in its five features: first, its procedure is extremely quick (it should take just one year to settle a dispute without appeal); second, it allows for Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms and encourages diplomacy before going for the judicial option; third, it allows for appeal; fourth, its panel is made by experts; fifth, it allows for retaliation.
Some may object by pointing out to the paralysis that the DSM is suffering due to Trump's blockage of nominations to seats on the appellate body, which could leave the system inoperable. My answer to that is that Trump is the exception to the rule, and everything should be going back to normal with the coming administration.
The increasing number of active disputes (Appendix B) does not necessarily mean that law is being broken more often; rather, it is a reflection of the growing faith countries have in the DSM. In fact, the lack of progress in the Doha Round has pushed some countries toward the WTO's DSM to solve disputes that should have been part of trade liberalization negotiations (e.g., agricultural subsidies).
Non-tariff barriers are better dealt with outside the WTO
A third reason to justify why the WTO no longer functions as a forum for multilateral trade liberalization is that the unclarity of the extent to which the WTO can decide on non-tariff barriers makes states uneasy when it comes to negotiating such issues within the WTO framework. I may also remind that most of the barriers still in place today are non-tariff ones, and the WTO has not yet developed universally recognized rules on them.
Again, solving issues like the harmonization of standards through the required-consensus of the WTO's rounds is incredibly complex. This means that states prefer either to simply bring them to the WTO's DSM or to deal with those challenges bilaterally and through regional deals.
That is why, in my opinion, the WTO needs to undertake certain reforms to regain its lost function: it should promote non-litigious dialogue outside the official frameworks. Simultaneously, it should develop relationships with the existing FTAs and clarify the extent to which it will decide on behind-the-border measures.
To put it briefly, the WTO has lost one of its two core functions due to three main factors. The most important one is that many countries are tired of the rigid WTO structure for trade negotiations, and have decided to work toward the same direction but with different methods. At the same time, the DSM has earned a tremendous reputation for almost two and a half decades and, although it is now going through difficult situation, it has a bright future ahead. Lastly, the bulk of barriers to trade that remain standing are so complex, that the WTO cannot effectively address them.
I would like to end by referring to the reflection with which I began this essay. It seems to me that we can still save the WTO as a forum to liberalize trade multilaterally, but we cannot pretend for it to be as it was in the past. It will never again be the central and unique leader of the process. Instead, it will have to develop relationships with existing FTAs, RTAs, and other functioning partnerships and agreements. But at least, we can try to reform it and soften the damaging consequences that are affecting countries outside these elite clubs.
 Meltzer, Op. cit., p. 4.
 Low, P. (2009). Potential Future Functions of the World Trade Organization. Global Governance, 15, 327–334.
▲ Special forces (Pixabay)
ESSAY / Roberto Ramírez and Albert Vidal
During the Cold War, Offensive Realism, a theory elaborated by John Mearsheimer, appeared to fit perfectly the international system (Pashakhanlou, 2018). Thirty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, this does not seem to be the case anymore. From the constructivist point of view, Offensive Realism makes certain assumptions about the international system which deserve to be questioned (Wendt, 2008). The purpose of this paper is thus to make a critique of Mearsheimer's concept of anarchy in the international system. The development of this idea by Mearsheimer can be found in the second chapter of his book 'The Tragedy of Great Power Politics'.
The essay will begin with a brief summary of the core tenets of the said chapter and how they relate to Offensive Realism more generally. Afterwards, the constructivist theory proposed by Alexander Wendt will be presented. Then, it will be argued from a constructivist approach that the international sphere is the result of a construction and it does not necessarily lead to war. Next, the different types of anarchies that Wendt presents will be described, as an argument against the single and uniform international system that is presented by Neorealists. Lastly, the essay will make a case for the importance of shared values and ideologies, and how this is oftentimes underestimated by offensive realists.
Mearsheimer's work and Offensive Realism
'The Tragedy of Great Power Politics' has become one of the most decisive books in the field of International Relations after the Cold War and has developed the theory of offensive realism to an unprecedented extent. In this work, Mearsheimer enumerates the five assumptions on which offensive realism rests (Mearsheimer, 2014):
1. The international system is anarchic. Mearsheimer understand anarchy as an ordering principle that comprises independent states which have no central authority above them. There is no "government over governments".
2. Great powers inherently possess offensive military capabilities; which means that there will always be a possibility of mutual destruction. Thus, every state could be a potential enemy.
3. States are never certain of other states' intentions. All states may be benign, but states could never be sure about that, since their intention could change all of a sudden.
4. Survival is the primary goal of great powers and it dominates other motives. Once a state is conquered, any chances to achieve other goals disappear.
5. Great powers are rational actors, because when it comes to international policies, they consider how their behavior could affect other's behavior and vice versa.
The problem is, according to Mearsheimer, that when those five assumptions come together, they create strong motivations for great powers to behave offensively, and three patterns of behavior originate (Mearsheimer, 2007).
First, great powers fear each other, which is a motivating force in world politics. States look with suspicion to each other in a system with little room for trust. Second, states aim to self-help actions, as they tend to see themselves as vulnerable and lonely. Thus, the best way to survive in this self-help world is to be selfish. Alliances are only temporary marriages of convenience because states are not willing to subordinate their interest to international community. Lastly, power maximization is the best way to ensure survival. The stronger a state is compared to their enemies, the less likely it is to be attacked by them. But, how much power is it necessary to amass, so that a state will not be attacked by others? As that is something very difficult to know, the only goal can be to achieve hegemony.
A Glimpse of Constructivism, by Alexander Wendt
According to Alexander Wendt, one of the main constructivist authors, there are two main tenets that will help understand this approach:
The first one goes as follows: "The identities and interests of purposive actors are constructed by these shared ideas rather than given by nature" (Wendt, 2014). Constructivism has two main referent objects: the individual and the state. This theory looks into the identity of the individuals of a nation to understand the interests of a state. That is why there is a need to understand what identity and interests are, according to constructivism, and what are they used for.
i. Identity is understood by constructivism as the social interactions that people of a nation have with each other, which shape their ideas. Constructivism tries to understand the identity of a group or a nation through its historical record, cultural things and sociology. (McDonald, 2012).
ii. A state's interest is a cultural construction and it has to do with the cultural identity of its citizens. For example, when we see that a state is attacking our state's liberal values, we consider it a major threat; however, when it comes to buglers or thieves, we don't get alarmed that much because they are part of our culture. Therefore, when it comes to international security, what may seem as a threat for a state may not be considered such for another (McDonald, 2012).
The second tenet says that "the structures of human association are determined primarily by shared ideas rather than material forces". Once that constructivism has analyzed the individuals of a nation and knows the interest of the state, it is able to examine how interests can reshape the international system (Wendt, 2014). But, is the international system dynamic? This may be answered by dividing the international system in three elements:
a) States, according to constructivism, are composed by a material structure and an idealist structure. Any modification in the material structure changes the ideal one, and vice versa. Thus, the interest of a state will differ from those of other states, according to their identity (Theys, 2018).
b) Power, understood as military capabilities, is totally variable. Such variation may occur in quantitative terms or in the meaning given to such military capabilities by the idealist structure (Finnemore, 2017). For instance, the friendly relationship between the United States (US) and the United Kingdom is different from the one between the US and North Korea, because there is an intersubjectivity factor to be considered (Theys, 2018).
c) International anarchy, according to Wendt, does not exist as an "ordering principle" but it is "what states make of it" (Wendt, 1995). Therefore, the anarchical system is mutable.
The international system and power competition: a wrong assumption?
The first argument will revolve around the following neorealist assumption: the international system is anarchic by nature and leads to power competition, and this cannot be changed. To this we add the fact that states are understood as units without content, being qualitatively equal.
What would constructivists answer to those statements? Let's begin with an example that illustrates the weakness of the neorealist argument: to think of states as blank units is problematic. North Korea spends around $10 billion in its military (Craw, 2019), and a similar amount is spent by Taiwan. But the former is perceived as a dangerous threat while the latter isn't. According to Mearsheimer, we should consider both countries equally powerful and thus equally dangerous, and we should assume that both will do whatever necessary to increase their power. But in reality, we do not think as such: there is a strong consensus on the threat that North Korea represents, while Taiwan isn't considered a serious threat to anyone (it might have tense relations with China, but that is another issue).
The key to this puzzle is identity. And constructivism looks on culture, traditions and identity to better understand what goes on. The history of North Korea, the wars it has suffered, the Japanese attitude during the Second World War, the Juche ideology, and the way they have been educated enlightens us, and helps us grasp why North Korea's attitude in the international arena is aggressive according to our standards. One could scrutinize Taiwan's past in the same manner, to see why has it evolved in such way and is now a flourishing and open society; a world leader in technology and good governance. Nobody would see Taiwan as a serious threat to its national security (with the exception of China, but that is different).
This example could be brought to a bigger scale and it could be said that International Relations are historically and socially constructed, instead of being the inevitable consequence of human nature. It is the states the ones that decide how to behave, and whether to be a good ally or a traitor. And thus the maxim 'anarchy is what states make of it', which is better understood in the following fragment (Copeland, 2000; p.188):
'Anarchy has no determinant "logic," only different cultural instantiations. Because each actor's conception of self (its interests and identity) is a product of the others' diplomatic gestures, states can reshape structure by process; through new gestures, they can reconstitute interests and identities toward more other-regarding and peaceful means and ends.'
We have seen Europe succumb under bloody wars for centuries, but we have also witnessed more than 70 years of peace in that same region, after a serious commitment of certain states to pursue a different goal. Europe has decided to do something else with the anarchy that it was given: it has constructed a completely different ecosystem, which could potentially expand to the rest of the international system and change the way we understand international relations. This could obviously change for the better or for the worse, but what matters is that it has been proven how the cycle of inter-state conflict and mutual distrust is not inevitable. States can decide to behave otherwise and trust in their neighbors; by altering the culture that constitutes the system, they can set the foundations for non-egoistic mind-sets that will bring peace (Copeland, 2000). It will certainly not be easy to change, but it is perfectly possible.
As it was said before, constructivism does not deny an initial state of anarchy in the international system; it simply affirms that it is an empty vessel which does not inevitably lead to power competition. Wendt affirms that whether a system is conflictive or peaceful is not decided by anarchy and power, but by the shared culture that is created through interaction (Copeland, 2000).
Three different 'anarchies'
Alexander Wendt describes in his book 'Social Theory of International Politics' the three cultures of anarchy that have embedded the international system for the past centuries (Wendt, 1999). Each of these cultures has been constructed by the states, thanks to their interaction and acceptance of behavioral norms. Such norms continuously shape states' interests and identities.
Firstly, the Hobbesian culture dominated the international system until the 17th century; where the states saw each other as dangerous enemies that competed for the acquisition of power. Violence was used as a common tool to resolve disputes. Then, the Lockean culture emerged with the Treaty of Westphalia (1648): here states became rivals, and violence was still used, but with certain restrains. Lastly, the Kantian culture has appeared with the spread of democracies. In this culture of anarchy, states cooperate and avoid using force to solve disputes (Copeland, 2000). The three examples that have been presented show how the Neorealist assumption that anarchy is of one sort, and that it drives toward power competition cannot be sustained. According to Copeland (2000; p.198-199), '[...] if states fall into such conflicts, it is a result of their own social practices, which reproduce egoistic and military mind-sets. If states can transcend their past realpolitik mindset, hope for the future can be restored.'
Ideal structures are more relevant than what you think
One of the common assertions of Offensive Realism is that "[...] the desire for security and fear of betrayal will always override shared values and ideologies" (Seitz, 2016). Constructivism opposes such assertion, and brands it as too simplistic. In reality, it has been repeatedly proven wrong. A common history, shared values, and even friendship among states are some things that Offensive Realism purposefully ignores and does not contemplate.
Let's illustrate it with an example. Country A has presumed power strength of 7. Country B has a power strength of 15. Offensive Realism would say that country A is under the threat of an attack by country B, which is much more powerful and if it has the chance, it will conquer country A. No other variables or structures are taken into account, and that will happen inexorably. Such assertion, under today's dynamics is considered quite absurd. Let's put a counter-example: who in earth thinks that the US is dying to conquer Canada and will do so when the first opportunity comes up? Why doesn't France invade Luxembourg, if one take into account how easy and lucrative this enterprise might be? Certainly, there are other aspects such as identities and interests that offensive realism has ignored, but are key in shaping states' behavior in the international system.
That is how shared values (an ideal structure) oftentimes overrides power concerns (a material structure) when two countries that are asymmetrically powerful become allies and decide to cooperate.
After deepening into the understanding that offensive realists have of anarchy in the international system, this essay has covered the different arguments that constructivists employ to face such conception. To put it briefly, it has been argued that the international system is the result of a construction, and it is shared culture that decides whether anarchy will lead to conflict or peace. To prove such argument, the three different types of anarchies that have existed in the relatively recent times have been described. Finally, a case has been made for the importance of shared values and ideologies over material structures, which is generally dismissed by offensive realists.
Although this has not been an exhaustive critique of Offensive Realism, the previous insights may have provided certain key ideas that will contribute to the conversation. Our understanding of the theory of constructivism will certainly shape the way we tackle crisis and the way we conceive international relations. It is then tremendously important that one knows in which cases it ought to be applied, so that we do not rely completely on a particular theory which becomes our new object of veneration; since this may have dreadful consequences.
Copeland, D. C. (2000). The Constructivist Challenge to Structural Realism: A Review Essay. The MIT Press, 25, 287–212. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2626757
Craw, V. (2019). North Korea military spending: Country spends 22 per cent of GDP. Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/world/asia/north-korea-spends-whopping-22-per-cent-of-gdp-on-military-despite-blackouts-and-starving-population/news-story/c09c12d43700f28d389997ee733286d2
D. Williams, P. (2012). Security Studies: An Introduction. (Routledge, Ed.) (2nd ed.).
Finnemore, M. (2017). National Interests in International Society (pp. 6 - 7).
McDonald, M. (2012). Security, the environment and emancipation (pp. 48 - 59). New York: Routledge.
Mearsheimer, J. (2014). The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. (W.W. Norton & Co, Ed.). New York.
Mearsheimer. (2007). Tragedy of great power politics (pp. 29 - 54). [Place of publication not identified]: Academic Internet Pub Inc.
Pashakhanlou, A. (2018). Realism and fear in international relations. [Place of publication not identified]: Palgrave Macmillan.
Seitz, S. (2016). A Critique of Offensive Realism. Retrieved March 2, 2019, from https://politicstheorypractice.com/2016/03/06/a-critique-of-offensive-realism/
Theys, S. (2018). Introducing Constructivism in International Relations Theory. Retrieved from https://www.e-ir.info/2018/02/23/introducing-constructivism-in-international-relations-theory/
Walt, S. M. (1987). The Origins of Alliances. (C. U. Press, Ed.). Ithaca.
Wendt, A. (1995). Constructing international politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Wendt, A. (2008). Anarchy is what States make of it (pp. 399 - 403). Farnham: Ashgate.
Wendt, A. (2014). Social theory of international politics (p. 1). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wendt, A. (2014). Social theory of international politics (p. 29 - 33). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.