SWP 61

NATO's and Canada's Responses to Russia since the Crimea Annexation of 2014: A Critical Literature Review

Nicole J. Jackson


This report seeks to better understand how NATO and Canada are adapting to new patterns of conflict involving Russia, with the goal to suggest how Canada can better respond conceptually, politically and strategically. It reveals significant “gaps” in both the academic and grey literature and policy. The four areas of NATO and Canadian responses since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 examined in this report are: diplomatic; military (conventional and nuclear); “hybrid warfare” (focusing on information and cyberwarfare); and partnership with Ukraine. At a time of flux in the alliance and in Russia’s behaviour, policy makers are applying old and new concepts simultaneously, and are sometimes responding to events ahead of conceptual thinking about them.

This paper is based on a report to Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on the findings from a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis grant awarded to Dr. Jackson in 2017. The full online report can be accessed here.

SWP 60

Is India Becoming the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ Sought by Hindu Nationalists?

John Harriss, Craig Jeffrey and Stuart Corbridge


Over the past 30 years, Hindu nationalism has risen to a position of dominance in Indian politics. Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party political wing of the ‘family’ of Hindu nationalist organisations, does not win electoral majorities all over the country, Hindu nationalist ideas – what we term ‘banal Hindutva’ – are now firmly part of everyday politics. This chapter traces the growth since the early twentieth century of organizations and movements that reject liberalism and secular understandings of the nation, through to the establishment of political dominance by the BJP under Narendra Modi. Thanks largely to Modi’s inspiration, the BJP has effectively projected the idea of a ‘new India’ that is a land of hope and opportunity, downplaying the welfare state upon which most people’s well-being depends. Our examination of the relationship between Hindutva, demonstrative religiosity and incidents of communal violence, mainly against Muslims, finds that there are many local reasons for the occurrence of inter-community tensions that can give rise to violence but whether they do or not depends heavily upon how governments act. The chapter both opens and concludes with accounts of  majoritarian action under BJP governments since 2014, and argues that Narendra Modi’s regime may be described as an instance of authoritarian populism.

SWP 59

Global Finance Meets Neorealism: Concepts and a Dataset

Leslie Elliott Armijo, Daniel C. Tirone and Hyoung-kyu Chey


How might one conceptualize the international political dimensions of money and finance? As the world moves from a post-Cold War “unipolar moment” toward the greater uncertainty associated with multipolarity – or bipolarity/multipolarity – the zero-sum aspects of economic resources may take on heightened significance in national calculations. The paper proposes five national financial characteristics that sovereign governments sometimes wield as power capabilities: the country’s (1) position as an international creditor, (2) home financial market attractiveness, (3) currency strength, (4) international debtor presence, and (5) leverage in global financial governance. A new dataset on the global monetary and financial powers of states (GMFPS), covering 180 countries and 27 indicators from 1995 to 2013, constructs indices for four state financial power concepts, and also provides an updated overall material capabilities index. After profiling the US, Britain, Germany, Japan, and China, we suggest a recurring, although not inevitable, financial life cycle of major powers.

SWP 58

Dark Forces Awaken: The Prospects for Cooperative Space Security

Paul Meyer


International cooperation on outer space security has fluctuated over the past decades, marked by periods of common endeavor and relative stability as well as times of destabilizing developments and rising tensions. The UN Group of Governmental Experts’ 2013 consensus report on Transparency and Confidence Building Measures, with its rich menu of measures and promised new levels of cooperative security conduct by states, was a diplomatic high-water mark. Regrettably, subsequent negative developments threaten to reverse the cooperative trend the report espoused. These developments include the introduction (by Russia and China) and rejection (by the US) of a revised draft treaty on the Prevention of Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT); the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a divisive resolution on “No First Placement” of space weapons; the failure of the EU to gain support for its proposed Code of Conduct; and escalating strategic tensions. This paper analyzes the reemergence of these “dark forces” as to their implication for multilateral diplomacy and suggests several remedial actions to preserve space security.
Note: The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Nonproliferation Review 23(3-4), June-July 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10736700.2016.1268750.

SWP 57

Cooperative Measures for International Cybersecurity

Paul Meyer


Via stealthy means a new and promising environment of tremendous importance for humanity's welfare and prosperity is being compromised by damaging state action. The environment is cyberspace and its “militarization” by covert state operations is posing a threat to the continued safe and peaceful use of this crucial domain of information and communication. Diplomatic action to develop norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace have not kept pace with military developments. The wider stakeholder community will need to become engaged on behalf of cooperative security measures if the dogs of cyber war are not to devour the disciples of cyber peace.
Note: The final, definitive version of this paper has been published as Chapter 4 in Reintroducing Disarmament and Cooperative Security to the Toolbox of 21st Century Leaders, edited by Dan Plesch, Kevin Miletic and Tariq Rauf, January 2017. Stockholm: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/Reintroducing-Disarmament-and-Cooperative-Security.pdf.

SWP 56

Mountain Militarism and Urban Modernity: Balkanism, Identity and the Discourse of Urban–Rural Cleavages during the Bosnian War

Ryan J. Graves


Recent years have witnessed a growth in research addressing the ways in which policymakers, academics and the media characterized the Bosnian war of the 1990s using a variety of problematic discursive frames. Relatively few scholars have explored how the conflict was often portrayed as a battle between innocent urban centres and an antagonistic countryside. This thesis* uses a discourse analysis of Western and Bosnian textual material to argue that perceptions of the Bosnian war have been characterized by a discourse that attributes the violence to cleavages between urban Bosnians and their rural counterparts. Moreover, I engage post-colonial theory to demonstrate that this discourse of urban–rural cleavages, in which Western and Bosnian urban self-identity was constructed in opposition to the supposed atavism of the Bosnian countryside, is an advancement of Bakic-Hayden’s concept of “nesting Orientalisms.” My findings problematize a common representation of the conflict, expand the concept of nesting Orientalism and help us to understand why urban participation in the ideologies and violence of the Bosnian conflict has often gone unexamined.
(*This working paper is a slight revision of the author’s MA thesis, which was defended at Simon Fraser University on January 11, 2017.)

SWP 55

Methods in Constructivist Approaches to International Security

Jeffrey Checkel


Constructivists employ a characteristic set of mainly qualitative methods in their work on international security.  Over time, they have come – theoretically – to focus centrally on process; this has put a premium on methods that can capture and measure it.  In early constructivist work, methods were not a high priority – but this has changed for the better.  Unfortunately for these scholars, the social science world around them has not stood still.  A revolution in qualitative methods means that constructivists students of international security will – methodologically – need in the future ‘to run harder simply to stay in place.’