SWP 67

Diplomacy: The Missing Ingredient in Space Security

Paul Meyer


A disturbing trend in the contemporary approaches of states to space security has been the decline in diplomacy and the consideration of diplomatic options to achieve national security goals. The official characterization of outer space as “congested, competitive and contested” has ignored the legacy and potential for “cooperation” in this unique if vulnerable realm. The authority of the foundational Outer Space Treaty of 1967, with its stipulation that space is to be used for “peaceful purposes”, is being eroded by neglect and unilateral assertions that space is a domain for “war-fighting”. The champions of space peace will have to become as active as the exponents of space war if a benign environment for space operations is to be preserved for future generations.

SWP 66

Human Rights Change, Politics of Law and Order, and Targeting of Torture

Oskar Timo Thoms


Human rights have improved but not everywhere and for everyone. Scholarship has focused on domestic conditions under which they improve but we know little about how they affect different groups. Whose rights are being protected? Under what conditions? I compare dissidents and criminals as targets of human rights violations – specifically torture. I also examine the effectiveness of human rights protections under conditions of public insecurity due to crime – as opposed to political or civil conflict or terrorism. I argue that mobilization and judicial enforcement are less effective in the face of public insecurity, and criminals benefit less than dissidents because courts provide less accountability for violations of those accused of crimes. Human rights treaties that depend on these mechanisms thus primarily benefit dissidents. My statistical analysis supports this argument and directly addresses concerns about measurement bias. The key finding is that commitment to the Convention against Torture enhances judicial protection only for dissidents.

SWP 65

Broken Mobile Phones: Urban Indigenous Territorialities and Communication Technologies

Ana Vivaldi


In this paper I explore ethnographically the tension between urban Toba indigenous people living in Buenos Aires, ubiquitous incorporation of mobile phones and the deep disconnecting effects mobile phones have when they break down. While mobile phones enable the intensification of informal economic activities and are used to mediate with state institutions, broken phones isolate, if only temporarily, urban Toba family members from each other and from their hard-built relations with people in the city. From a spatial perspective, broken mobile phones not only disrupt the flow of communication between people but also permanently restrain access to institutions and places in the city center. I argue that the current and limited forms of access to mobile phone communication and the managing of information both produce and dismantle the territorialities of urban indigenous networks. Mobile phones for the urban Toba, in short, both enable the fluidity of connections and re-create separation and segregation from the city.

SWP 64

Outer Space in Russia's Security Strategy

Nicole J. Jackson


This paper shows how and why Russia’s outer space strategy and capabilities have evolved since the 1990s, including recent diplomatic initiatives on outer space governance. The leadership has placed space strategy in the context of defence requirements and state military control. No longer economically competitive in the race for control of outer space, Russia still invests in new technologies and also uses diplomacy – working with UN and other disarmament organisations – to influence the growing militarisation of space. It has come to promote a collective approach to the problem, rather than one dominated by the richer and more powerful states.

Note: This paper will appear as Chapter 19 in the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Russian Security Strategy, edited by Roger Kanet.

SWP 63

“Ending up in Buenos Aires”: Affective Mobilities of Urban Toba Indigenous People

Ana Vivaldi


In this paper, I analyze the forms of mobility and the affective modulations that shaped the trajectories of indigenous people from the Chaco region to the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they now live. Considering the macro-structural forces of political and economic process as insufficient to explain why, how and when indigenous people moved to the city, I focus on habits around movement and affective modulations that made indigenous people previously living in rural Chaco region to “end up” in the capital city of the country. These movements were unusual in their form, as the first arrivants had little connections and no hosting institution in the city. Through an analysis of the life histories and trajectories of indigenous people who are now living in and indigenous barrio (poor neighborhood) in Buenos Aires, this research traces the specific affective states that triggered travels to the city. I produce an “odd” typology of these affective mobilities that emerged as common forms of experience within larger context. My aim is to offer an alternative analysis of mobility, one that departs from preconceived understandings of migratory push and pull factors and engages with the lived experience of urban indigenous people who move in spite and across multiple socio-economic constraints.


SWP 62

Financial Statecraft: No Longer Limited to the Incumbent Power

Leslie Elliott Armijo


Traditional analyses of financial statecraft typically assume the term refers to major powers exercising influence over weaker states by such means as foreign aid blandishments or banking system sanctions. Newer scholarship highlights the subtler political influence advanced capitalist democracies also wield through their centrality to global monetary and financial markets and governance networks. Not surprisingly, rising powers are keen to expand the venues through which they too can support their larger foreign policy visions through tapping into state levers of control over cross-border currency, credit, and investment flows, as well as tilting international regulatory reforms toward their preferences. The article concludes with a comparison of United States’ and China’s financial statecraft capabilities and recent actions.