Southern California

International Review
Volume 4, Number 2 • Fall 2014

Southern California International Review
SCIR.org

Staff
Editor-in-Chief:
Peter Hughes
Editors:
Brad McAuliffe
Aaron Rifkind
Reid Thom

Cristina Patrizio
Natalie Tecimer

Layout: Peter Hughes
Cover: Samir Kumar
The Southern California International Review (SCIR) is a bi-annual interdisciplinary print and online journal of scholarship in the field of international
studies generously funded by the School of International Relations at the
University of Southern California (USC). In particular, SCIR would like
to thank the Robert L. Friedheim Fund and the USC SIR Alumni Fund.
Founded in 2011, the journal seeks to foster and enhance discussion between
theoretical and policy-oriented research regarding significant global issues.
SCIR is managed completely by students and also provides undergraduates
valuable experience in the fields of editing and graphic design.

Copyright © 2014 Southern California International Review.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any
form without the express written consent of the Southern California International
Review.
Views expressed in this journal are solely those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily
represent those of the editorial board, faculty advisors, or the University of Southern California.

ISSN: 1545-2611

We dedicate this journal to Joshua Wong, the students of Hong Kong,
and all those who peacefully advocate for democracy.

Contents

1.

The Ties That Bind
Towards a Greater Scottish Role in Europe and the Regions
Alexander Beck

11

2.

Explaining Variations in Development Outcomes
The RENI Factor
Michael Zoorob

30

3.

CSCE as a Model for Cooperative Security
The Case for Iran
Kerry Goettlich

52

4.

Syria and the Security Council
Sameen Zehra

72

5.

Joint Intelligence for New Age Warfare
The Balkans War of the Former Yugoslavia

Jessica Blakely

82

Editor’s Note:
Dear Reader,
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the eight edition of the Southern California
International Review (SCIR). This semester’s issue continues our mission of providing a
platform for undergraduate scholars of international affairs to provide their work to a larger
audience.
We are incredibly fortunate to have had a vast pool of articles to select from. We read
submissions from all across the country and several from throughout the world. Of the
many impressive submissions, the following five stood out to be outstanding. In reading this
journal you will understand why.
Our five scholars tackle a wide range of issues from big to small, old to new, and with a
geographical scope from Scotland to Nigeria. Despite the varied topics of the papers, all are
forward-looking. They interpret failures of the past to provide solutions for the future. These
articles are far from ivory-tower academia, but offer tangible solutions moving forward.
In the creation of this issue, the SCIR is extremely appreciative of the supportive role that
the University of Southern California’s School of International Relations has played. The
school’s director, Robert English, the Associate Director, Linda Cole, and the rest of the
faculty and staff gave us the guidance we needed to grow. I also extend our thanks to Ms.
Robin Friedheim for her generous scholarship, which provides the foundation upon which
our endeavor thrives.
Finally, we would like to thank you, the reader. Without the relationship with our readers,
we are nothing. Remember, this journal is just one part of a much larger dialogue. There is
a lot of information to digest and theories to pick-apart over the next 90 or so pages. The
onus is now on you to keep the dialogue going.
Please read, think, discuss, and enjoy.
Sincerely,
Peter Hughes
Editor-in-Chief

The Ties That Bind

Towards a Greater Scottish Role in Europe and the Regions
Alexander Beck

The Scottish independence referendum brought attention to Scotland’s role in the international community. Though Scotland did not ultimately break from the United Kingdom, it can
still increase its standing in Europe and beyond by changing its current relationship with the
UK and reforming European Union policy that dictates the role of the regions in Europe. This
paper examines the role of regions in Europe, as well as avenues for Scotland to increase its
international profile and, consequently, more effectively project its interests to the world.

Introduction
The recent referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom drew international attention to Scotland, a country traditionally known more for its haggis and
bagpipes than its international political standing. One of the many issues discussed during
the referendum debate was Scotland’s control over its international relations and foreign
policy. The pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) contended that complete
Scottish independence from the UK was the only avenue for an effective independent foreign policy. While the referendum ultimately fell short of its target, the question of an increased Scottish presence in international affairs remains a salient one. At this point, policymakers in Scotland and the United Kingdom must examine the current relationship of these
two bodies to ensure political parity between them. One way in which Scottish interests,
the strongest of which is desire for democratic legitimacy, might be realized is through an
increase in Scotland’s international profile.
Broadly speaking, Scotland has benefited from its association with the United Kingdom
when dealing with the European Union (EU), either in the Council of Ministers or while
lobbying specific EU offices. The Scotland-UK relationship has been imperfect, however,
and a host of factors have limited Scotland’s ability to express its interests on the supranational stage. This paper will demonstrate the potential for Scotland to reform its relationship with the United Kingdom (while remaining part of the UK) vis-à-vis the EU, in order
to become a more significant international actor and a potential leader amongst European
regions. It will do so by exploring the role of regions in European politics, presenting the
pros and cons of the current Scotland-UK relationship, and offering suggestions as to how

Alexander beck is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring
in political science and history, focusing primarily on European international
relations and history.

12

Alexander Beck

Scotland can reform its relationships with the United Kingdom and the EU to gain greater
influence on the international stage.

Regions in the European Context

Regions occupy a curious space within the European Union’s economic and political landscape. They are difficult to define, have limited legislative power, and are structurally
influenced by a variety of entities. At the same time, these regions represent an important
level of government within EU member states, and their place within the EU serves as a
platform for voicing the concerns of millions of Europeans citizens. This section examines
the role of regions in the European Union by defining what constitutes a region, mapping the
factors that define regional roles, and examining Scotland’s experience with other regions to
explain the sociopolitical constraints that limit Scotland’s current role in Europe.

What Constitutes a European Region?
The definition of the term “region” is ambiguous in the context of the European Union,
and defining precisely what a European region is is a decidedly difficult task. To understand
EU regional policy and the dynamics of interregional relations, however, it is critical to recognize the functional ways in which politicians view the regions.
The European Union itself employs a standardized, statistical system to demarcate
different regional levels across the Union. The so-called NUTS system (coming from the
French phrase nomenclature des unites territoriales statistiques) divides Member States into
three different regional tiers—labeled NUTS1, NUTS2, and NUTS3—to accumulate statistical data in a somewhat systematized manner. This three-layered breakdown is important
to the function of the EU, because a European Union of twenty-eight states is a union of a
great number of regions, and statistical data can otherwise be hard to acquire. Indeed, there
are currently 97 NUTS1 regions, 270 NUTS2 regions and 1,294 NUTS3 regions. While this
concept can be confusing in the abstract, Scotland provides a working example of its logic,
in that:
Scotland is a NUTS1 region, but is itself made up of four NUTS2 regions. NUTS3 delineates yet smaller units of territory. Scotland’s 32 unitary local authorities form the
basis – either individually or in combination – for 23 NUTS3 regions. It is important
to note that there is no necessary relationship between the borders of these regions (be
they NUTS 1, 2 or 3) and the meaningful loci of political authority. So while the Scottish
NUTS1 does indeed have it devolved parliament and executive, the four NUTS2 regions

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in Scotland have no real administrative personality. Furthermore… some of the country’s NUTS3 regions represent a combination of existing administrative units.1
It is noteworthy that in most cases, the link between these statistical regions and the
regional administrative authorities of individual states is tenuous at best (Scotland is, in
fact, one of the exceptions to this rule). Different NUTS regions “have been overlaid onto
local government structures that embody markedly different state traditions of political and
administrative organization,” meaning that the political agencies of these regions vary massively across the continent.2
The NUTS regions, furthermore, do not accurately delineate the extent of different cultural identities within Europe, such as the transnational Catalonian identity or the Cornish
identity, which is subsumed by the greater South West England region. Scotland’s NUTS
status is atypical in comparison to these regions, as its NUTS1 region covers the territory of
both its enduring administrative borders as well as its distinct national identity.3
Ultimately, a region of the European Union can be defined in a number of ways. First,
some observers consider regions from a statistical perspective, organized primarily through
the EU’s NUTS system. This top-down approach offers a standardized view of Europe’s varying regions by organizing them along the boundaries of local governmental administrations.
While this approach offers a degree of standardization, the reality of European regions is
that they are incredibly numerous and have highly variant levels of political and economic
power within their respective countries. Second, other spectators study the EU’s regions
through an administrative perspective. Viewed through this perspective, European regions
are defined by the borders set by their respective national and subnational authorities, rather
than the supranational authority of the European Union. This perspective allows observers
to consider regions within the context of their national governmental structure, rather than
comparing them in a European vacuum. Finally, commentators who view European regions
through the affective perspective consider regions as spaces populated by a certain national
and cultural identity, rather than national or supranational borders. This perspective conceptualizes regions in terms of the national identities they represent, rather than their precise political standings. None of these perspectives is necessarily the correct view, but an understanding of all three allows regionalists to consider the complexity of European regions.

1  Roger Scully and Richard Wyn Jones, “Introduction: Europe, Regions, and European Regionalism,” in Europe, Regions and
European Regionalism, (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 3.
2  Scully and Jones, “Introduction,” 7.
3  Ibid, 1-7.

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What is the Organizational Structure of the Regions?
While this paper has considered the complex nature of the factors that define European
regions, it has yet to describe the manner in which they interact within the larger structure
of the European Union. Historically, the regions have played a minimal role in European
policymaking, particularly during the early, state-centric periods of European integration.
Following lobbying efforts of regional governments, particularly the German Länder, and a
growing understanding among European officials of the importance of regional strength to
economic growth, however, regional authorities grew in prominence and took on new roles.
The first step towards regional institutionalization in Europe came when the European
Parliamentary Assembly formed a consultative committee on regional economies on May
9, 1960. Though this committee lacked any true power in the burgeoning European political landscape of the mid-20th century, it laid the groundwork for the Consultative Council
of Regional and Local Authorities (CCRLA)—which provided “territorial authorities with
a genuine European forum on issues relating to regional development”—on June 24, 1988
under the 1986 Single European Act.4 This trend of institutionalizing regions into increasingly formalized units culminated in 1994 with the foundation of the Committee of the
Regions (CoR) under the Maastricht Treaty.
The institution of the CoR in 1994 ushered in a new way of viewing the regions’ abilities to influence European policy. For some observers, the CoR represented the first step
towards a “Europe of the Regions,” in which the European Union could bypass state structures by implementing policy directly through regional actors. Other observers estimated
that regionalism and European integration would “strengthen the state by off-loading the
less gratifying functions and externalizing difficult tasks like agricultural and industrial restructuring [to the EU], coping with the social and political fall-out of economic change or,
more recently, maintaining monetary and fiscal rectitude and exchange-rate stability.”5 In reality, the CoR has developed somewhere between these extremes since its founding in 1994.
Though its existence represents a significant step towards the institutionalization of
regions within the framework of the EU, the CoR’s current powers and responsibilities are
advisory rather than legislative. Today, following the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009,
the CoR is consulted at all stages of the legislative process by the Council of Ministers, the
European Parliament, or the European Commission and is also able to bring actions to the
urt of Justice if it has not been properly consulted in the EU’s legislative process.6 In this
4  European Union Committee of the Regions, “The Committee of the Regions: Key Dates,” (Brussels: European Union
Committee of the Regions, 2010).
5  Barry J. Jones and Michael Keating, The European Union and the Regions, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 9.
6  The areas in which the CoR must be consulted include economic and social cohesion, trans-European networks,
health, education and culture, employment, social policy, the environment, vocational training, transport, civil protection,
climate change, and energy.

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way, the CoR embodies three fundamental principles of the European Union: subsidiarity
(EU decisions must be taken as close to the citizen as possible), proximity (all governmental
levels must be close to citizens), and partnership (the EU, national, regional, and local levels
of government must all cooperate to ensure effective governance).7 Ultimately, CoR’s strictly
advisory role within the EU has constrained its capacity to play a particularly significant role
in the creation of European legislation.
Aside from the CoR, informal organizations contribute to the organization of European
regions. Foremost of these organizations is the Conference of European Regions with
Legislative Power (REGLEG). REGLEG was formed by the European constitutional regions—regions formally recognized by the constitutions of their respective states—and “has
attempted to lobby for—inter alia—greater representation for the regions at the Union level
and a direct right of appeal for the regions to the European Court of Justice.”8 Scotland was
deeply involved in REGLEG’s early stages, though it was unclear whether its leadership was
behind the region-centric objectives set forth in the Laeken Declaration.9 This apprehension
over REGLEG was displayed when then-first minister Jack McConnell refused to comment
on whether or not regional governments should be able to bring cases before the European
Court of Justice due to the UK government’s disapproval of the measure.10 Much like CoR,
REGLEG’s influence in Brussels remains primarily consultative and organizational for the
regions of Europe with legislative powers.
A final institution that plays an interesting role in coordinating the regions of the EU
is the system of regional information offices (RIOs) in Brussels. In his chapter “Regional
Information Offices in Brussels and Multi-Level Governance in the EU: A UK-German
Comparison” in the edited work The Regional Dimension of the European Union, Charlie
Jeffery notes that the recent rise of RIOs—the first RIO was established in 1984, and roughly 250 had opened by 2012—represents a new manifestation of subnational government
in Europe’s system of multilevel governance. These offices function primarily as lobbying
groups, which generally channel their funding from local authorities into dispersing and
acquiring information to and from contacts in official European offices. Overall, however, it
is difficult to determine the efficacy of RIOs and other lobbying groups in Brussels, simply

7  European Union Committee of the Regions, “A New Treaty: A New Role for Regions and Local Authorities,” (Brussels:
European Union Committee of the Regions).
8  Scully and Jones, “Introduction,” 9.
9  The Laeken Declaration was a product of the 2001 meeting of the European Council known as the Convention of the Future
of Europe. This convention’s purpose was to draft a Constitution for Europe aimed at making the Union more democratic,
transparent, and effective. One of the products of this constitutional draft, which aimed in part to empower European regions,
first inscribed the term “regions with legislative power” as a means of defining more influential European regions.
10  Noreen Burrows, “Scotland’s European Strategy,” Europe, Regions and European Regionalism, ed. Roger Scully and
Richard Wyn Jones, (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) 125.

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Alexander Beck

because there are so many competing organizations. The continued growth of RIOs, however, suggests that European regions believe they are effective lobbying tools.11
There has been a Scottish RIO in Brussels since 1992, when a consortium of local
governmental authorities, universities, the Scottish Enterprise agency, and a host of other
partners came together to form Scotland Europa to represent the interests of all regions of
Scotland. In this way, Scottish leaders acknowledged the need to network, lobby, and gather
information in Brussels to advance Scottish interests. After the establishment of Scotland’s
devolved parliament, the Scottish Executive established the Scottish Executive EU Office
(SEEUO) and its permanent residence in Brussels—located alongside Scotland Europa in
the so-called “Scotland House”—to accrue continental political influence for the Scottish
government.12
It is important to note that the SEEUO also coordinates closely with UKRep, the body
charged with representing the views of the entirety of the UK in Brussels. This carries both
positive and negative repercussions for Scottish representation. On the one hand, Scotland
is “uniquely well-placed in Brussels because [it is] treated as [a separate unit] within the
UK Representation to the EU. This gives [it] a diplomatic status and a much higher level of
access to the EU institutions than is enjoyed by most other regional representations, including the German Länder offices.”13 At the same time, SEEUO is obligated to follow the same
policy objectives as UKRep, and in this way, its “position is therefore subordinate to that of
UKRep.” The Scottish Executive is therefore unable to pursue every policy that is in its best
interest.14
Beyond the primary regional bodies listed above, there exists a bevy of other organizations that seek to increase the influence of regions, such as the Conference of Peripheral
Maritime Regions (CPMR), the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the Council of
European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the Congress of Local and Regional
Authorities of Europe (CLARE), and the Council of Europe. These groups, working alongside the CoR, REGLEG, and RIOs, play an important role in recognizing regional interests
in the EU and, ideally, informing policy with regional perspectives.

What is the Regional Policy of the EU?
Now that the nature and organization of the European regions have been examined,
it is appropriate to consider the policy areas that affect them. EU regional policy, aimed at
11  Charlie Jeffery, “Regional Information Offices in Brussels and Multi-Level Governance in the EU: A UK-German
Comparison,” The Regional Dimension of the European Union: Towards a Third Level in Europe? (London: Frank Cass, 1997),
183-203.
12  Burrows, “Scotland’s European Strategy,” 121-123.
13  Ibid, 123.
14  Ibid.

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reducing disparities between EU regions and encouraging transnational and interregional cooperation, plays a highly significant role in the internal politics and budgetary commitments of the Union. The financial levers of the EU’s regional policy are the Structural
Funds—consisting of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which provides
infrastructure and job-creating investment, and the European Social Fund (ESF), which
helps the unemployed and economically disadvantaged find work by funding training measures and tackling discrimination—and the Cohesion Fund, which “is intended for countries whose per capita GDP is below 90% of the community average. The purpose of the
Cohesion Fund is to grant financing to environment and transport infrastructure projects.
However, aid under the Cohesion Fund is subject to certain conditions.” For example, if a
member state’s public deficit exceeds three percent of national GDP, no new projects will be
approved.15 EU regional policy currently accounts for over one-third of the EU’s total budget
(surpassed in spending only by the Common Agricultural Policy), of which €201 billion
($256 billion) is allocated to the ERDF, €76 billion ($97 billion) to the ESF, and €70 billion
($89 billion) to the Cohesion Fund.
Beyond the economic effects of EU regional policy, it is also important for the Union to
demonstrate its political value to its peripheral areas, such as Portugal, Greece, and Ireland
in the 1980s and 1990s. Contemporary survey data revealed “a sharp rise in support for
[European Community] membership in Portugal and Greece in the 1980s, linked to a growing awareness and appreciation of the structural funds. Ireland’s large positive vote for the
Maastricht Treaty had much to do with the feeling that Ireland stood to gain from enlarged
funds.”16 Today, the promise of the Structural and Cohesion Funds proves an attractive lure
to potential member states in Eastern and Southern Europe. Interestingly, “in the early
years of the [enlargement] process, the impression was given that, to be a modern European
country, it was necessary to have a regional government on the Western model…[and]
that regional government [was] needed in order to receive and manage Structural Funds.”17
While this belief was ultimately debunked—the commission clarifying in 2000 that the only
formal condition for receiving Structural Funds was for accession countries to have an administrative tier at the NUTS2 level—the fact that many accession countries believed that
regional governments were necessary to join the EU spurred a number of new, traditionally
centralized states to establish regional authorities. These regional authorities remain very
weak, however, in comparison to the more established regional governments of Western
European states.
15  European Union, “Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund,” Summaries of EU Legislation.
16  Jones and Keating, The European Union and the Regions, 19.
17  Liesbet Hooghe and Michael Keating, “Bypassing the nation-state? Regions and the EU policy process,” European Union:
Power and policy-making, ed. J. J. Richardson, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), 283.

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Alexander Beck

The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund represent the critical economic controls
of the European Union. Their allocation is highly coveted by regional and national governments alike, and the Union employs them to encourage EU membership and maintain a
political presence in Europe’s more peripheral regions, while simultaneously using their allotment as a bargaining chip to influence policy in member states. The EU regional policy
is vital to the three objectives in its framework, namely convergence of the more and less
developed EU Member States and regions, regional competitiveness and employment, and
European territorial cooperation.

What is Scotland’s Experience with Other European Regions?
Some final aspects of regions in the European Context worth considering in this paper
is are Scotland’s interregional experiences since devolution. According to Schedule 5 of the
Scotland Act of 1998, EU and Foreign Affairs are reserved issues for the UK Government
and Parliament: “Relations with territories outside the UK, the European Communities (and
their institutions) and other international organisations, regulation of international trade,
and international development assistance and co-operation are reserved matters.”18 The explanatory notes continue that:
The reservation of international relations does not have the effect of precluding the
Scottish Ministers and officials from communicating with other countries, regions or
international or European institutions, so long as the representatives of the Scottish
Parliament or the Scottish Ministers do not purport to speak for the United Kingdom
or to reach agreements which commit the UK.19
Due to this clarifying note, the devolved Scottish government is permitted to engage
in diplomatic relationships with other political bodies around the world. The Scottish
Parliament, moreover, has exercised this right to negotiate with other European regions on
multiple occasions during the early 2000s. These negotiations include a protocol of cooperation with Catalonia in May 2002, a cooperation agreement with Bavaria in June 2002, a
protocol of cooperation with Tuscany in November 2002 and an action plan in June 2003,
and a cooperation agreement with North Rhine Westphalia in February 2003 that was followed by an action plan in January 2005. These cooperation agreements and action plans
did not breach the Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act because they were not legally binding and
did not hold any penalty for non-compliance.

18 
19 

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, “Scotland Act 1998,” (London: Stationery Office, 1998).
Ibid.

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In the years following devolution and the first signing of cooperation agreements with
other European regions, the Scottish Government has reiterated its commitment to work for
the mutual benefit of Scotland and the other autonomous regions of Europe. First, in 2004,
the Scottish Executive published its European Strategy, intended to outline the Executive’s
work on EU issues for the next four years. It emphasized that:
[Scotland] will build on the last 4 years and our rise in influence as a key EU regional
player, particularly through our membership of the Committee of the Regions, our
work with our MEPs and our leading role in REGLEG. We will develop our co-operation agreements with Catalonia, Tuscany, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria and
consider entering into further partnerships where they are likely to deliver benefits for
Scotland.20
In subsequent years, the Scottish Parliament would maintain its commitment to robust
relations with political actors in Europe. In its “Scottish Parliament UK and International
Strategy: Session 4” of 2013, the Scottish Executive noted that:
[The Scottish Executive’s] commitment to our role within the UK, and Europe as a
whole, continues to be a key priority and will remain so during the full term of the
Session. It is firmly within the interests of the Scottish Parliament to maintain and foster
interests and relationships across the institutions of the United Kingdom, the existing
(and developing) European Union and the representatives of Europe’s Member States
and regions.21
From the above governmental manifestos to the existing cooperation agreements between Scotland and a variety of prominent European regions, it is apparent that Scotland
has had a lasting desire to be an active member of the community of European authorities, whether it be through relations with subnational regional authorities, the national government of the United Kingdom, or the supranational institution of the European Union.
Scotland has further iterated this desire through its continued participation in organizations
such as the CoR and REGLEG. While Scotland’s international ambitions are both admirable and reasonable, its relationship with the UK has somewhat restricted its capacity to
make decisions pertinent to its interests on the international stage. In the following section,
I will examine the positive and negative aspects of Scotland’s relationship with the United
Kingdom.
20 
21 

The Scottish Government, “The Scottish Executive’s European Strategy,” (The Scottish Government, 2004).
The Scottish Parliament, “Scottish Parliament UK And International Strategy: Session 4,” (The Scottish Parliament, 2013).

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Pros and Cons of Scotland in the United Kingdom
Scotland has been a member of the United Kingdom since 1707, and this long-standing association has bound together the nations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern
Ireland. The recent independence referendum put this relationship in the international spotlight, and fundamentally questioned its worth in the 21st century. This section weighs the
pros and cons of Scotland’s current membership in the UK, paying special attention to its
status in the EU.

Scotland in the UK: Pros
UK membership has brought with it a host of advantages during Scotland’s 307-year
association, including, among other things, a larger domestic market, international influence and impact, strong security forces, better universities and more investment in education, lower fuel bills, and maintenance of the pound with lower interest rates. The devolved
Scottish Parliament has likewise proven a tremendous success since its formation in 1998,
and the government of the United Kingdom often considers Scottish concerns when formulating national policy.
As a part of the UK, moreover, Scotland is part of one of the most influential states in
the EU, alongside France and Germany. Economically, Scotland benefits from the UK’s EU
rebate, which accounts for £135 a year to every household in Scotland.

Scotland in the UK: Cons
The current dynamics of the Scotland-UK relationship, specifically in regards to foreign policy, are far from ideal. First, as mentioned above, Scotland association with the UK
is a double-edged sword in terms of lobbying in Brussels. On one hand, Scotland and the
Scottish Executive European Union Office (SEEUO) gain legitimacy through their relationship with the UK. On the other, the SEEUO must follow the policy line advocated by
UKRep, and is subordinate to the interests of the wider United Kingdom. According to the
Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary Agreements, including the Concordat
on Co-ordination of EU Policy Issues (hereafter “the Concordat”) between Westminster and
Holyrood:
(B1.3) As all foreign policy issues are non-devolved, relations with the European Union
are the responsibility of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom…
the UK Government wishes to involved the Scottish Executive as directly and fully as
possible in decision making on EU matters, which touch on devolved areas (including non-devolved matters which impact on devolved areas and non-devolved matters
which will have a distinctive impact of importance in Scotland)… (B1.4) Participation
will be subject to mutual respect for the confidentiality of discussions and adherence
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by the Scottish Executive to the resulting UK line without which it would be impossible to maintain such lose working relationships. This line will reflect the interests of
the UK as a whole.
While this non-legally binding document promises to involve the Scottish Executive “as
directly and fully as possible,” the reality of UK consultation with Scotland over EU issues
falls well short of this promise. Indeed “problems are [being] reported due precisely to the
marginalization of Scottish interests by Whitehall departments.”22
An example of this occurred in 2007, when Michael Aron, former Head of the SEEUO
and current British Ambassador to Libya, found himself at the center of a political scandal
after a report he had written to Jack McConnell was leaked to the press. According to the
report, “it hasn’t been uncommon for Whitehall to dismiss views of the [Scottish] executive
when formulating the UK line… The most common complaint is that Whitehall tends to
forget about consulting the executive. It can have a disastrous impact on executive policy.”23
Though the nature of Scotland and the UK’s relationship in Brussels is meant to be built on
open and clear dialogue, moreover, Scottish ministers find themselves “out of the loop” when
different EU policies are discussed with implications for Scotland. Aron specifically mentioned that ministers had been “frozen out of council meetings and humiliated by having
to sit in another room where they can only listen to discussions. Information is shared by
Edinburgh but without reciprocation from Whitehall, and officials in Edinburgh are only
told about vital meetings in London when it is too late to arrange travel and attend.”24 Aron’s
report notes that, in the specific case of spirits, a policy area in which Scotland has a keen
interest, the UK government argued against Scottish interests.
Scotland’s interests have been demeaned more recently as well. Earlier this year, the
Herald reported that UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon approached his Scottish counterpart, Fergus Ewing, to “discourage” him from complying with investigators from the
European Commission regarding the legality of a controversial plan to build a nuclear
power plant in Somerset, noting that compliance with Europe would constitute a “hostile
act” against Whitehall. Though the UK’s central government is a proponent of the plan,
the Scottish Government opposes nuclear power development. Attempts by the UK to dissuade Scotland from cooperating with European investigators were taken as a threat by
the Scottish National Party, though a spokeswoman from the Department of Energy and
Climate Change pointed out that Scotland is “part of the UK member state in the EU and
cannot act as a separate entity… it would not be acceptable for one part of the same Member
22  Burrows, “Scotland’s European Strategy,” 127.
23  Douglas Fraser, “Scotland ‘finding Itself Frozen out of Brussels,’” The Herald, (Herald Scotland, 2007).
24  Ibid.

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Alexander Beck

State to intervene against policy proposals from another.”25 The fact that, in this instance,
a Scottish minister was pressured to go against Scottish interests to save British face in
Brussels demonstrates the dysfunctional relationship between the two nations.
There are still other examples of Scottish interests being either ignored or disrespected
when policies are formulated. UK departments rarely consult with other departments, and
“in the absence of appropriate mechanisms to prompt Whitehall departments on the need
to consult the Scottish Executive, it is treated like any other department of government…
devolved administrations are kept at arm’s length in the policy-making process [of some
departments].”26 The Concordat notes that the lead UK minister decides which individuals
attend the meetings of the Council of Ministers:
Scottish ministers… do not attend Council meetings as of right even where matters
are being discussed which relate directly to Scottish interests. Where they do attend
their role is ‘to support and advance the single UK negotiation line which they will
have played a role in developing… the UK lead Minister will retain overall responsibility for the negotiations’. The lead minister also determines how each minister can best
fulfill his/her role in the UK team [which has led to Scottish leaders being consciously
excluded from key negotiations].
Through this and the other examples that preceded it, it is clear that the institutional
mechanisms that regulate the relationship between Scotland and England in international
affairs are flawed. At the same time, the benefits of remaining in the United Kingdom are numerous. The following section suggests potential reforms to this relationship that will allow
Scotland to remain a part of the United Kingdom while increasing its influence in Europe
and throughout the European Regions.

Towards a More Robust Scotland in Europe: Suggestions and Opportunities
In the spirit of increased devolution, engendered by the Scottish Labour Party’s “Powers
for a Purpose – Strengthening Accountability and Empowering People,” produced by the
Scottish Labour Devolution Commission, what can be done to increase Scotland’s role in international politics? To answer this question, one must consider two perspectives: Scotland’s
relationship with the United Kingdom, and Scotland’s relationship with Europe and the
regions. Through coordination with these bodies, there is potential for Scotland to play a
more prominent role in international affairs.
25  David Leask and Michael Settle, “Minister Sought to Dissuade MSP from Role in EU Inquiry,” The Herald, (Herald
Scotland, 2014).
26  Burrows, “Scotland’s European Strategy,” 127.

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Scotland and the United Kingdom in Europe
As noted in the previous section, Scotland receives a host of benefits—on both the domestic and international stages—from its current relationship with the United Kingdom.
Despite the fact that no suggestions were made in “Powers for a Purpose” on this matter,
there is room in the current climate of increased devolution for Scotland to renegotiate the
mechanisms that dictate its relationship with the UK in international affairs.
First, Scotland and the UK should recognize that the Concordat is not a sufficient document to organize the relationship between the two states. While the ideals it lays out—such
as high degrees of consultation and information sharing—are noteworthy, the execution of
the document’s ideals has fallen well short of its aims. Scotland and the UK, consequently,
should agree to make a legally binding agreement that guarantees Scottish representation
during policy negotiations. This revised Concordat could specifically focus on decisions
made in the Council of Ministers (Article 203, originally put forward in the Maastricht
Treaty, allows for states to be represented by subnational government authorities in the
Council) and could give the Scottish Executive power over the selection of Scottish ministers for meetings, rather than the head UK representative.
The new Concordat could also include measures to ensure greater communication between Scotland and the UK departments that are working on international issues relevant
to Scottish interests, such as fisheries, agriculture, and energy. These measures could include
installing a Scottish representative in various UK governmental departments or scheduling
regular meetings between the Scottish Executive and departmental ministers.
Second, the United Kingdom could look to different regional models of decisionmaking in Europe to reorganize its relationship with Scotland and, potentially, Wales and
Northern Ireland. The Belgian model, in particular, could provide inspiration for a reformed
British model. In Belgium:
[The] regions, communities and federal government have laid down by special law
detailed arrangements on federal-subnational representation and decision-making in
Council of Ministers machinery. Each level represents the Belgian position and casts
the vote in matters exclusively under its own jurisdiction, while both are involved in
matters of join competence, with one taking the lead… Belgian regions and communities minimize the need for prior agreement by taking turns in assuming the lead
responsibility for the Councils on matters within their jurisdiction… The Belgian approach minimizes the national mould. Europe is seen as a polity with multiple actors

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Alexander Beck
at multiple levels who interact directly with European institutions on matters within
their competencies.27

As the United Kingdom’s powers increasingly devolve to subnational authorities, a
model similar to Belgium’s could provide the most democratic legitimacy. If Scotland were
permitted to take the lead on European policy-making for issues that affected the country,
it would significantly reduce the democratic deficit it currently experiences at the international level. By minimizing the “national mould” when confronting European issues, the
United Kingdom could devolve more powers to its constituent parts and, in turn, provide
Scotland with a greater international profile while simultaneously preserving the union.

A “Regional Renaissance”? Scotland, the Regions, and Europe
While there is a clear path for Scotland to negotiate revisions to its current agreements
with the United Kingdom, the same cannot be said about the European Union. As examined
in the section “Regions in the European Context,” regions play a complex role in the Union.
Regions are difficult to define, lack clear institutionalized powers beyond their consultative
abilities, and, generally speaking, must act through their national governments, rather than
the EU, to acquire greater powers. Historically speaking, moreover, only the most powerful European federal regions, such as those in Austria, Belgium, and Germany, have held
enough sway to influence European politics. That being said, there are still some possibilities that Scotland could pursue, perhaps with the backing of the UK and other influential
European regions.
Within the current settlement, there is potential for Scotland to increase its international reach. As aforementioned, Scotland has made a number of agreements with other
European regions, such as Catalonia and Bavaria. While these documents have no legal
standing, “they are written very much as legal documents. They are, for that reason, highly
symbolic quasi-treaties…[They are] a sign of an outward-looking country, seeking to forge
partnerships to enable each partner to learn from the success and failures of the others…
[they are] a form of ‘paradiplomacy’… unmediated by the traditional foreign policy institutions of the state.”28 Though the Scottish government has not continued to pursue these
types of relationships that transcend the traditional state model, these relationships have
the potential to transform regions into legitimate transnational actors. With greater initiative, Scotland could increase its international standing by working more closely with other
regions and actively exercising its “paradiplomacy.”

27 
28 

Liesbet Hooghe and Michael Keating, “Bypassing the Nation-state? Regions and the EU Policy Process,” 274.
Burrows, “Scotland’s European Strategy,” 129.

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One specific change to EU law that Scotland could lobby for is a change to Article 203
of the Lisbon Treaty. This article, mentioned previously, allows subnational politicians to
represent their national government in the Council of Ministers, but it does not allow for
regions to represent themselves. It might be possible for Scotland to lobby for the revision
of this article in two ways. It could use the influence of the UK to either a) change the treaty
to allow regional representation within the Council or b) have Scotland apply for a special
status within the Council of Ministers so it could represent itself or, potentially, split the
number of votes the UK currently receives (ten) into two blocks (nine and one or eight and
two). This would allow Scotland a measure of voting power. While the former option is
unlikely, the latter might be possible with consent from the UK Government. Considering
that Scotland generally agrees with the UK in a number of policy areas, this avenue might
be worth pursuing.
This paper has also examined a number of political bodies that represent regional
authorities, and although many of these bodies are unremarkable, the Committee of the
Regions offers the best avenue for increasing regional influence. Though regions have lobbied for increased powers for the CoR, their petitions have often landed on deaf ears. In
recent years, however, the increasing number of regional offices in Brussels has suggested
that the influence of regions is on the rise. The rise of RIOs—in conjunction with an empowered Scotland via reforms to the Scottish-UK relationship and, potentially, the assistance
of other influential regional authorities, such as the German Länders,—could encourage
Member States to listen more keenly to regional reforms, such as recognition of the role of
regions with legislative powers by member states and the strengthening of the principle of
subsidiarity within these states.
Ultimately, “EU policy-makers recognize that [the CoR] has a potentially important
role in the policy process if serious reforms are instigated at this early stage in its development… As the history of European integration has clearly demonstrated, EU advisory
organs have only been considered important actors…when they have gained more than
mere consultative rights.”29 If Scotland actively pursues reforms to increase the legislative
capability of the CoR, possibly with assistance from other regional authorities with interest
in increased power and the UK, change might be possible. If Scotland takes up a strongly
pro-regional approach, it is possible that Scots could lead yet another renaissance; a regional
renaissance in the halls of the European Union.

29  Rosarie E. McCarthy, “The Committee of the Regions: An Advisory Body’s Tortuous Path to Influence,” Journal of
European Public Policy 4.3 (1997), 451.

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Conclusions
Scotland is an ambitious nation with a unique history and strong cultural identity. The
recent Scottish independence referendum brought attention to the question of whether or
not Scotland benefited from its union with the United Kingdom, both internationally and
domestically. The Scottish Nationalist Party argued that, in order to increase its international
profile, Scotland needed to secede from the United Kingdom and become and independent
country. While this would have increased Scotland’s profile, the Scottish people decided that
a full-stop break with the United Kingdom was not, on balance, a positive decision. There
are, however, ways in which Scotland can increase its international influence while remaining in the United Kingdom. Through devolving more power to Scotland and enshrining
Scottish representation in Europe in a legally binding Concordat, Scotland can be heard
more clearly in Brussels. As this paper has also examined, there are avenues through which
a European region like Scotland might grow in influence. While current structures limit regions and their legislative powers, regional authorities desire a greater voice in Europe, and
a concentrated effort on the part of Scotland may convince member state governments to
concede some power to their regions.
There is potential for Scotland to become a greater force in the EU while remaining in
the UK. Though regional structures are currently limiting, reform is possible, though it must
be noted that reform of Scotland’s current relationship with the United Kingdom seems
more feasible than reform of European conventions. If this reform is pursued, Scotland can
reap the benefits of UK membership while, at the same time, more effectively projecting its
interests on the international stage. Fortunately, many Scots can agree to this compromise.

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Works Cited

Burrows, Noreen. “Scotland’s European Strategy.” Europe, Regions and European Regionalism. Ed. Roger Scully and Richard Wyn Jones. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 115-33
European Union Committee of the Regions. The Committee of the Regions: Key Dates. Brussels: European Union Committee of the Regions, 2010.
European Union Committee of the Regions. A New Treaty: A New Role for Regions and Local Authorities. Brussels: European Union Committee of the Regions, n.d.
European Union. “Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund.” Summaries of EU Legislation. European Union, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
Fraser, Douglas. “Scotland ‘finding Itself Frozen out of Brussels’” The Herald. Herald Scotland, 22 Jan. 2007. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Jeffery, Charlie. “Regional Information Offices in Brussels and Multi-Level Governance in
the EU: A UK-German Comparison.” The Regional Dimension of the European Union:
Towards a Third Level in Europe? London: Frank Cass, 1997. 183-203.
Jones, J. Barry, and Michael Keating. The European Union and the Regions. Oxford, UK:
Clarendon, 1995.
Keating, Michael, and Liesbet Hooghe. “Bypassing the Nation-state? Regions and the EU
Policy Process.” European Union: Power and Policy-making. Ed. J. J. Richardson. Abingdon: Routledge, 2006. 269-86.
Leask, David, and Michael Settle. “Minister Sought to Dissuade MSP from Role in EU Inquiry.” The Herald. Herald Scotland, 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Mccarthy, Rosarie E. “The Committee of the Regions: An Advisory Body’s Tortuous Path to
Influence.” Journal of European Public Policy 4.3 (1997): 439-54.
The Scottish Government. Scottish Executive. The Scottish Executive’s European Strategy.
The Scottish Government, 20 Jan. 2004. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
The Scottish Parliament. Scottish Parliament UK and International Strategy: Session 4. The
Scottish Parliament, 27 Nov. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.
Scully, Roger, and Richard Wyn Jones. “Introduction: Europe, Regions, and European
Regionalism.” Europe, Regions and European Regionalism. Houndmills, Basingstoke,
Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 1-15.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Scotland Act 1998: 1998, Chapter
46. London: Stationery Office, 1998.

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Alexander Beck

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. United Kingdom Government
Scottish Ministers, the Cabinet of the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive Committee. Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary
Agreements. N.p., 2001. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.

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29

Explaining Variations in Development Outcomes
The RENI Factor
Michael Zoorob

This paper ties Nigeria’s slow pace of development into a narrative of how weak national
identification catalyzes corruption and instability by delegitimizing the state. The deleterious
effects of potent subnational identities on governance have been cited repeatedly as contributing to the weak performance of many African states. This theory is tested using both comparative cases and a quantitative analysis relating relative ethnic-national identification (RENI) to
levels of corruption and improvements in infant mortality. The findings suggest that countries
with higher levels of national identification tend to perform better on both of these metrics.
Implications for indigenous and aid agency policy are also discussed.

Introduction
As Paul Collier explains, “a society can function perfectly well if its citizens hold multiple identities, but problems arise when those subnational identities arouse loyalties that
override loyalty to the nation as a whole.”1 Since gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria has
struggled both as a nation in uniting its various religious, ethnic, and linguistic cleavages
and as a state in providing security and public services to its citizens. Due to strong ethnic
ties, social variations, political instability, and the resource curse of vast petroleum reserves,
Nigeria is marred by very high levels of corruption at all levels of government, characterized
by patterns of patron-client relationships called Prebendalism.2 As a result, fifty years after
independence, the advancement of human development in Nigeria has been hindered by
the inefficacy of its political institutions.
This paper ties Nigeria’s slow pace of development into a narrative of how weak national
identification may delegitimize the state, thereby catalyzing corruption and instability. It
begins by detailing a general theory of how governance factors mediate the influence of aid
on development. Next, the paper will identify what is suspected to be a critical intermediary
element of the human development process: relative levels of ethnic and national identification (RENI). It then compares Nigeria’s experience with aid to a similar case, Pakistan, and
a different case, Tanzania, finding, as expected, that Pakistan has gained little from aid while
Tanzania has benefited significantly from it. Two quantitative tests then examine the effects
1  Paul Collier. Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. New York: Harper, 2009.
2  Richard A Joseph. Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the Second Republic. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Michael Zoorob is a junior at Vanderbilt University majoring in political
science and economics and minoring in scientific computing.

Explaining Variations in Development Outcomes

31

of RENI on corruption and infant mortality, suggesting that countries with Ethnic RENI
have much higher rates of corruption and a slower pace of human development. Finally, the
paper analyzes the potential public policy implications of these findings and identifies some
future avenues for research.

Theory
As shown in Figure 1, the effect of aid on development outcomes is mediated by internal
governance factors.

FIGURE 1: Governance as Mediation for Aid

Aid

Governance
Factors

Development
Outcomes

Official Development Assistance, or ODA, is the standard definition of aid used here,
which the IMF characterizes as follows:3
Flows of official financing administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as the main objective, and which are concessional in character with a grant element of at least 25 percent (using a fixed 10 percent
rate of discount). By convention, ODA flows comprise contributions of donor government agencies, at all levels, to developing countries (“bilateral ODA”) and to multilateral institutions. ODA receipts comprise disbursements by bilateral donors and multilateral institutions.4
In the particular case of Nigeria, it may be that elections incentivize officials to act
corrupt in order to cultivate favor with constituents. This effect may be accentuated by the
strong ethnic ties in Nigeria that supersede allegiance to the state for the overwhelming majority of people.5 The country’s large oil revenues also may provide a source of profit ripe for
pillaging. Corruption and state weakness may exert mutually reinforcing effects. Stealing is
less costly due to state fragility, and the state weakens as its citizens loot resources.
3 
4 
5 

“External Debt Statistics - Guide for Compilers and Users.” International Monetary Fund. 2003.
Ibid.
“Round 3 and Round 4 Survey Data.” Afrobarometer. 2008.

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The RENI Variable
A country’s “relative ethnic to national identification”—the RENI variable—is an important factor in explaining varied development outcomes between countries. RENI is an
indicator derived from a question asked by the third round of the Afrobarometer survey.6
The data reflects the responses of 20,000 people and about 250 ethnic groups. The question asked respondents to suppose whether they would choose to be a member of their
nation (Kenyan, Ghanian, etc.) or their ethnic group if they could only choose one. The
Afrobarometer survey illustrates that respondents would choose their nation over their
ethnic group. The response to this question demonstrates a nation’s RENI; higher levels of
RENI indicate greater affinity for ethnicity relative to nationality. Employing this relative
measure of identification confers three particular advantages.7 First, the relative measure
allows for simple comparison across the sixteen countries studied. Second, RENI is consistent with the constructivist idea that people hold multiple identities simultaneously. Third,
RENI “captures the latent variable that we care about more than an absolute measure could,
namely the relative importance of the nation vis-a-vis ethnicity.”8
Figure 2 illustrates the variability in RENI levels across the sixteen cases studied. Higher
values in RENI indicate a greater relative identification with an ethnic group over the nation.
In the maximal case—Nigeria—a whopping 83% of respondents reported that they identified more with their ethnicity than their nationality, the highest of all countries surveyed.
In Lesotho, the country with the second highest level of ethnic identification, 75% of people
reported that they identified more with their ethnicity, and the median case, Ghana, was
60%. At the opposite extreme, in Tanzania, just 12% of respondents said that they identified
more with their ethnic group than their nation.

6  Ibid.
7  Amanda Robinson. “National versus Ethnic Identity in Africa: Modernization, Colonial Legacy, and the Origins of Territorial Nationalism.” 2013.
8  Ibid.

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Explaining Variations in Development Outcomes

33

Figure 2: RENI by Country - Percent Identifying More With Ethnic Group
Than Nation
100
80
60
40
20

Le
so
th
o
Ni
ge
r ia

Ug
an
da
Za
m
bia
M
a la
wi

n

M
ali

ni
Be

Ke
ny
a

ag
as
ca
M
r
oz
am
biq
ue
Bo
tsw
an
a
Gh
an
a

ne
ga
l

M
ad

ca

ibi
a

Se

Na
m

Af
ri

So
ut
h

Ta
nz

an
i

a

0

Data Source: Afrobarometer (2008)
Figure 3 provides a more discriminating picture of the variation in the middle of the
distribution. The eight percent decline between Mozambique and Botswana appears to be a
tipping point around the 50% mark, which could delineate between “low” and “high” level
RENI countries. This distinction can be used to convert the continuous RENI variables into
two categories of low and high RENI countries to perform comparative analysis, and this
resulted in ten countries in the “Ethnic” category and six countries in the “National” category, as shown in Figure 3.

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Michael Zoorob

34

Figure 3: RENI “Tipping Point”
Country

RENI

Nation or Ethnic (0 = Ethnic)

Tanzania

0.12

1

South Africa

0.37

1

Namibia

0.43

1

Senegal

0.49

1

Madagascar

0.5

1

Mozambique

0.51

1

Botswana

0.59

0

Ghana

0.6

0

Kenya

0.6

0

Benin

0.62

0

Mali

0.68

0

Uganda

0.69

0

Zambia

0.71

0

Malawi

0.72

0

Lesotho

0.75

0

Nigeria

0.83

0

Data Source: (Afrobarometer 2008)

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Explaining Variations in Development Outcomes

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Summary
Figure 4: Theorized Mechanism for RENI on Human Development

Aid

RENI

Corruption

Development

Figure 4 explains the initial expectations for the effect of RENI on development. The
assumption was that RENI would undermine development by contributing to corruption.
Greater identification with one’s ethnic group over the state promotes a perception of the
state as a source of extraction, leading to client-focused relationships between ethnic elites
and their co-ethnics in the population. This is the causal mechanism tying ethnic RENI to
corruption.

ODA and Human Development in Nigeria: A Brief Summary

Human development remains low in Nigeria in both absolute and relative terms. As a
slightly dated United Nations Development Report eloquently points out:
Although Nigeria is relatively rich in natural resources, it has yet to fulfill its economic
and human development potential. Its size, wealth and diversity generate high expectations but it remains “a rich country with poor people.” Its oil wealth and considerable
agricultural potential have not translated into better living conditions for most of its
people. Over two thirds of the population lives on less than US $1 per day. Furthermore,
the number of people living in poverty has doubled in recent years and, according to
most recent economic and social indicators, most Nigerians seem to be worse off than
they were in the 1970s.9
Conditions have not improved significantly. Twice as many Nigerians lived in poverty in 2008 than in the 1980s, the country has the second-highest prevalence of HIV in
the world, and more than 22 million people are illiterate.10 The average number of years
of schooling in Nigeria is 5.3, and life expectancy is still quite low at just over 50 years.11
Nigeria’s 2012 Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.471 is below the average of 0.475 for
9  Khalid Malik. “Nigeria.” Human Development Report 2013: The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World.
New York: United Nations Development Programme, 2013.
10  Nigeria: United Nations Development Assistance Framework II. Abuja: United Nations Nigeria, 2008.
11 

Khalid Malik. “Nigeria.” Human Development Report 2013.

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36

countries in sub-Saharan Africa and places the country in the HDI’s “low human development” category.12
Moreover, after accounting for inequality in Nigeria, the country’s performance on the
HDI declines by a whopping 41.4%, compared to an average loss of 35% for countries in
sub-Saharan Africa.13 This adjustment leaves Nigeria with an HDI score of 0.276 compared
to an average score of 0.309 for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
As inequality, poverty, and disease continue to proliferate in Nigeria, a prima facie case
emerges: aid has had limited or, at best, mixed effects on development. This is consistent
with an internal audit by the UNDP, which describes the effects of the country’s programs
as “mixed,” stating that “despite positive results registered at the community level, evidence
from the ADR (Assessment of Development Results) shows that in terms of sustainability
and cumulative impact, UNDP’s integrated community development programs, with their
wide geographical spread, have led to dispersion, overextension and limited impact.”14

Method 1: Comparative Cases

Figure 5: Comparative Cases
Country

Resource Curse Military Dominant

Large Population

Weak National Identity

NIGERIA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

PAKISTAN

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

TANZANIA No

No

No

No

Figure 5 surveys some potentially important country characteristics for human development, like resource curse, military dominance, large population, and weak national
identity. These characteristics helped develop an analytical strategy for evaluating why aid
has not helped Nigeria. Aid will likely not help Pakistan, which shares three of these four
characteristics with Nigeria, and will likely help Tanzania, which shares none of these four
characteristics. If this holds, then the factors that have been identified may be capturing
important components of the human development picture.

12  Ibid.
13  Ibid.
14  Country Evaluation: Assessment of Development Results: Nigeria. New York: UNDP, Evaluation Office, 2003.

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Most Similar Case – Pakistan
Figure 6: Per Capita Aid in Selected Countries
Net ODA received per capita (current US Dollars)
80
60

Tanzania

40
Pakistan

20

Nigeria
0

1980

1990

2000

2010

As Figure 6 indicates, neither Pakistan nor Nigeria has received a significant amount of
per capita aid, largely due to the sizable populations of both countries. Pakistan and Nigeria
also have a history of military dominance and only recently enjoyed their first transitions
between two elected leaders. The two countries also share equally high levels of corruption:
Transparency International (2013) gives Pakistan a 28/100 on its Corruption Perception
Index compared to 25/100 for Nigeria. Both Nigeria and Pakistan suffer from fractionalized
politics and powerful insurgencies from separatist and Islamist groups.15 16
Aid has not been particularly effective in Pakistan. According to the Center for Global
Development, development assistance to Pakistan has overwhelmingly enriched local elites
and led to widespread corruption without alleviating the suffering of the Pakistani people.17 Development aid has become associated with nepotism and incompetence. USAID,
for example, funded the construction of hospitals reliant on electricity in areas that are not
connected to the energy grid.18 Another problem borne out by empirical evidence from the
1990s is that foreign aid to Pakistan diminishes domestic spending on social services. When
the World Bank boosted aid to Pakistan significantly in the 1990s, spending from Pakistan’s
15  Center for Systemic Peace. 2010a. “Polity IV Country Report 2010: Nigeria.”
16  Center for Systemic Peace. 2010b. “Polity IV Country Report 2010: Pakistan.”
17  Nancy Birdsall. Beyond Bullets and Bombs Fixing the U.S. Approach to Development in Pakistan: Report of the Study Group
on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan. Washington DC: Center for Global Development, 2011.
18  Azeem Ibrahim. U.S. Aid to Pakistan—U.S. Taxpayers Have Funded Pakistani Corruption. 2009.

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38

government on social services declined from 1.9% of GDP to 1.6%.19 More broadly, aid may
weaken indigenous institutions for Pakistani development by fostering a culture of inefficiency, corruption, and mismanagement among NGOs.20

Most Dissimilar Case – Tanzania
Tanzania differs from Nigeria with a smaller population, a less prominent military, and
a low score on the RENI index (Nigeria is highest). Annual per capita Official Development
Assistance receipt in Tanzania is perhaps five times higher than in Nigeria, and Tanzania
does not suffer from a resource curse. As a result, it is expected that Tanzania will have a
much different experience with aid.
In contrast to Pakistan and Nigeria, aid appears to have exhibited salutary effects on
Tanzania’s economy. As one study explains, “Although there has been much debate about the
relationship between foreign aid and economic development, in Tanzania’s case, econometric analysis shows a significant dependence of GDP growth on ODA flows.”21 The researchers further found that, “ODA has been the most influential factor in the country’s recent
growth,” surpassing the impact of Foreign Direct Investment, trade, and remittances on
Tanzania’s economic development.22

Summary
Problems in Pakistan suggest that the resource curse is insufficient to account for the
inefficacy of aid in Nigeria. Moreover, the comparative analysis is consistent with the idea
that weak national identification is playing a role, as Pakistan and Nigeria both have weak
levels of national identification and poor experiences with aid, while Tanzania has higher
levels of national identification and a salutary experience with aid. The next section applies
quantitative methods to explore this line of inquiry further.

Method 2: Quantitative Analysis
Nigeria and Pakistan have received little benefit from aid while Tanzania has benefited
significantly. This is consistent with the hypothesis that RENI plays an important role in
human development. Quantitative methods will now be used to explore the effects of the
RENI variable on corruption and human development. Two hypotheses in particular will
be explored:
19  Nancy Birdsall, and Molly Kinder. 2010. The U.S. Aid ‘Surge’ to Pakistan: Repeating a Failed Experiment? Lessons for U.S.
Policymakers from the World Bank’s Social-Sector Lending in the 1990s.
20  Masooda Bano. Breakdown in Pakistan: How Aid Is Eroding Institutions for Collective Action. Stanford, CA: Stanford
Economics and Finance, an Imprint of Stanford University Press, 2012.
21  Elena Rotarou and Ueta Kazuhiro. “Foreign Aid and Economic Development: Tanzania’s Experience with ODA.” The
Kyoto Economic Review 78, no. 2 (2009): 157-89.
22  Ibid.

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Explaining Variations in Development Outcomes

39

H1: Ethnic RENI status will be associated with significantly higher levels of corruption.
H2: Ethnic RENI status will be associated with significantly slower pace of human development (operationalized by rate of decline in infant mortality).
It is expected that countries with Ethnic RENI status will be associated with higher
levels of corruption, leading to a less efficient use of resources and a reduced pace of human
development.

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Michael Zoorob

40

Test 1: RENI and Human Development
Figure 7: RENI and Infant Mortality: A Comparison of Means
0.01

Average Annual Percent Change in Infant Mortality (2001-2011)

0.00

-0.01
-0.02
-0.03
-0.04

-0.05

-0.06
-0.07

1

0
RENI (0 = Ethnic)

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In this second test, which explores the hypothesis that countries with greater levels of
national identification will have a faster pace of human development, data from the World
Bank is used to compare the average annual percentage decline in infant mortality from
2001 to 2011 (this variable operationalizes human development) between the Ethnic RENI
and National RENI categories of countries.23 Figure 7 shows the plot comparing changes in
infant mortality in the last decade between these two groups.

Figure 8: T-test for RENI and Infant Mortality
t Test
1-0
Assuming unequal variances
Difference

-0.01485

t Ratio

-1.87028

Std Err Dif

0.00794

DF

12.79868

Upper CL Dif

0.00233

Prob > |t|

0.0845

Lower CL Dif

-.03204

Prob > t

0.9578

Confidence

0.95

Prob < t

0.0422

-0.02

-0.01

0.00

0.01

0.02

It is assumed that unequal variances are a result of the very low sample size and the
significant differences in spread between the two groups. As expected, the average decline in
infant mortality in the last decade is greater in countries in the National RENI group than
in the Ethnic RENI group, as Figure 8 shows (t = -1.87; p = 0.0422). The mean difference
between the two groups was 0.01485, which suggests that, all else equal, a typical National
RENI country experienced about a 1.5% greater annual decline in infant mortality than a
typical Ethnic RENI country.

Test 3: RENI and Corruption

The Corruption Perceptions Index for the years 2011-2013 is used to measure the
levels of corruption in states.24 The index ranges from 0 (lowest corruption) to 4 (highest
corruption). Figure 10 plots the relationship between CPI and Ethnic or National RENI
status. As expected, National RENI countries have lower levels of corruption. A comparison
of means between the two groups is shown in Figure 9.

23 
24 

“World DataBank.” The World Bank DataBank. 2014.
“Corruption Perceptions Index.” Transparency International. 2013.

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Figure 9: RENI and CPI
2.0

Corruption Perception Index (Afrobar)

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0

1

0
RENI (0 = Ethnic)

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Figure 10: T-Test for RENI and CPI
t Test
1-0
Assuming unequal variances
Difference

-0.23500

t Ratio

-2.07589

Std Err Dif

0.11320

DF

12.15363

Upper CL Dif 0.01131

Prob > |t| 0.0598

Lower CL Dif -.48131

Prob > t

0.9701

Prob < t

0.0299* -0.4

Confidence

0.95

-0.2

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4

A t-test comparing mean CPI scores in Ethnic RENI countries versus National RENI
countries was performed, and the results are shown in Figure 10. Madagascar is excluded from this analysis because Afrobarometer does not have CPI data for the country. The
National RENI group has significantly lower scores (i.e. less corruption) on the CPI index
than the Ethnic RENI group of countries (t = -2.08, p=0.0299). The mean difference in scores
is about -0.23 on the CPI. It is significant that the coefficient reaches statistical significance
despite the very small samples employed. The results suggest that RENI exerts a potent effect
on levels of corruption.

Bootstrapping Method
Bootstrapping is a recursive process that utilizes resampling with replacement from
a sample to generate a normal distribution. To buttress the results produced by the lowsample t-tests, a bootstrapping procedure with 1000 re-samples in JMP statistical software
was used to compare levels of corruption in the countries with Ethnic RENI preferences
to the levels of corruption in countries with National RENI preferences. The bootstrapped
estimate for the difference of means between the two groups suggests that, with about 95%
confidence, there is a difference in corruption levels between the two groups. As Figure 11
demonstrates, the 2.5% estimate is about -0.0006 while the 97.5% estimate is 0.43649. It can
be said with 95% confidence that the true difference in CPI between the RENI categories of
countries falls between these values.

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Figure 11: Bootstrapped Estimate for CPI Difference in Means
Quantiles
100.0%

maximum

0.57571

99.5%

0.50476

97.5%

0.43649

90.0%

0.37429

75.0%

quartile

0.30883

50.0%

median

0.23476

25.0%

quartile

0.15583

10.0%

0.08667

2.5%

-0.0006

0.5%

-0.0906

0.0%

minimum

-0.1521

A one-sample t-test using the bootstrapping sample for the difference in mean CPI
levels between the two RENI groups indicates that mean levels on the Corruption Perception
Index are much higher in the ethnic group. Testing the difference sample against a nullhypothesis of no difference (that is, H0: x̄=0) yields a test statistic of t=64.6 (p<0.0001) as
shown in Figure 12.

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Figure 12: Bootstrapped T-test (RENI and CPI)
Test Mean
Hypothesized Value
Actual Estimate

0
0.23117

DF

994

Std Dev

0.11288

t Test
Test Statistic

64.5978

Prob > |t|

<.0001*

Prob > t

<.0001*

Prob < t

0.11288

-0.02 -0.01 0.00

0.01

0.02

Bootstrapping is useful for making statistical inferences because the underlying distribution of the CPI data is unknown due to the small size. However, bootstrapping does not
remedy the underlying issue that the cases used may be unrepresentative or biased in some
way. Consequently, the significance of the bootstrapping findings should not be overstated.
However, the results of the bootstrapping procedure coincide with the total evidence, theoretical and statistical, demonstrating that ethnic RENI countries experience greater levels
of corruption.

Analysis

Taken together, the tests performed indicate that RENI influences levels of corruption and human development. T-tests between the Ethnic RENI and the National RENI
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46

countries show that Ethnic RENI categories have significantly higher levels of corruption
and significantly slower rates of decline in infant mortality in the last decade. These results
are consistent with the overall theory that RENI levels affect human development by influencing levels of corruption in a country.

Limitations
There are several limitations to this analysis. First, the very low sample (n=15 or n=16)
size could introduce a whole host of problems, as well as the potential for non-random
sampling in the sixteen or so countries that Afrobarometer selected. The data also cannot
explain causality, and endogeneity between the independent and dependent variables is
plausible (it could be the case that corruption or slower human development leads to less
identification with the nation). The causal arrow may point in both directions simultaneously. Perhaps higher RENI leads to increased corruption, which itself promotes even higher
levels of relative ethnic identification, a positive feedback loop.

Figure 13: GNI Per Capita in Selected Countries
GNI Per Capita in PPPCountries (thousands of dollars)
16

Botswana

14
12
South Africa

10
8
6

Nigeria
Sudan
Tanzania
Uganda
Mozambique
Madagascar

4
2
0
1980

1990

2000

2010

It is also reasonable to suppose that the countries outlined differ on many metrics aside from RENI, and thus the bivariate analyses used are unable to account for such
factors as the quality of democracy or the cultural homogeneity of a society. In an effort
to at least partially address this concern, additional tests were run of other potentially
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47

important variables. Though the tests are not shown here, interestingly, no strong relationships were found between GNI per capita growth in the last decade and any of the other
variables used (RENI, aid, infant mortality decline, and CPI). Moreover, as Figure 12 demonstrates, the countries in the sample are at such significantly different stages of development (Madagascar’s GNI per capita is about one-tenth of Botswana’s) such that RENI may
not affect the development of these countries equally.

Conclusion
This paper builds on nascent literature analyzing the effect of the RENI variable on
development. With the exception of one other working paper (Amanda Robertson’s
“National versus Ethnic Identification in Africa”) that looks at correlations of responses to
the Afrobarometer question from which RENI is derived, this paper may be the only examination of the RENI variable systematically and may be the first that attempts to use it
to predict state-level differences in human development outcomes. As Robertson explains,
“Attachment to the nation, relative to one’s ethnic group, increases with education, urbanization, and formal employment at the individual level, and with economic development
at the state level, patterns more consistent with classic modernization theory.”25 However,
with respect to the final point about economic development at the state level, this analysis is
more indicative of causation in the opposite direction. The theoretical mechanisms that have
been identified support the idea that ex ante weak national identification delegitimizes the
state and contributes to corruption, which undermines economic development. Of course,
this is still very much an open question, and the methods used here are unable to ascertain
causality.
This paper may inspire further research that explores the relationship between the
RENI variable and other indicators of human development, such as life expectancy or risk
of conflict. Other mechanisms, such as levels of social service spending, could be studied to
determine how RENI affects development. It would be a reasonable prediction that governments in National RENI countries would spend more money on social services like health
care and education. Whether RENI carries any weight in polities outside of sub-Saharan
Africa is also of interest, though data limitations complicate this point of inquiry.
The RENI variable influencing development has important implications for public
policy. If national identification leads to less corruption and higher levels of human development, then states would be wise to promulgate policies that promote greater national identification. This is especially true in the Tanzanian case, which is an outlier in its very high
levels of national identification and perhaps the only nation-state in sub-Saharan Africa.26
25 
26 

Amanda Robinson. “National versus Ethnic Identity in Africa.”
Afrobarometer. 2009.

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Michael Zoorob

Tanzania looks at the individual level much like many other countries with correlates for
low levels of national identification, suggesting that state-level policies seem to be playing
an important role.27 Four such state-level factors identified by scholars include the pervasive use of the Kiswahili language, the nationalist curriculum in primary school education,
the even-handed distribution of state resources in the early post-independence era, and the
strong personality of Tanzania’s first independence leader, Julius Nyerere.28 Contemporarily,
a number of African states are adopting similar policies to promote national unity, and the
effects of these interventions have not been researched.29
The implications of these findings for development aid agencies are also interesting.
Though the risk of criticism for cultural imperialism is very real, this analysis suggests that
development agencies might be well advised to consider projects that promote national
unity in recipient countries, such as infrastructure projects connecting different parts of
the country with the capital, the dissemination of national icons, and the promotion of a
national language.

27  Edward Miguel. “Tribe or Nation?: Nation Building and Public Goods in Kenya versus Tanzania.” World Politics 56, no. 3
(2004): 327-62.
28  Ibid.
29  Amanda Robinson. “National versus Ethnic Identity in Africa.”

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Works Cited
Afrobarometer. “Round 3 and Round 4 Survey Data.” 2009.
Bano, Masooda. Breakdown in Pakistan: How Aid Is Eroding Institutions for Collective Action. Stanford, CA: Stanford Economics and Finance, an Imprint of Stanford University
Press, 2012.
Birdsall, Nancy. Beyond Bullets and Bombs Fixing the U.S. Approach to Development in
Pakistan: Report of the Study Group on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan.
Washington DC: Center for Global Development, 2011.
Birdsall, Nancy and Kinder, Molly. 2010. The U.S. Aid ‘Surge’ to Pakistan: Repeating a Failed
Experiment? Lessons for U.S. Policymakers from the World Bank’s Social-Sector
Lending in the 1990s. Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 205.
Center for Systemic Peace. 2010a. “Polity IV Country Report 2010: Nigeria.”
http://www.systemicpeace.org/polity/Nigeria2010.pdf
Center for Systemic Peace. 2010b. “Polity IV Country Report 2010: Pakistan.”
http://www.systemicpeace.org/polity/Pakistan2010.pdf
Collier, Paul. Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. New York: Harper,
2009.
“Corruption Perceptions Index.” Transparency International. 2013.
Country Evaluation: Assessment of Development Results: Nigeria. New York: UNDP,
Evaluation Office, 2003. http://web.ng.undp.org/documents/NigeriaADR.pdf
“External Debt Statistics - Guide for Compilers and Users.” International Monetary Fund.
January 1, 2003.
Ibrahim, Azeem. U.S. Aid to Pakistan—U.S. Taxpayers Have Funded Pakistani Corruption.
2009. http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/Final_DP_2009_06_08092009.pdf
Joseph, Richard A. Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the
Second Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Malik, Khalid. “Nigeria.” Human Development Report 2013: The Rise of the South: Human
Progress in a Diverse World. New York: United Nations Development Programme,
2013. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/Country-Profiles/NGA.pdf
Miguel, Edward. “Tribe or Nation?: Nation Building and Public Goods
in Kenya versus Tanzania.” World Politics 56, no. 3 (2004): 327-62.
Nigeria: United Nations Development Assistance Framework II. Abuja: United Nations
Nigeria,
2008. http://web.ng.undp.org/documents/UNDAF_Nigeria_2009.pdf
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Michael Zoorob

Robinson, Amanda. “National versus Ethnic Identity in Africa: Modernization, Colonial
Legacy, and the Origins of Territorial Nationalism.” 2013.
Rotarou, Elena, and Ueta Kazuhiro. “Foreign Aid and Economic Development: Tanzania’s Experience with ODA.” The Kyoto Economic Review 78, no. 2 (2009): 157-89.
“Round 3 and Round 4 Survey Data.” Afrobarometer. 2008.
“World DataBank.” The World Bank DataBank. 2014.

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51

CSCE as a Model for Cooperative Security
The Case for Iran
Kerry Goettlich

This article argues that the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
(1973-75) should be regarded as a model for the conduct of cooperative security and that it
would be a particularly useful historical experience for constructing a cooperative security
regime for the Persian Gulf. After briefly reviewing the historical context within which the
CSCE was formed, this paper analyzes the basic principles of cooperative security that make
the CSCE experience remarkable for international relations theorists. It then draws a parallel
between the strategic situation of Europe before the CSCE and the modern-day Persian Gulf
and concludes that certain lessons can be learned from history, including the application of
cooperative security principles that can help point the way towards a more successful strategy
of negotiation with Iran.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
—Mark Twain
Perhaps the most intractable problem for U.S. foreign policy in recent decades has
been relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the staunchest and most consistent
enemies of the U.S. and its allies since 1979. Accusations of Iran’s destabilizing actions are
well known, from its support of Hezbollah and Bashar al-Assad’s Syria to its alleged pursuit
of nuclear weapons. As Iran’s nuclear technology advances and the Islamic State of Iraq
and the Levant emerges as an increasingly worrying common enemy, it becomes ever more
important to find a way to break the diplomatic stalemate and bring Iran back into the international community. Much has been written on this subject, and the suggested options
for the most promising path forward have ranged from negotiations, to increased sanctions,
to outright war. This article, however, brings something new into the debate: a look at how
conflicts have been managed in the past, in an attempt to learn from history.
This paper argues that one such historical experience is particularly useful for this purpose: the Cold War-era Helsinki Peace Accords, signed at the Conference on Security and

Kerry Goettlich graduated from Williams College in 2014 with a double
major in Political Science and Classics. He is currently pursuing an MSc in
International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

CSCE as a Model for Cooperative Security

53

Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975. In the negotiations of the CSCE leading up to the
Peace Accords, the U.S., the Soviet Union, and their respective European allies aimed to
create the postwar peace that never followed the Second World War. Yet this was no ordinary peace conference, as it included thirty-five equal member states, and discussed not
only hard security issues but also matters never before considered “high politics,” such as
international trade and human rights. The conference was also not legally binding. Initially
the CSCE was perceived in the West as either insignificant or a dangerous concession to the
Soviet enemy, but after the end of the Cold War, the significance of the CSCE became clear
to many. As the CSCE continued to meet in the 1980s, the Soviet Union was constantly put
on the defensive when it came to human rights issues, and some scholars have argued that
the international legitimation the Final Act gave to human rights movements in the Eastern
Bloc were instrumental in their ultimate success in 1989.1 In addition, the CSCE provided a
forum environment conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Cold War.2
Indeed, there is a growing literature interested in the newly appreciated successes of the
Helsinki Peace Accords, especially since Daniel Thomas’s (2001) historical account of the aftermath of Helsinki and its effect on the Cold War’s endgame. This paper has relied especially
on two edited volumes dealing in detail with the CSCE itself and its formation.3 and the
present article, is a response to a research agenda suggested by Andreas Wenger and Daniel
Möckli (2014): to apply the Helsinki experience in problems of contemporary international
relations.4 As of yet, there is some literature attempting such applications towards regional
security, usually concerning the Greater Middle East5 or the Asia-Pacific Region.6 However,
the proposals located in the Middle East tend to cover an extremely large area rife with
multiple conflict axes, whereas there are very few focused on the Persian Gulf sub-region.
It is argued here, rather, that the insecurities of the Gulf sub-region would lend themselves
particularly well to a CSCE-type solution.

1  Daniel C. Thomas, The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of Communism (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 2001).
2  Andreas Wenger and Vojtech Mastny, “New Perspectives on the Origins of the CSCE Process,” in Origins of the European
Security System: The Helsinki Process Revisited, 1965-75, ed. Andreas Wenger, Vojtech Mastny, and Christian Nuenlist (New York:
Routledge, 2008), 3-22.
3  Andreas Wenger, Vojtech Mastny, and Christian Nuenlist, eds., Origins of the European Security System: The Helsinki Process
Revisited, 1965-75 (New York: Routledge, 2008); Oliver Bange and Gottfried Niedhart, eds., Helsinki 1975 and the Transformation
of Europe (New York: Berghan, 2008).
4  Andreas Wenger and Daniel Möckli, “The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe as a Regional Model,” in The
Legacy of the Cold War: Perspectives on Security, Cooperation, and Conflict, ed. Vojtech Mastny and Zhu Liqun (Lanham, MD:
Lexington Books, 2014), 199-230.
5  Mark Heller, “Prospects for Creating a Regional Security Structure in the Middle East,” Journal of Strategic Studies 26 (2003):
125-136.
6  Ki-Joon Hong, The CSCE Security Regime Formation: An Asian Perspective (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997).

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54

After briefly reviewing the historical context within which the CSCE was formed, this
paper analyzes the basic principles, together termed “cooperative security,” that make the
CSCE experience remarkable for international relations theorists. It then draws a parallel
between the strategic situation of Europe before the CSCE and the Persian Gulf of today
and concludes that certain lessons can be learned from history, including the application of
cooperative security principles, which could help point the way towards a more successful
strategy of negotiation with Iran.

The CSCE in Historical Context
A European security conference had been a Soviet objective for basic security reasons
since long before the CSCE was initiated in the 1970s.7 There was no symbolic end to the
Second World War, and while various bilateral agreements had been made, the Soviet Union
and its Eastern European allies desired a high-level, universal, and final confirmation that
the international borders created in the aftermath of the war had been accepted by the international community. Moreover, by the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union believed it had reached
strategic parity with the West, though its economic situation was in decline. The Soviets felt
they had more leverage in hard security terms at the negotiating table, and were motivated
to also negotiate on the subject of international trade.
The nations of Western Europe had differing policies and priorities to a certain extent,
but they generally agreed on two issues: the barriers between East and West Germany should
be reduced, and a solution to the German Problem had to come as part of a larger European
reunification.8 France in particular was especially supportive of the conduct of Ostpolitik on
a Europe-wide level, as its German connection was crucial to its goal of leading a European
“Third Force” independent of the superpowers. As scholars have recently begun to note,
however, the Western Europeans had another especially important goal.9 This was to be
the first security conference involving all the members of the European Community (EC)
as well as the two superpowers, so it was the EC’s first chance to make a collective mark
on the European security system. The nine members of the EC came to the CSCE with
an expanded notion of international security, including humanitarian concepts of increasing public interest, knowing that if they banded together, they were more likely to achieve
concessions from the Soviets in these areas. As a particular example, most members of the
7  For analyses of Soviet objectives, see Svetlana Savranskaya, “Unintended Consequences: Soviet Interests, Expectations,
and Reactions to the Helsinki Final Act,” in Helsinki 1975, ed. Bange and Niedhart; and Marie-Pierre Rey, “The USSR and the
Helsinki Process,” in Origins of the European Security System, ed. Wenger, Mastny, and Nuenlist, 65-82.
8  Marie-Pierre Rey, “France and the German Question in the Context of Ostpolitik and the CSCE, 1969-1974,” in Helsinki
1975, ed. Bange and Niedhart; Luca Ratti, “Britain, the German Question, and the Transformation of Europe: From Ostpolitik to
the Helsinki Conference, 1963-1975,” in Helsinki 1975, ed. Bange and Niedhart.
9  Daniel Möckli, “The EC Nine, the CSCE, and the changing pattern of European security,” in The European Security System,
ed. Wenger, Mastny, and Nuenlist, 145-163.

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EC were concerned with securing provisions that would allow for an increased number of
human contacts between Western and Eastern Europe, for families disconnected by the Iron
Curtain and tourists. This attempt at establishing social principles for the whole continent
was inextricably linked to the process of European integration, as it came at a time when
integration was extremely productive. France lifted the veto on UK membership in 1969,
and the European Political Cooperation launched in 1970.
The US was the most reluctant party to join the CSCE.10 Much busier with ongoing
developments in Vietnam and the Middle East, the Nixon Administration paid relatively
little attention to European negotiations. Yet Nixon and Kissinger began to realize that the
CSCE’s growing momentum would be difficult to halt, and thought the talks could be used
to encourage Soviet moderation in other areas. Thus the U.S. participated in the CSCE, but
its purpose in doing so was not to construct a new form of European security but rather to
build diplomatic capital with both Western Europe and the Soviet Union.
The resulting CSCE was a three-year long process of protracted negotiations. In the
end, thirty-five countries signed the Helsinki Final Act, with much ado and fanfare. The
Final Act consisted of three “baskets:” the first confirmed the territorial status quo in Europe
and the sovereign integrity of states, the second provided for economic openings between
states, and the third laid out various expectations for “humanitarian” concerns, specifically
human contacts across the Iron Curtain, transparency of information, cultural exchanges,
and educational cooperation.11
The CSCE was to be an ongoing process, not an institution or a one-time trilogy of
conferences. In 1975, a decision was made to stall the Helsinki negotiations indefinitely and
instead hold more conferences to review the progress of compliance with issues relating to
the Final Act as well as to come up with new ideas for future agreements.12 It was crucial that
the CSCE not be bogged down with bureaucracy and that it inhabit a place in international
consciousness. It was established that no meeting would end without agreement on both a
text and a time and place for the next meeting. Major meetings subsequent to the Helsinki
Accords were held in Belgrade (1977/78), Madrid (1980-83), and Vienna (1986-89), with
smaller meetings in between.13
In the U.S., the Helsinki Accords were widely criticized as an acknowledgement of the
Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. Many interpreted the declaration as a major
10  Stephan Kieninger, “Transformation or Status Quo: The Conflict of Strategems in Washington over the Meaning and Purpose of the CSCE and MBFR, 1969-1973,” in, Helsinki 1975, ed. Bange and Niedhart; Jussi M. Hanhimäki, “’They can write it in
Swahili’: Kissinger, the Soviets, and the Helsinki accords, 1973-1975,” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 1 (2003): 37-58.
11  Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, Final Act, Helsinki, August 1, 1975.
12  Erika Schlager, “The Challenges of Change: An Introduction on Helsinki-II,” in The Challenges of Change: The Helsinki
Summit of the CSCE and Its Aftermath, ed. Arie Bloed (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1994).
13  Wenger and Möckli, “The CSCE as a Regional Model.”

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Kerry Goettlich

setback in the Cold War.14 Neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union truly believed that human
rights could make much difference in international relations, and they both saw the “inviolability of borders” clause as the most significant element of the Final Act. But shortly after
the Final Act was signed, the U.S. began to take a very active role in the CSCE. As détente
deteriorated in the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter, having championed morality and
human rights in his campaign, found that the CSCE was now a forum in which the Soviet
Union could be pressed on human rights, as it agreed—in a very public way—to honor certain principles. Given Western Europe’s emphasis on human rights, this served to enhance
the prestige of the U.S. within the Western alliance. In virtually every member state of the
Warsaw Pact, organizations dedicated to exposing violations by the Communist governments, such as Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and the Helsinki Watch Group in Moscow,
exposed the governments for such violations of the Final Act. These organizations’ stories
of extraordinary perseverance in the face of Soviet repression became famous in Western
media, and they established contact via journalists with the Helsinki Commission, a hybrid
agency consisting of members of Congress and the Administration, created in 1976. With
increasing international attention focused on these groups, the KGB had to be very careful
in its methods of controlling dissidents.
As long as the Soviet Union remained attached to Leninist ideology and the struggle
against capitalism, the continuing Helsinki Process could do little to restrain its behavior, and the early follow-up meetings consisted mostly of exposing violations. This alone
would embarrass communist governments but would hardly affect their foreign policies.
The Soviet Union did not withdraw from the CSCE, however, and this illustrates the victory it received in achieving the inviolability of borders. When Mikhail Gorbachev was
elected chairman of the Soviet Communist Party in 1984, he addressed Western criticisms.
Gorbachev’s “new thinking” was ultimately aimed at economic modernization of the Soviet
Union, but he realized that this would not be possible without opening up to the West to a
certain extent. In turn, the Helsinki Process demonstrated that opening up to the West was
not possible without political reform.
In the initial years of Gorbachev’s leadership, signs of new thinking were few in everyday life, and many were disappointed with the extent of reforms. However, over the
course of the Vienna meeting of the CSCE (1986-89), the only one held during Gorbachev’s
tenure, the Soviet Union began to make unprecedented concessions, releasing large numbers of political prisoners and creating an official Commission on Humanitarian Affairs and
International Cooperation. These concessions became a slippery slope, and once the struggle
14  For the unexpected results of the CSCE’s human rights dimension as well as references to contemporary criticisms of the
conference, see William Korey, The Promises We Keep: Human Rights, the Helsinki Process, and American Foreign Policy (New
York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993); and Thomas, The Helsinki Effect.

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CSCE as a Model for Cooperative Security

57

for human rights began to be legitimized by Communist governments, it was impossible to
hold back the tide of increasing demonstrations throughout Eastern Europe. The inherent
problems in the Soviet system were important for its downfall, as well as Gorbachev’s new
thinking, but it is difficult to imagine the level of popular support for reform reaching the
extreme level it did in 1989 without the redefinition of international norms at Helsinki that
put pressure on Gorbachev to effect real reform, not just rhetorical shifts.

Principles of Cooperative Security and the CSCE
The CSCE represented a major transformation in the European conception of security,
from collective to cooperative security.15 Efforts towards international security had hitherto
almost invariably been pursued through alliances, often formed against a specific threat, and
few had conceived of any other structure to prevent a Hobbesian anarchy from consuming the world in war. There are some notable exceptions to this, such as the failed League
of Nations, which held universal participation in international institutions as an ideal situation. This was a variant of collective security, however, in that the source of security lay
in attempting to ensure that revisionist states would have to face a coalition too powerful
for it and thus back down. The post-World War II period was ripe for a new conception of
international security, as the two World Wars had both come as a failure of collective security—World War I signaling the failure of the Concert of Europe and World War II the
collapse of the League of Nations—and motivation to prevent a third war was intense with
very high stakes.
For cooperative security, then, the source of security is not fear and threats, but mutual
understanding and trust. One way in which this is achieved is through confidence-building
measures (CBMs), such as the exchange of information and the creation of a culture of
transparency. The Final Act adopted at Helsinki in 1975 includes a section on CBMs requiring prior notification of major military maneuvers exchange of observers and confirmation
that the participating states recognize the need for disarmament.16 The purpose of CBMs
is to avoid misunderstandings and prevent the risk of war accidentally breaking out. The
Able Archer incident of 1983, where Soviet military leadership mistook a large-scale NATO
exercise as a ruse of war and came unnervingly close to launching a nuclear retaliation, is
a glaring example of a CSCE failure to provide adequate CBMs.17 Yet the purpose of CBMs
extends beyond the realm of operational efficiency, as cooperative security intends to produce genuine cooperation between states. Not only should CBMs prevent specific military

15  Wenger and Möckli, “The CSCE as a Regional Model.”
16  CSCE, Final Act.
17  Arnav Manchanda, “When truth is stranger than fiction: the Able Archer incident,” Cold War History 9 (2009): 111-133.

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actions from being misinterpreted, but they should also reassure potential enemies over the
long term that a state’s intentions are not malicious.
For cooperative security to work, however, CBMs are not enough. They must join a
larger framework of cooperation that links states together with socially constructed ties.
This means that states must agree broadly on the ways in which international relations are
conducted. According to constructivist theory, the more predictable a state’s behavior is,
and the more it conforms to a certain identity attributed to it, the more confident other
states will be in dealing with it.18 Institutions and diplomacy create increased contact between decision-making individuals and bodies in state governments and homogenize the
processes by which different states practice foreign policy. States must also agree on some
basic rules for the way they will interact. In the case of the CSCE, it was established that the
international relations of Europe would be based on respect for sovereignty and territorial
integrity, which became central to the concept of cooperative security.
These socially constructed ties can be broadened through the securitization of a wide
range of issues.19 Cooperative security not only deals with traditional and material issues
such as distribution of capabilities, but also any other international issues such as human
security and economic policies. Before the CSCE began to take shape, economic problems
gained attention from authorities in the Eastern Bloc, as the weaknesses of the Soviet system
slowly became undeniable. Human rights became an issue of great importance in Western
Europe as the integration process entered the 1960s.20 These issues had certainly been recognized as important before, but they had never been dealt with by a postwar settlement;
this is what made the CSCE so unusual.
The Helsinki Final Act was not a legally binding treaty.21 It was a document crafted
through years of work by many powerful people and signed at the highest level, but there
was neither any international body designated to monitor compliance, nor any punitive
measures established for those in violation. It was a political agreement, and compliance was
to be dealt with politically. Thus the only direct consequences of noncompliance would be
the complaints of other CSCE members and the damage done to the Helsinki Process that
reflected badly on the violator within the international political community.
In a way best understood within the theory of constructivism, cooperative security escapes one of the fundamental weaknesses of collective security by dispensing with the legal
dimension. Because constructivism recognizes the importance of structural factors, it can
18  See, for example, Ted Hopf, “The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory,” International Security 23
(Summer 1998): 178.
19  The process of securitization is a central concern of the Copenhagen School and is the subject of Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver,
and Jaap de Wilde, Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1998).
20  Armin von Bogdandy, “The European Union as a Human Rights Organization?” Common Market Law Review 37 (2000):
1307-1338.
21  Maresca, To Helsinki.

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borrow from structural realism the criticism of collective security that it conflates interest
and obligation.22 When states’ interests conflict with obligation under international law,
they almost always act according to their interests. However, constructivism differs from
structural realism in that it is a subjective-interest theory, rather than objective-interest, and
posits that interests are shaped not only by material phenomena but also social interactions.
Interactions through diplomatic processes such as the CSCE have the potential to affect
obligations and interests, thus influencing state behavior. By giving up the legal element of
collective security, cooperative security focuses on the social aspect of diplomacy. When violations do occur and go unpunished, the system does not collapse, as the League of Nations
did after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and the Italian expedition in Abyssinia. Indeed,
those who look favorably on the CSCE see this effect as the most powerful element of the
process. Some supporters argue that between the Helsinki Accords and the end of the Cold
War, it became more and more difficult for the Soviet Union to justify its repressive domestic
policies. This provided the political context in which it was possible for the Soviet Union to
make major policy reversals such as glasnost and perestroika, which set in motion the series
of events that brought about the end of the Cold War.
Also, the principles of sovereignty and sovereign equality are integral to cooperative
security, and they became driving features of the procedural rules. Every agreement, even on
procedure itself, had to be made through unanimous consent, although not by a unanimous
vote; in the absence of any objection, a motion was carried. This was necessary to please the
less represented Eastern Bloc members. There was an implicit agreement that veto power
was not to be used for political purposes to delay progress. Since the Final Act would be a
purely political agreement, this was as good as any procedural rule. It was only violated obviously once, by the Maltese delegation, which later issued a formal apology.

Making the Comparison to the Persian Gulf
For several reasons, the Cold War in Europe, up until the beginning of the CSCE, corresponds most closely with the situation of international politics in the Persian Gulf, which
has been in place roughly since the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in
1981.23 The most important points include: (i) the presence of an alliance formed in response
to a specific threat, (ii) the primacy of sovereignty in the conduct of international relations
in the region, (iii) the importance of the American military role in regional security, (iv) the
increasing stability of international borders, and (v) some evidence of a growing regional
22  Josef Joffe, “Collective Security and the Future of Europe: Failed Dreams and Dead Ends,” Survival 34 (Spring 1994):
36-50.
23  For an overview of Gulf politics and the role of the GCC, see Matteo Legrenzi, The GCC and the International Relations
of the Gulf (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Mahboubeh Sadeghinia, Security Arrangements in the Persian Gulf: With
Special Reference to Iran’s Foreign Policy (Reading, UK: Ithaca Press, 2011), 95-122; and Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, The
International Politics of the Persian Gulf: A Cultural Genealogy (New York: Routledge, 2006).

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identity. Each of these contributes to the proposition that a multilateral cooperative security
conference could produce benefits in the Gulf region similar to those effected by the CSCE.
Firstly, there are some important similarities between the power realities of early Cold
War Europe and the current situation in the Persian Gulf. Among the several initial reasons
behind European integration, the most obvious from an international relations perspective
was the Soviet threat to Western Europe,(either through invasion or political interference).
Likewise, the need for the Arab Gulf monarchies (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) to balance the threat of their much more powerful
neighbors, Iraq and Iran, had been clear since the announcement of the British withdrawal
in 1968. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran and the subsequent Iran-Iraq War intensified
the need for closer relations between the remaining Gulf monarchies, and consequently, the
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was formed in 1981. Although the GCC’s charter never
mentions any kind of military alliance, it was implicitly understood by all involved that one
of the primary functions of the GCC was to present a united front to balance Iraq, and Iran.
Thus, both Western Europe and the Arab Gulf monarchies responded to an external threat
or threats by some degree of integration.
Secondly, while integration progressed far more quickly and successfully in the
European case, it was true for both alliances that national sovereignty remained extremely
important, and at times prevented states from maximizing their alliances’ security potential. In Europe, the most well-known example is the withdrawal of de Gaulle’s France from
the united command structure of NATO, but equally important were France’s rejection of
the EDC and Britain’s non-participation in the EC until 1961. As for the Gulf monarchies,
the GCC did not manage to agree on any military integration beyond a symbolic level until
2013, as the member states have had different priorities and substantial dynastic rivalries.24
The GCC states disagree particularly about how serious the Iranian threat is; while Saudi
Arabia repeatedly called for the Bush Administration to “cut off the head of the snake,”
Oman’s economic ties to Iran are rapidly increasing, and Kuwait claims that its relations
with Iran are “excellent, historical, and developing.”25 Counteracting these centrifugal forces
within the GCC, however, is the consistent recognition by its member states that they have
much to gain by banding together. Thus, in both the European and Middle Eastern cases,
two forces persistently work against each other: the temptation to assert sovereignty and act
upon disparate interests, and the need to take advantage of the defensive benefits of alliance
and project the image of a unified policy-making body as much as possible.
Thirdly, the American role in Western Europe in the early Cold War resembles its current role in the Gulf; in both cases the U.S. military presence has been reluctant, yet extensive
24  “GCC to form unified military command,” Al Arabiya News, 11 Dec. 2013.
25  “Iran to help Oman turn into a regional hub by 2018,” AME Info, 11 Feb. 2014; “Kuwait says relations with Iran are ‘excellent’,” AFP, 12 Feb. 2014.

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and crucial to regional security. The Gulf monarchies benefit from vast petroleum wealth,
but for a variety of factors, such as small populations and a lack of non-petroleum resources,
they have been unable to translate their wealth into military capabilities. As long as any trace
of enmity exists between the GCC and Iran, the U.S. military’s presence will be vital for
their security, and any talks on a potential cooperative security arrangement would require
U.S. participation. The same consideration was made for the CSCE; while the Soviet Union
would have preferred to exclude the U.S. from negotiations, it realized that this would have
been unrealistic and made the decision to allow U.S. participation.26 Thus, in a similar way
to the CSCE, a Gulf conference on security cooperation would have to accommodate the
U.S., an external power with very different interests from its regional allies.
Fourthly, many scholars agree that the international borders of the region have appeared more stable in the last decade or so than at any point since they were drawn during
the British withdrawal ending in 1971, according to a traditionalist definition of security.27
Roughly every ten years since 1971, a major war has broken out: the Iran-Iraq War from
1980-88, the Gulf War from 1990-91, the Iraq War from 2003-2011, and, arguable, the U.S.’s
current engagement with the Islamic State.28 Since 2003, however, each state, as well as the
U.S. forces installed in the region, has respected the borders of the region, and there are
few signs of imminent interstate warfare. None of the states responsible for initiating one
or more of the wars listed above—Iraq, the U.S., and, debatably, Iran—is likely to initiate a
new war in the current climate.
The primary threats to security in the Gulf in recent years have instead been internal,
such as the continued insurgency in Iraq and the demonstrations associated with the Arab
Spring in 2011, especially in Bahrain.29 These disturbances, however, have not proven themselves to be of primary significance for the boundaries between the Gulf States. The protests
in Bahrain actually became an opportunity for GCC cooperation, as Saudi and UAE troops
intervened to help suppress them.30 The chief problems for borders in the Gulf are the various maritime territorial disputes that have developed, especially since 1980, primarily over
26  Savranskaya, “Unintended Consequences,” 177.
27  Sadeghinia, Security Arrangements, 100; Sadeghinia also cites Gary Sick, “The coming crisis in the Persian Gulf,” in The
Persian Gulf at the Millenium: Essays in Politics, Economy, Security, and Religion, ed. Gary Sick and Lawrence Potter (New York:
St. Martin’s Press, 1997), 11-30; and Turki al-Hamad, “Imperfect Alliances: Will the Gulf Monarchies Work Together?” in Crises
in the Contemporary Gulf, ed. Barry Rubin (Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2002), 21-32.
28  Hostilities between the US and Iraqi armies ended in 2003; using traditional definitions, the remainder of the Iraq War
would be considered a domestic affair with strong international significance.
29  There is, of course, the Islamic State’s recent success in blurring the boundary between Iraq and Syria, but since this article
is focused on international relations between states of the Gulf region, I will avoid delving into the details of this particular
conflict.
30  Ethan Bronner and Michael Slackman, “Saudi Troops Enter Bahrain to Help Put Down Unrest,” The New York Times,
March 14, 2011.

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issues of petroleum field ownership.31 Likewise, the period of European history preceding the CSCE was one characterized by remarkably stable borders, in stark contrast to the
World Wars of the early twentieth century. This stability was crucial for the CSCE’s efforts
at cooperative security, because if peace was to be built on states’ respect for the principle
of territorial sovereignty, rather than fear of each other’s military capability, there had to be
some basis for trust. Thus, the Persian Gulf is in a period when it would be wise to capitalize on recent stability by constructing a regime that aims to build regional security on more
than just realpolitik.
Finally, both cases show evidence of a growing regional identity and cohesion, based
on a common history and similar political systems. Despite the presence of war and militarized alliances until recent decades, Europe has, for centuries, been connected by deep
cultural ties. Various attempts at creating a supranational European government have been
made, from the Hapsburgs to Hitler. Even before the Soviet threat created a powerful material incentive towards unity in Western Europe, the abstract concept of European unity was
growing in popularity regardless of its geopolitical necessity.32
Beginning in the 1980s, there has been increasing discussion of a “Gulf ” identity,
and the GCC has sought to promote this idea in many ways, from attempting to present a
common foreign policy to the construction of a GCC rail network.33 The Gulf monarchies
have much history in common, despite being independent for a few decades, since British
colonialism trod relatively lightly on them and left the tribal system intact.34 In religious
terms, they are quite similar to each other, with Sunni governments despite the large presence of Shias in several. Perhaps most importantly, however, is that their common system
of government by a ruling class of nobles, though not necessarily representative of their
respective populations, is particularly conducive to the construction of ties between policymakers of different states. Despite their dynastic rivalries, the ruling families of the Gulf
monarchies recognize that their fates are linked not only in the international realm, where
military threats from Iran and Iraq loomed much larger in previous decades, but also in the
domestic realm. If the analogy between postwar Europe and the contemporary Persian Gulf
falls short as a result of the difference in domestic political systems, the comparison could
perhaps instead be made with mid-nineteenth century Europe, where conservative monarchies banded together in the Concert of Europe and agreed to uphold common values.35
For example, we can see in the GCC military action against the Arab Spring protesters in
Bahrain the same forces of cooperation interested in maintaining the status quo that led
31  Sadeghinia, Security Arrangements, 65-94.
32  Mark Gilbert, European Integration: A Concise History (Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), 17.
33  Shafaat Shahbandari, “Passport free travel across GCC possible,” Gulf News, January 29, 2014.
34  Sadeghinia, Security Arrangements, 101-105.
35  Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 78-102.

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Russia to invade Austria-Hungary to help the Austrians crush the rebellions of 1848-9; such
cooperation was based on shared identity.
Of course, this idea of regional cooperation is hardly anything new if it does not involve
Iran, which is heavily Shia and governed very differently from the monarchies., Iran’s system
of Velayat al-Faqih was originally devised as a heavily anti-monarchical political philosophy.36 Yet Iran, of all the Gulf States, seems the most eager to achieve cooperative security
with its neighbors, since it has been broadcasting this intent since the early 1990s.37 Some of
this rhetoric even sounds quite similar to that of the Helsinki Peace Accords, including an
excerpt from an article by Iran’s UN Ambassador Kamal Kharrazi, that says, “Iran continues to promote the concept of indivisibility of peace and security among its neighbors…[C]
ooperation amongst regional states can only enhance peace and security in the region.” After
Iran’s extremely bitter and protracted war with Iraq, ending in 1989, Iran believed that building intercultural trust with the Arabs would be the best security policy. As Deputy Foreign
Minister Abbas Maleki said in an interview with Al-Sharq al-Awsat, an Arab newspaper, “We
and the Arabs are neighbors, indeed we are brothers. It is imperative that we understand
each other. Is there a better friend for the Arabs than Iran?”38 Iran engaged in a variety of
policies to build economic ties with the other Gulf States, such as setting up bilateral trade
centers in Bushehr and Doha and opening air routes.39 At least on an economic level, these
efforts succeeded to a certain extent, with trade with Qatar increasing by 50 percent from
1993 to 1994, and exports from Iran’s Khorramshahr port to other Gulf destinations tripling
from 1994 to 1995. These efforts at constructing broad regional ties continued, especially
during the presidency of reformer Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005), as well as the current
Iranian administration, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif travelling to several GCC capitals
in December 2013 to “ease Iranian-Arab hostility.”40 Should there be any opposition to a
Gulf regional security conference modeled on the CSCE, it will not likely come from Iran.
For all these reasons, the structure is in place for a new CSCE in the Persian Gulf, in
both geopolitical and ideational terms. The value of cooperative security has yet to be appreciated. One or more of the Gulf States (or the U.S.) must take leadership and make concrete
steps towards the cooperative security goal.

Lessons of the Helsinki Process
Just because diplomacy has not achieved the desired results does not mean that it never
will. Rather, the success of cooperative efforts is a complex process, which depends on the
36  Adib-Moghaddan, The International Politics of the Persian Gulf, 29.
37  Christin Marschall, Iran’s Persian Gulf Policy (New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), 149-178.
38  Marschall, Iran’s Persian Gulf Policy, 167.
39  Ibid., 149-178.
40  Jason Rezaian, “Iran seeking better ties with Arab states,” The Washington Post, December 5, 2013.

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alignment of material and ideational pressures on multiple actors. Many critics claim that
diplomacy in the United States has already failed to produce any change in Iran’s actions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s said in March 2013, “Time after time, the
world powers have tabled diplomatic proposals to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully. But diplomacy has not worked.”41 Netanyahu was correct at the time, as negotiations
had not begun yet. The EU pursued a policy of Comprehensive Dialogue in the early 2000s,
consisting of regular round-table talks on a variety of issues that intended to empower moderate reformers in Iran. In its 2004 elections, Iran’s parliament was filled with hardliners,
with many moderates barred from running.42 After an abortive attempt at diplomacy in 2009
by the Obama Administration, Iran continued to expand its nuclear enrichment program.
Even if attempts at European détente had ceased after years of failure, the agreements
at Helsinki would never have been reached in the 1970s. While the failure of Obama’s diplomatic efforts towards Iran and Iran’s continued nuclear enrichment generally provide fuel
for Republicans’ demands for such harsh measures on Iran as explicitly threatening war,
the logic worked in the opposite direction during the Cold War: events of the early 1960s
that demonstrated the failure of negotiations thus far, such as the Berlin and Cuban Missile
Crises, were precisely some of the reasons why détente began to grow in popularity in the
1960s.43 Likewise, The growing possibility of a regional power in the Middle East reaching
nuclear capability should be motivation to seek new routes by which to pursue stability. The
lesson is not that diplomacy should always be attempted or always has a chance of success.
Cooperative security reached a standstill soon after the Final Act was signed, as and détente
deteriorated. When a window of opportunity arises, it should be exploited, even if diplomacy has already been tried.
Broadening the terms of security can help to strengthen it. The inclusion of human
rights principles in the Final Act allowed for horse-trading between participants with priorities in different issues and encouraged the spread of norms into Eastern Europe, which
did much to alleviate East-West tensions at the end of the Cold War. This does not mean
European norms should be adopted in the Persian Gulf. When appropriating a European
model of conduct for international relations, it is fundamental that Western values not be
projected on non-Western societies, and perhaps even more importantly, that Western
values do not appear to be projected. The goal of cooperative security is to increase mutual
trust and understanding, so a cooperative security conference perceived to impose external
norms on the region would surely defeat its own purpose.
41  Benjamin Netanyahu, Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference, Washington, DC, Mar. 4, 2013.
42  Bernd, “European Union Constructive Engagement with Iran (2000-2004): An Exercise in Conditional Human Rights
Diplomacy,” Iranian Studies 41 (2008): 291.
43  US Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, is a staunch proponent of authorizing the President to use force in Iran. Byron
York, “Sen. Lindsey Graham to seek authorization for U.S. attack on Iran,” Washington Examiner, Sept. 18, 2013.

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Cooperative security signals the potential for the spreading of norms already in the
region. Indeed, during the round table talks that took place during the EU’s Comprehensive
Dialogue initiative with Iran, the European delegates were surprised to find that Iranian delegates articulated concepts like the rule of law and republicanism as corollaries of Islam.44
While it would be an act of cultural imperialism to impose the political theories of John
Locke or James Madison on states in the Persian Gulf, it would also be wrong to assume that
the Enlightenment philosophers were the only ones to arrive at the conclusion that peace
and justice in the international realm can be understood by human reason. Moreover, while
regional norms may be far less cohesive than in modern-day Europe, some values have long
been held in common, like cultural authenticity and sovereign integrity.45 Given the right
framework, a cooperative conference could come to an agreement on basic norms for the
region and thus broaden the terms of regional security.
One of the more important norms that seems to be predominant in the region is that of
respect for territorial integrity. As mentioned above, the international borders of the region
are unlikely to see large changes in the near future, and unlike previous decades, no regional
leaders have any pressing reason to revise these borders. This gives the Persian Gulf a certain
advantage over the CSCE, which had to tread carefully over the German question. While
the Soviet Union had to be assured of the Warsaw Pact’s integrity, West Germany still officially considered the division of Germany a temporary arrangement and would not rule out
the possibility of reunification. Thus, the CSCE had to settle for a vague compromise that
assured respect for borders but allowed for “peaceful change.” Compared to the CSCE, the
Persian Gulf would be relatively easy to implement a region-wide conference to find agreeable and permanent borders, provided that such a conference could be set up.
The primary concern would most likely be doubts over the necessity of such an agreement in the first place. If borders are stable and bilateral relationships between Iran and the
Gulf monarchies have been developing for roughly two decades, there would be no point.
For some reason, it was deemed necessary to hold the CSCE even though the bilateral treaties of Ostpolitik had removed the major territorial issues before the conference had begun.
Our final lesson of the Helsinki Process, then, is that regional cooperative security comes
from all involved in a region. While bilateral negotiations can be useful in preparing for a regional conference, regional agreements on security issues, whether traditional or expanded,
are not regional unless they are multilateral and decisions are made by the whole. Exclusion
erodes trust, and, ultimately, according to the theory of cooperative security, international
security is based on trust.
44  Bernd Kaussler “European Union Constructive Engagement with Iran (2000-2004): An Exercise in Conditional Human
Rights Diplomacy,” Iranian Studies 41 (2008): 281.
45  Adib-Moghaddan, The International Politics of the Persian Gulf, 27.

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Conclusion
It is not impossible to pursue cooperative security with Iran. At a time when important
voices in both the academic and policymaking arenas are calling for increased sanctions and
even military strikes on Iran, it seems difficult to imagine the U.S. and Iran working together
towards a security partnership at any point in the future. Yet when Soviet Foreign Minister
Vyacheslav Molotov first proposed a European security conference in 1954, it was no less
difficult to imagine the agreements that would be made in the Helsinki Final Act, which
became so influential decades later. Many suspected the conference was a Soviet trap, but
by the time the Cold War was over, American thinking on the CSCE had clearly changed.
Even though Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger saw little value in what the Europeans
were trying to achieve, they participated in the CSCE process in an attempt to build political capital with their allies. This was not a popular policy domestically; despite Nixon’s
conservative credentials, U.S. participation in the CSCE was criticized as a concession to the
Soviet Union. Subsequent administrations found membership in the organization surprisingly useful, however, in the ensuing battle for human rights, until the CSCE finally became
a forum within which the Cold War could be ended once and for all.
Likewise, the strategic situation in the Middle East is changeable. One of the most
important ingredients for a regional security regime resembling the CSCE is bilateral relations across the Persian Gulf. Much like West Germany’s Ostpolitik, Iran since the 1990s has
been attempting to reassure its neighbors allied with the U.S. that it means no harm and
has encouraged projects aimed at increasing both cultural and economic interdependence
within the region. Yet the U.S.’s allies in the Persian Gulf are much less powerful than those
in Europe, and they have not been able to compel the U.S. to participate in the same way
that Kissinger felt compelled to cooperate in European détente. U.S. allies have already demanded GCC participation in the current negotiations with Iran, but this has fallen on deaf
ears in Washington.46 What is necessary, then, above all, regardless of whether the specific
mechanism outlined above is followed, is that the U.S. recognize Iran as a party with a stake
in regional politics, and that a basis already exists for a multilateral conference like the CSCE
that could revolutionize Gulf security in a similar way. All it would take is a leader with a
vision and the sense to put national interest at the forefront of foreign policy, as Kissinger
did, rather than shying away from policies that might be perceived domestically as a sign
of weakness.
The historical evidence of efforts in conflict management has too often been left out of
the debate. There is much to learn from the experience of the CSCE in Europe during the
latter half of the Cold War, particularly that strategies involving reassurance, cooperation,
46  “GCC ‘must join P5+1 talks’,” Gulf News, Dec. 8, 2013, http://m.gulfnews.com/news/region/iran/gcc-must-join-p5-1iran-talks-1.1264734.

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and multilateralism can help build ideational ties and increase the likelihood that conflicts
will be resolved through peaceful means. The conflict between the U.S. and Iran is not a
battle of wills. Instead, it will last for as long as they both believe that their own national
security can only come at the expense of the others.

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Korey, William, The Promises We Keep: Human Rights, the Helsinki Process, and American

Foreign Policy (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993).
“Kuwait says relations with Iran are ‘excellent’,” AFP, February 12, 2014.
Manchanda, Arnav, “When truth is stranger than fiction: the Able Archer incident,” Cold
War History 9 (2009): 111-133.
Marschall, Christin, Iran’s Persian Gulf Policy (New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), 149178.
Möckli, Daniel, “The EC Nine, the CSCE, and the changing pattern of European security,”

The European Security System, ed. Wenger, Mastny, and Nuenlist, 145-163.
Netanyahu, Benjamin, Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference, Washington, DC, Mar. 4,
2013.
Ratti, Luca, “Britain, the German Question, and the Transformation of Europe: From Ostpolitik
to the Helsinki Conference, 1963-1975,” in Helsinki 1975, ed. Bange and
Niedhart.
Rey, Marie-Pierre, “France and the German Question in the Context of Ostpolitik and the
CSCE,
1969-1974,” in Helsinki 1975, ed. Bange and Niedhart.
Rezaian, Jason, “Iran seeking better ties with Arab states,” The Washington Post, December
5, 2013.
Sadeghinia, Security Arrangements, 100; Sadeghinia also cites Gary Sick, “The coming crisis in the Persian Gulf,” The Persian Gulf at the Millenium: Essays in Politics, Economy, Security, and Religion, ed. Gary Sick and Lawrence Potter (New York: St. Martin’s
Press, 1997), 11-30.
Schlager, Erika, “The Challenges of Change: An Introduction on Helsinki-II,” in The Challenges of Change: The Helsinki Summit of the CSCE and Its Aftermath, ed. Arie Bloed
(Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 1994).

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Shahbandari, Shafaat, “Passport free travel across GCC possible,” Gulf News, January 29,
2014.
Turki al-Hamad, “Imperfect Alliances: Will the Gulf Monarchies Work Together?” in Crises
in the Contemporary Gulf, ed. Barry Rubin (Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2002), 21-32.
Thomas, Daniel C. The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise
of Communism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
Wegner, Andreas, and Vojtech Mastny, “New Perspectives on the Origins of the CSCE Process,” in Origins of the European Security System: The Helsinki Process Revisited, 196575, ed. Andreas Wenger, Vojtech Mastny, and Christian Nuenlist (New York: Routledge, 2008), 3-22.
Wenger, Andreas, and Daniel Möckli, “The Conference on Security and Cooperation in
Europe as a Regional Model,” in The Legacy of the Cold War: Perspectives on Security,
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CSCE as a Model for Cooperative Security

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Syria and the Security Council
Sameen Zehra

Throughout the past decade, research has been widely conducted regarding the progress
made in conflict resolution regimes. With the inception of the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine in 2001, it seems that steps towards protecting vulnerable populations from government
brutality were finally being taken. Despite the international community having generated better policy tools for peace management, the Syrian war remains one of the most tragic failures. While more than three million people have been affected by the conflict, the UN Security
Council remains unable to pass any meaningful resolutions to end the country’s bloodshed.
From a humanistic standpoint, it is important to question why this has been the case. Witnessing the inaction that has paralyzed world leaders also raises questions about the success of the
Security Council as a whole. This paper seeks to understand how effective the institution is in
responding to situations where mass populations face threats from warring factions and dictatorial regimes. Through a qualitative approach that includes the analysis of scholarly journals
as well as secondary data sources, it can be concluded that many political and structural obstacles line the Security Council’s path to efficacy. The world has become increasingly complex,
as military technology has modernized the battlefield, and new global powers have emerged.
Mediating multipolar conflicts will never be a simple task. However, if the gaps in the process
are brought center-stage, it may become possible to formulate more promising blueprints for
conflict resolution in the future.

Introduction
The concept of a selected group of core nations uniting to ensure world order has been
prevalent throughout history. From the formation of the Congress of Vienna in the 1800s to
the post World War I development of the League of Nations, global summitry has evolved
a great deal since the Napoleonic Era. Today, the United Nations is the key intergovernmental institution playing a pivotal role in addressing global challenges. With five key functioning organs, this institution is not only extremely complex, but is also invested in many
diverse areas of policy. This paper’s research focuses primarily on the fields of conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and security. More specifically, the research question is whether the
UN Security Council (UNSC) will continue to be looked upon as a reliable decision maker
in situations of extreme aggression and threat, particularly in the current global context.
Consisting of ten elected and five permanent powers (the United States, Russia, China,
the United Kingdom, and France, known as the P-5), the UNSC congregates with the

Sameen Zehra is a sophomore student at the University of Toronto majoring
in the Peace, Conflict and Justice Program.

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intention of tackling major security issues. This includes nuclear proliferation and terrorism - handled through the means of peacekeeping missions, international sanctions, and
last-resort military action.1 Despite having generated better tools for peace management
in the past few years (e.g. the Responsibility to Protect doctrine), the Syrian civil conflict
remains one of the most tragic and recent exemptions to these developments.2 With more
than 140,000 people dead, and more than eight million displaced, the UN has been unable
to pass any meaningful resolutions to end the country’s ongoing bloodshed.3 From an ethical
perspective, this is reason enough to question the efficacy of the UN. In a constantly changing global environment, it is also essential to assess the relevance of the P-5 and its current
role in global governance. New powers are on the rise and have already altered the scope of
international summitry, including recent associations like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India,
China, and South Africa) and the MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and
Australia). Despite these advances, emerging powers are significantly underrepresented
within the P-5. If the world is evolving, should we continue to rely on an establishment that
fosters historical ideals? This question has become even more relevant due to the minimal
progress made in one of the most violent wars the Middle East has faced. For these reasons,
areas where the UNSC has been unsuccessful need to be identified and understood. This is
a crucial step in ensuring that the international community better handles conflicts, like the
one in Syria, in the future.
The aim of this paper is to argue that the failure to resolve the Syrian conflict proves that
the UNSC is flawed structurally and politically as a modern international institution and
cannot be looked upon as a viable source for effective action in future humanitarian crises.
This report will begin with a brief literary review, outlining the key counterarguments
that the academic community has made in regards to this topic. This will be followed by
largely qualitative research as well as an analysis of the evidence gathered. Within the analysis, three major claims are presented. The first section will discuss the inability of the P-5 to
respond to conflicts, using Syria as a case study, in a timely manner due to roadblocks caused
by personal political objectives. Second, it is argued that even in cases where a consensus
has been reached, there is a clear lack of effective implementation. Finally, this paper addresses the scarcity of key global players within the institution, as well as the consequences
their absence holds for peacemaking attempts in developing nations facing violent threats.

1  David Bosco, “Uncertain Guardians,” International Journal 66 (2010): 439.
2  Jon Western and Joshua S. Goldstein, “R2P After Syria,” Foreign Affairs, March 26, 2013.
3  Erika Soloman, “Syria’s Death Toll Now Exceeds 140,000: Activist Group,” Reuters,

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Counterarguments
Researchers and academics find themselves spread across the spectrum surrounding
this debate. For every critic of the UNSC’s structure and internal politics, there are just as
many supporters. It is particularly valuable to assess where some of their arguments lie, as
they surround a topic that has already been approached by countless conflict and global
governance analysts.
Backers of the UNSC claim that the P-5 countries consider themselves nation-states
before members of the international community, which should be accepted since it is not a
new notion. Others maintain that “only the very naïve imagine that the P-5 honor Article
24.1 of the Charter and act on behalf of the UN member states.”4 It has also been argued
that the permanent five are not the only actors in the institution whose actions are driven by
political objectives. An article published by Foreign Policy recently suggested that, behind
the scenes, Saudi Arabia might be playing its own political games in Syria. With a recent
purchase of 15,000 U.S. anti-tank missiles, Saudi Arabia might be replenishing their own
stockpiles to make up for arms sent to Syrian rebels, according to some analysts. Since the
United States has strict laws against fueling rebel violence, the Saudis would be sending
weaponry that has already been bought elsewhere.5 Policies can be sidestepped to achieve
ulterior motives, which is also demonstrated with the UNSC.
The fact that there is no clear line between a member’s duties to its nation versus its duty
to the global community when they are present in an international forum is the root of the
political flaws that the UNSC embodies. This issue not only undermines the legitimacy of
the UNSC, but also has serious repercussions. The notion that member states will always act
on their own interests, as opposed to the international community’s, has become so commonplace that it is rarely questioned. This exposes the UNSC’s weakness, for there is little
accountability on the end of those who are passing resolutions.
There are also many counterarguments surrounding the topic of liability and implementation, especially in regards to the situation in Syria. Many believe that the UNSC is
not to blame for the mess that has unraveled in the country, for the conflict is “inherently
difficult to resolve diplomatically.” The mediators can only do so much, given the characteristics of the parties involved and how they fight each other.6 The recent takeover by the
Islamic extremists in the region weakened the Obama Administration’s attempts to organize

4  Alex Stark, “Edited Collection – The Responsibility to Protect,” E-International Relations, November 21, 2011.
5  David Kenner, “Why is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight?” Foreign Policy,
December 12, 2013.
6  J. Greig, “Intractable Syria? Insights from the Scholarly Literature on the Failure of Mediation,” Penn State Journal of Law &
International Affairs 2 (2013): 48.

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a peace conference at the end of 2013.7 This view holds that the UNSC has limited power
during conflicts.
Although implementing successful UN resolutions is not a simple task, there is still a
time and place for action to be taken. It is the responsibility of the UNSC to take this risk
when the policy window opens. Although this group is not the sole actor that contributed
to the deteriorating situation in Syria, it did have an opportunity to prevent some levels of
brutality. One obvious example is the UN draft resolution that was vetoed by China and
Russia in February 2012. The veto occurred just before the government bombings in Homs,
where, according to human rights groups, at least 200 civilians were killed.8 UNSC resolutions have also fallen short in cases less complex than Syria’s
There are many arguments against the UNSC’s structural reform as well. Authors like
Stewart Patrick have acknowledged that the enlargement of the institution would not be an
easy feat to accomplish. For one, it could decrease the influence and leverage of the United
States and other P-5 members.9 Additionally, there would be differing opinions about which
countries should benefit from reform, decreasing the likelihood of consensus on proposed
resolutions.10
It is important to acknowledge that the focus of this paper is not to argue that each and
every member of the General Assembly belongs in the UNSC. However, there is a cost to
be paid for not allowing rising powers to play a more instrumental role in the field of global
security. Their growing influence can be beneficial in helping the institution implement
more efficient peace policies. It also breaks the barrier between the developed and developing world, where the majority of international conflicts take place. These structural flaws of
the UNSC contribute to the voids in conflict management.

Evidence and Analysis
Wasting Time Calculating
The differences in political motives and principles on how to approach conflict resolution have created an internal disjoint within the P-5 and prolonged the decision making process at the cost of millions of lives. In August 2012, Kofi Annan resigned from his position as

7  Adam Entous, “Top Western-Backed Rebel in Syria is Forced to Flee; Islamic Front Takes Over aid Warehouses From Moderate Rebels,” Wall Street Journal (Online), December 11, 2013.
8  Anup Kaphle, “Timeline: Unrest in Syria,” The Washington Post, January 20, 2014. http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/
world/timeline-unrest-in-syria/207/
9  Stewart Patrick, “The Unruled World The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,” Foreign Affairs, January/February,
2014.
10  Mallin, “Reforming the United Nations: The Permanent Five,” Global Summitry Project.

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UN envoy to Syria.11 Annan’s decision stemmed from the frustrating results of mediation attempts surrounding the conflict. He stated, “without serious, purposeful and united international pressure, including from the powers of the region, it is impossible for me, or anyone,
to compel the Syrian government in the first place, and also the opposition, to take the steps
necessary to begin a political process.”12 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon backed the
former envoy and former Secretary-General by adding, “…the persistent divisions within
the Security Council have themselves become an obstacle to diplomacy, making the work
of any mediator vastly more difficult.”13 The heart of this problem lies within the personal
objectives of P-5 members.
International crisis groups have reported that the eagerness of external countries, such
as Russia, “in backing the war effort is not matched on the humanitarian front.”14 This fact
originates from several political and economic ties created during the early 1970s under
former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. The Soviets equipped and trained the Syrian military during the Cold War, which was trusted to not shift loyalties and side with the U.S. After
the fall of Egypt, Syria became (and still remains) Russia’s last connection to the Middle
East.15 With mutually beneficial arms contracts in place today, Syria remains one of the “top
10 weapons buyers” from Russia, with contracts valued at four billion dollars.16 Reports
from last year confirmed that the Pentagon cancelled its plans to buy Russian helicopters,
as the country was still providing weaponry to the Assad regime.17 China, another reluctant P-5 member, also has its own interests playing a partial role in blocking peace efforts.
Chinese leaders want to restrain any situation where the Islamist rebels in Xinjiang might
“find another source for both ideological and material support.”18 China has also justified
its vetoes to resolutions by stating, “Our fundamental point…is to safeguard the purposes
and principles of the UN Charter…including the principles of sovereign equality and noninterference in others’ internal affairs.”19 Both China and Syria firmly believe that the UNSC
should not dictate internal politics and successions.20 The lack of cohesiveness in opinions
and political approaches within the P-5 is evident and points to the unreliability of the institution during pressing times of insecurity.
11  Greig, “Intractable Syria? Insights from the Scholarly Literature on the Failure of Mediation.”
12  Ibid.
13  “Kofi Annan Resigns as UN Syria Envoy,” The Times of India, August 2, 2014.
14  “UN Should Mandate Unhindered Humanitarian Access To and Within Syria,” International Crisis Group, 2013.
15  Dmitri Trenin, “Russia’s Line in the Sand on Syria,” Foreign Affairs, February 5, 2012.
16  Bonnie S. Glaser, “How Will China React to a Military Strike on Syria?” Center for Strategic and International Studies,
September 2013.
17  Warren Strobel, “Pentagon Cancels Plans to Buy Russian Helicopters,” Reuters, November 13, 2013.
18  Glaser, “How Will China React to a Military Strike on Syria?” CSIS.
19  Michael D. Swaine, “Chinese Views of the Syrian Conflict,” Carnegie Endowment for
20  Ramesh Thakur, “R2P After Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging Powers,” The Washington Quarterly 36(2): 61-76.

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‘It’s all Just Talk’

In cases where the UNSC has been able to reach a consensus, there is a lack of effective
implementation. With the case of Syria, it has been reported that despite chemical weapons inspectors, foreign fighters, weapon deliveries, and cash transfers being allowed access
inside Syria’s borders, UN humanitarian aid is still blocked by militant groups.21 It is worth
questioning how well equipped the institution’s resources are when it comes to approaching
regions in such turmoil. A recent Brazilian paper entitled, “Responsibility while Protecting”
addresses the deficiency of the UNSC’s monitoring of mandated operations.22 It seems that
members have authorized missions without providing necessary resources and also lack
experienced military planners during meetings to review the potential risks and challenges
of operations.23
The communication gap within the Council is an obstacle that was most evident during
the 2011 Libyan intervention. It was reported that NATO ignored restrictions against targeting Gaddafi, rejected ceasefire negotiations and broke the arms embargo by arming rebels.24
The “over interpretation” of the mandate resulted in much international criticism and unwillingness from the Council to oppose any possible risks of aggression thereafter. Syria has
evidently paid the price for this, the cost being that the UN has failed to take any effective
action in the country. It has been pointed out that the lengthy debate surrounding the concept of intervention itself has made it difficult to deploy other nonmilitary tools in situations
of violence. In Syria, this includes targeted humanitarian relief and coordinated diplomatic
efforts to alleviate civilian suffering.25 These shortcomings only strengthen the view that the
UNSC is flawed when implementing resolutions, and its inconsistency will likely continue
when acting against impending crises.

A Distorted Image
A major structural impediment difficult to overlook are the many diverse voices missing from the conversation of how to best protect the most vulnerable populations from
mass atrocities. Former British ambassador David Hannay once said that the five permanent
members are like Brahmins, “They move around in a different world to the world of the
great unwashed out there who aren’t members of the Security Council.”26 It has been stated
that a key but less prominent goal of the UNSC is to focus on producing a consensus among
the major powers. This goal has evidently been successful, considering there has not been a
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 

Samer Attar, “The Assad Regime Continues to Block Humanitarian Aid for Syria,” The Washinton Post, October 27, 2013.
Thakur, “R2P After Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging Powers,” The Washington Quarterly.
Bosco, “Uncertain Guardians,” 439.
Thakur, “R2P After Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging Powers,” The Washington Quarterly.
Western and Goldstein, “R2P After Syria,” Foreign Affairs.
Bosco, “Uncertain Guardians,” 439.

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sustained military clash between P-5 members for over 60 years. Yet, atrocities continue to
be committed in the developing world.27
The legitimacy of the institution is further undermined by its lack of diverse opinions in
the area of conflict resolution. Thakur states that in New York, “A recent roundtable on R2P
after Libya had exclusively Western writers.” This UN-adapted principle works to create a
norm around the obligation of governments to protect vulnerable populations from brutality when their own states fail to provide security. Many claim that there are gaps surrounding this topic and that R2P has become a North-South issue. However, it should be noted
that non-Western societies have also used reciprocal rights that bind states and citizens, a
concept that R2P fundamentally enhances.28 Additionally, the structure of the UNSC itself is
unreflective of the current global picture, which has evolved immensely since its inception.
As Mallin points out, countries such as Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan have “argued for
their ascension into the [P-5] in virtue of their economic and political standings.”29
In order to progress, the institution needs to be adaptable to its surroundings, but
it seems that global-elitism has become a barricade to making that happen.30 Renowned
author of global governance Stewert Patrick exclaims, “The demand for international cooperation has not diminished. In fact, it is greater than ever, thanks to deepening economic interdependence, worsening environmental degradation, proliferating transnational threats,
and accelerating technological change.”31 The UNSC must acknowledge the influence of
emerging-market societies in order to be successful in Syria, as well as other conflicts in the
future, for the world is rapidly globalizing.

Conclusion
This essay examined the role of the UN Security Council and the P-5 in regards to the
Syrian conflict, which has endured relentlessly since 2011. This paper sought to answer the
question of whether the institution can be looked upon as a reliable tool for resolution in
situations of extreme threat – especially during times of global change. Different aspects of
the Security Council were analyzed as well as how they played into the decisions made regarding Syria. Further questions can be analyzed, like what kind of precedent the inaction
in Syria sets for the future of peace management, and what particular strengths emerging
nation-states can bring to the table regarding this issue.

27  Bosco, “Uncertain Guardians,” 439.
28  Thakur, “R2P After Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging Powers,” The Washington Quarterly.
29  Mallin, “Reforming the United Nations: The Permanent Five,” Global Summitry Project.
30  Ibid.
31  Stewart Patrick, “The Unruled World The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,” Foreign Affairs.

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This paper has discussed many impediments to effective action by the UNSC. The
major obstacle faced while seeking attainable solutions is that various political objectives
complicate and prolong the decision-making process. Innocent civilian populations end up
paying the price in the long run. Previous cases have also illustrated that the UNSC is weak
and inefficient in carrying out authorized mandates. Also, it has been outlined that the lack
of diverse players within the institution is not only a setback in peaceful resolution attempts,
but also unreflective of the international realm today. These points lead to the conclusion
that irresolution towards the Syrian conflict has, in fact, proven that the UNSC is structurally and politically flawed as a modern international institution and cannot be looked upon
as a viable source for effective action in future humanitarian crises.
In a broader context, global governance is rapidly changing along with modern-day
conflicts. The international community is beginning to see wars involving multiple parties
militarily capable of putting up a resilient fight. The prospect of success has dropped significantly. It also seems that international institutions can no longer depend on a handful of
powerful countries to maintain a balance of power in the world. Any security threats that
surface in the future will require a much more structured and focused approach when taking
action. After nearly three years of civil war in Syria, it is clear that one size does not fit all
when it comes to conflict-management.

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Works Cited
Attar, Samer, “The Assad Regime Continues to Block Humanitarian Aid for Syria,” The
Washinton Post, 2013.
Bosco, David, “Uncertain Guardians,” International Journal 66 (2010): 439.
Entous, Adam, “Top Western-Backed Rebel in Syria is Forced to Flee; Islamic Front Takes
Over aid Warehouses From Moderate Rebels,” Wall Street Journal (Online), December
11, 2013.
Glaser, Bonnie S., “How Will China React to a Military Strike on Syria?” Center for Strategic
and International Studies, September 2013.
Grieg, J, “Intractable Syria? Insights from the Scholarly Literature on the Failure of Mediation,” Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs 2 (2013): 48.
Kaphle, Anup, “Timeline: Unrest in Syria,” The Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2014.
Kenner, David, “Why is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It
Will Never Fight?” Foreign Policy, December 12, 2013.
“Kofi Annan Resigns as UN Syria Envoy,” The Times of India, August 2, 2014.
Mallin, Hannah, “Reforming the United Nations: The Permanent Five” Global Summitry
Project, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2014.
Obama, Barrack, “Press Conference by the President,” U.S. Press Filing Center L’Aquila, Italy,
July 10, 2009.
Ramesh, Thakur, “R2P After Libya and Syria: Engaging Emerging Powers,” The Washington
Quarterly 36(2): 61-76.
Soloman, Erika, “Syria’s Death Toll Now Exceeds 140,000: Activist Group,” Reuters, 14 Feb.
2014.
Stark, Alex, “Edited Collection – The Responsibility to Protect,” E-International Relations,
November 21, 2011.
Stewart, Patrick, “The Unruled World The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,”
Foreign Affairs, 2014.
Strobel, Warren, “Pentagon Cancels Plans to Buy Russian Helicopters,” Reuters, November
13, 2013.
Swaine, Michael D., “Chinese Views of the Syrian Conflict,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 13, 2012.
“The First Meeting of MIKTA Foreign Ministers Was Held on the Sidelines of the UN General Assembly,” Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2014. 25 Feb. 2014.
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Trenin, Dmitri, “Russia’s Line in the Sand on Syria,” Foreign Affairs, February 5, 2012.
“UN Should Mandate Unhindered Humanitarian Access To and Within Syria,” International Crisis Group, 2013.
Western, Jon and Joshua S. Goldstein, “R2P After Syria,” Foreign Affairs, 26 Mar. 2013.

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Joint Intelligence for New Age Warfare: The Balkans
War of the Former Yugoslavia
A historical analysis of the intelligence activities, cooperation, and
challenges in the former Yugoslavia, 1992-1995
Jessica Blakely

Introduction
Though the Western intelligence community originally thought the end of the Cold
War would imply a decline in the need for intelligence capabilities and operations, the geopolitical scene in the early 1990s proved it wrong. The failing of the government stronghold
that occurred in multiple states led to the rise of intrastate wars between disgruntled parties. Although these conflicts were small in scale, the large amount of concentrated violence
forced the international community to intervene as a joint peacekeeping force. This role was
unlike most conflicts of the past; the western allies were not directly involved in the conflict.
The change in the role played by members of the international community subsequently led
to a change in the role of intelligence. The first of these conflicts that reflected the changing roles was the Balkans War, erupting in 1992, that followed almost ten years of political
and societal anxiety. This paper outlines the changed intelligence requirements due to the
unique complexities of these intrastate conflicts. The joint intelligence that took place was a
relatively new concept, as very few intelligence partnerships had existed prior to the end of
the Cold War. Next, the applications involved in joint intelligence are applied to the Balkans
War. The original independent intelligence tasks are described, followed by a shift to joint
intelligence collection and operations. Finally, the impact of the Balkans War on intelligence
in future peacekeeping operations is analyzed, suggesting that joint intelligence will continue for years to come.

Importance of Joint Intelligence in Peacekeeping Operations
The Beginning of Peacekeeping Operations
Following WWII, the Western intelligence agencies had an East-West mentality.1 The
Cold War made the Soviet Union the key intelligence focus for all Western allies; even

1  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” Srebrenica: a ‘safe’ area,
Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, Appendix II: 1-242,

Jessica Blakely graduated from the University of Southern California in 2014.
She holds a B.S. in Global Health and a B.A. in International Relations. She
now works as a government contractor in Washington, DC.

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83

smaller intelligence issues throughout the era generally linked back to the Cold War rhetoric.2 However, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the eradication of the Soviet Union came a
change in the nature of intelligence operations. The early 1990s saw a surge in low-intensity
conflicts also known as complex emergencies. These typically intrastate conflicts had specific characteristics unlike others that the world had seen in that they involved warring parties that clung to social identities in the midst of change.3 Groups had varying amounts of
deprivation based on social, political, and economic dynamics. Certain groups within the
divided states often did not identify with, or felt oppressed by, the political leaders, causing
them to eventually rise up against the government in guerrilla-like warfare tactics.
These intrastate conflicts generally required international intervention. This came in the
form of peacekeeping operations that required military personnel to develop skills such as
foreign politics and nation-building in order to account for their new roles as peacekeepers.4
Cooperation between state governments, local civilians, nongovernmental organizations,
international allies, international adversaries, the military, and the intelligence community
became key pieces to the puzzles that complex emergencies produced. The very interrelated
nature that these conflicts created led to a similar shift in the international community.
These complex emergencies demand a diverse set of skills and intelligence requirements. Joint intelligence between allied forces was imperative for these peacekeeping operations because they emphasized open-sourced information, multilateral intelligence sharing
at all levels, and strategic planning for tactical ground missions. The intelligence collected
includes human intelligence (HUMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), open-source intelligence (OSINT), counterintelligence, and subcategories.5 The intelligence communities
needed to collaborate on political, diplomatic, and economic efforts, instead of the traditional target-oriented militaristic approach.6 The joint intelligence efforts quickly became
crucial for determining mission capabilities, because peacekeeping troops needed to be able
to address the effectiveness of the campaigns, particularly the number of warring militias
and guerrilla groups.7

2  Mark M. Lowenthal, “Chapter 12 - The Intelligence Agenda: Transnational Issues,” in Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy,
(Los Angeles: CQ Press, 2012).
3  David Carment and Martin Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries, (New York, NY:
Routledge, 2006).
4  Lawrence E. Cline, “Operational Intelligence in Peace Enforcement and Stability Operations,” International Journal of
Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 15: 179-194.
5  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.
6  Cline, “Operational Intelligence in Peace Enforcement and Stability Operations,” 179-194.
7  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.

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History of Joint and NATO Intelligence
Though joint intelligence was not as common in the Cold War era, the Western world
did have a history of intelligence cooperation. Beginning with World War II, the United
Kingdom and the United States (UKUSA) COMINT Agreement helped the allied forces
defeat the Germans. U.S. technology developed over time, causing a shift from HUMINT
to SIGINT during the heart of the Cold War. However, the technological advances behind
SIGINT innovations became so protected that joint intelligence was minimized. Fearing
security breaches and information leaks, the NSA broke off contacts with other intelligence
agencies and services. Overall, the Cold War demonstrated that when it comes to SIGINT,
no intelligence service truly friendly with another service; states may be allies but intelligence services will never trust each other.8
The emergence of NATO-allied military forces during the Cold War led to a reliance
on the intelligence cycle, information assurance, and information superiority over the adversary. Information superiority is still one of the most powerful intelligence cycle achievements. Intelligence is essential for the military decision-making process during the preparation and execution of NATO operations.9
Following the end of the Cold War, NATO had independent intelligence capacities,
but member states were still unsure of how to properly work together towards joint goals.
Not delegating tasks and collection made operations completely independent but lacking in
content. The system for rapid dissemination was very complex and expensive and was prone
to difficulties in a deployed field environment.10
The joint NATO intelligence must be professional, adaptable, technologically competent, and operationally focused. Its collaborative nature and innovation are still the hallmarks of the diverse, experienced, and multilateral workforce for which teamwork is second
nature.11

The Balkans War
Background to the Conflict
After WWII, a federation of six independent, historically warring republics came together under communist President Tito to form the Republic of Yugoslavia.12 When he
died on May 4, 1980, the decades-long unification began to crumble. Nationalist sentiments
8  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” 1-242.
9  Gheorghe Boaru, and Ioan-Mihai Ilies, “Information Assurance - Intelligence - Information Superiority Relationship Within
NATO Operations,” Journal of Defense Resources Management 2: 111-120.
10  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” 1-242.
11  “About the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre (NIFC),” About the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre (NIFC),
12  The Washington Post Online, “Time Lines: Balkans 1940s to 1999,” Washington Post

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began arising within all six ethnic groups, particularly in the form of powerful Serb rhetoric.
Rising political leader Slobodan Milosevic sparked a flame in 1987 when he announced that
the Serbs would soon reclaim Kosovo, an ethnically Albanian and highly disputed region.
In 1989, Milosevic became president of Yugoslavia.13
Within two years, Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia declared their independence, resulting
in violent threats from the ruling Serb government.14 The Serb-dominated Yugoslav army
quickly lashed out to prevent the autonomy calls, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia.15
Soon, the violence spread to Bosnia, where fighting between the local Serbs, Muslims, and
Croats became one of the bloodiest conflicts since WWII.16 The Bosnian Serb army, under
leader Radovan Karadzic and backed by Milosevic, began carrying out a massive campaign
of ethnic cleansing in an attempt to rid Bosnia of the Muslims and Croats.17
The international community took notice of these atrocities. The United Nations sent
in the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) under a Charter VI peacekeeping mandate.
However, because the mandate did not allow them to fight back, the international peace efforts were in vain.18 After a bloody mortar shell attack on Markale Market in Sarajevo and a
cold, calculated massacre on the Muslim town of Srebrenica, the allied NATO forces began
a month-long bombing campaign against Bosnian-Serb forces.19 Only then did the violence
cease, leading to the Dayton Peace Accords, signed in 1995.

Changed Requirements
As the first true international peacekeeping operation, the Bosnian War required military and intelligence operations that were new to the international community. However,
the fact that the brewing conflict in Yugoslavia was of a different nature did not stop officials
from still viewing the conflict in the “old way.”20 For the warring factions in the region, alliances and enemies were not fixed concepts, leading to ever-changing roles and complications. Western intelligence services were confronted with an intelligence structure that was
not properly suited to the Balkans. There was complete capacity for gathering intelligence
for a large-scale conflict, but the Bosnian War was much smaller and had some foundation
in its grassroots rebel groups. This led to problems surrounding intelligence liaison within
the Western agencies.
13  Ibid.
14  Ibid.
15  BBC News Europe, “Balkans war: a brief guide,” Washington Post.
16  The Washington Post Online, “Time Lines: Balkans 1940s to 1999.”
17  BBC News Europe, “Balkans war: a brief guide.”
18  Ibid.
19  The Washington Post Online, “Time Lines: Balkans 1940s to 1999.”
20  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” 1-242.

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Original Intelligence Operations and Capacities in the Conflict
The conflict in the Balkans clearly reflected NATO member states’ inability and, perhaps, unwillingness to combine efforts in a large joint intelligence cooperative. Because each
member state had its own intelligence agenda, troops on the ground became confused. For
example, American commanders often had more information regarding their missions than
their French and German counterparts. NATO allied forces were already joint in nature,
giving specific individuals more access to necessary intelligence than others within the same
unit. Furthermore, the American intelligence system was much more advanced than its
NATO counterparts. The CIA and the NSA had the technological means to collect and
process much more SIGINT than other allies’ intelligence agencies. However, because of
their geographical proximity, European allies were better positioned to collect other types
of intelligence. Unfortunately, the lack of coordination caused intelligence challenges within
all the NATO member states.

American Balkan Task Force
The Director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates, created the Balkan Task Force (BTF)
in June of 1992, following U.S. intelligence predictions that Yugoslavia would dissolve into
war.21 The BTF had a key function of collection management: supervising intelligence analysts. The U.S. intelligence community needed well-communicated priorities and an efficient, non-competitive tasking process. American analysts also needed to be trained so they
could understand rivalries among Bosnia’s Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, as well as historical
bases and current friction points. The BTF developed an Order of Battle, which tracked
the organizational structure, number of military personnel involved, and major equipment
items of the warring parties.22 Furthermore, the BTF was credited with fine-tuning sanctions
against Serbia, supporting humanitarian airlifts into Bosnia, and determining necessary aid
materials and their dissemination for refugee situations. Analysts examined many types of
different scenarios, always trying to stay one step ahead of the fighting.

International Independent Efforts
Approximately 20 countries operated their own independent SIGINT collection operations in Bosnia.23 The Canadian Communications Security Establishment is a part of the
Canadian Department of National Defense; there was a constant flow of COMINT for the
Canadian troops participating in UNPROFOR.24 This was due to the special CFIOG unit
21  Daniel W. Wagner and James O. Carson, “Year One of the DCI Interagency Balkan Task Force,” Bosnia, Intelligence, and
the Clinton Presidency: The Role of Intelligence and Political Leadership in Ending the Bosnian War 1: 15-21,
22  Wagner and Carson, “Year One of the DCI Interagency Balkan Task Force,: 15-21.
23  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.
24  Cees Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003).

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stationed at Pleso during the war. In addition, The United Kingdom was active through the
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).25
The British intelligence services were stationed in Split, the Bosnia-Herzegovina
Command in Hiseljak and one in Sarajevo.26 However, the British supplied little intelligence
to UNPROFOR.27 The most important activity on the British intelligence bases became the
work of electronic eavesdroppers, listening to radio traffic in the Balkans.28
Finland played a role as well with the Finnish National SIGINT Organization, the VKL,
expanding its activities during the war to include tactical SIGINT collection. Using these
capabilities, the VKL was able to provide support to electronic warfare efforts by the Finnish
troops.29
Germany found itself split between intelligence efforts. The German SIGINT organization, the BND, was responsible for the mass collection and analysis.30 The German Army
began its own SIGINT operations by making use of its own tracking and monitoring stations
in Germany. In the summer of 1995, the BND flew daily SIGINT missions with a Brequet
Atlantique aircraft over the Adriatic. In conjuncture with the Brigade de Renseignement dt
de Guerre Electronique, the French DGSE used a spy ship called the Berry to conduct most
of its intelligence collection.31

Joint SIGINT Collection and Analysis
At first, it was very difficult for the Western intelligence organizations to break the
Cold War mindset barrier that led to a lack of intelligence sharing. Due to technological
superiority, the Americans had access to more SIGINT and COMINT but rarely shared it.
Additionally, the U.S. government had recently made personnel and funding cuts to the
NSAin anticipation for a lessened need for international intelligence collection. This made
processing the large volume of SIGINT difficult. There also was a lack of funds to recruit
new and linguistically competent personnel for the Yugoslav conflict. Even the Pentagon
complained that the NSA was too slow in processing and disseminating necessary intelligence, claiming it was more concerned with maintaining security than improving tactical
war-fighting capabilities.32

25  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” 1-242.
26  Ibid.
27  Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia.
28  Ibid.
29  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.
30  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” 1-242.
31  Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia.
32  Ibid.

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These barriers were slowly broken down with the formation of the NATO Linked
Intelligence Operations Centre Europe (LOCE). LOCE dealt mostly with ELINT, relating
to hostile radar and air defense systems. Tactical military COMINT was also processed, focusing on lower-level communications traffic. In order to have an easy location for dissemination and discussion, the Southern European NATO Command at Naples (AFSOUTH)
created an intelligence unit. This unit was known as the Deployed Shed Facility (DSF) and
served as the intelligence-sharing headquarters.33
Many countries began to participate in the DSF, making SIGINT collection much more
common; it was clear that SIGINT had considerable ability to generate high-quality intelligence information for peacekeepers in Bosnia.34 The high level of violence and threat to
international troops on the ground made SIGINT abilities to chart military activities and
movements. COMINT allowed intelligence services to gather, intercept, and decode military and diplomatic messages, all while creating interdependency within different states’
agencies. For example, the Canadian CSE became dependent on the NSA with regard to
decoding, translation, and processing of Canadian COMINT.35 Other states worked with
NATO allies as well, and there were regular exchanges between NATO and non-member
states such as Austria, Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden.36
One of the main types of joint intelligence gathering and sharing involved intercepting
conversations between high-level Serb government and military officials. The monitoring of
microwave telephone networks of the Yugoslav government by means of satellites, aircraft,
and other interception methods proved very successful in determining Serb government attitudes regarding their own military operations. Many of these interceptions were telephone
calls between Milosevic and Karadzic. These gave great insight into Milosevic’s political and
military support to the operations of the Bosnian Serbs and showed that he was very aware
of the ethnic cleansing campaign conducted by the Bosnian Serb government.37

Joint Intelligence Operations Efforts
Intercepting Conversations
Though these conversations were often intercepted, it was not done easily; the NSA
went to great lengths to discover weak points in Serbian encryption. The Serbs used cryptography equipment that made it very difficult to monitor their communications traffic. The
Serbs commonly used the Swiss company Crypto AG for their telecommunications needs.
33  Ibid.
34  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.
35  Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia.
36  Ibid.
37  Ibid.

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What they did not know was that Crypto AG often helped point the NSA towards technological weak points and guided them towards proper interception. The NSA also worked
hard to recruit Serbo-Croat translators, who were often few throughout the United States.38

The Croatian Pipeline
Despite increasing arms embargoes from 1991-1992, secret weapons supplies shipments still took place. On September 4, 1992, the CIA discovered an Iran Air Boeing 747
at the Zagreb airport in Croatia.39 This jumbo jet was loaded with weapons, ammunitions,
anti-tank rockets, communications equipment, and other military supplies. Though it was
unknown who was responsible, pieces of the puzzle began to come together when, a month
later, Bosnian President Izetbegovic paid a surprise visit to Teheran and entered various
agreements with the Iranian government.40 It then became public that Iran had been supplying goods to the Bosnian government via the Zagreb airport.
At this time, President Clinton had begun his tenure and approached the Balkans War
with a much different approach than his predecessor. He and National Security Adviser
Anthony Lake wanted to lift the arms embargo to capitalize on weapons sales in the region.
It was calculated that over a three to five month period, Iran had armed about 30,000 ABiH
soldiers, illustrating the lucrative nature of the sales. Soon, Turkey began to jump on board,
also supplying arms to Bosnia via Zagreb. NATO allies and the United Nations were not
pleased with the idea of removing the embargo, frustrating United States Special Envoy
Richard Holbrooke. To expedite the United States’ entry into the Croatian pipeline, he proposed to deliver arms and ammunitions to the ABiH through third party countries such as
Iran and Turkey.41
The international political stance on the arms embargo shifted on February 5, 1994.
After a mortar shell exploded on Sarajevo’s Markale Market, the Western world was rocked
with images of bloody limbs and 70 bodies.42 With these images of civilian suffering in
mind, the NATO allies began pressing for greater U.S. involvement in the Balkans War,
regardless of the legal implications. Soon after, the option of entering the Croatian pipeline
truly became an option on the American political table. The U.S. Ambassador in Zagreb,
Peter Galbraith, believed the supplies should be shipped, and he stated that he would assist
in whatever way possible.43 He proposed using disguised Iranian Boeing 747s for the supplies in an attempt to not directly violate UN Resolutions 713 and 781. Though there were
38  Ibid.
39  Ibid.
40  Ibid.
41  Ibid.
42  Ibid.
43  Ibid.

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worries regarding the rising strife between Croats and Bosnian Muslims, Galbraith believed
the United States should give half of the weapons to the Croats and the other half to the
Muslims.44
Zagreb would not be the only destination. Flights would also land on the Croatian island
of Krk, and Albania would act as a transit port. The green light was given, and American
arms began flowing liberally through the Croatian pipeline. In total, the CIA gave 14,000
tons of weapons, while the Iranians gave approximately 5,000 tons.45

The Black Flights
In February 1995, there were sightings of a secretive nighttime flight to Tuzla Air Base,
a NATO, United States, and Russian shared runway near Tuzla International Airport in
Bosnia. Observers believed it looked and sounded like a four-engine Hercules C-130. This
quickly caused great agitation within UNPROFOR and the international community since
it was unknown who was responsible for the flights. Various European countries became
suspicious about the flights, as these arms supplies came at the height of the Balkans violence. Equipment delivered by the C-130 consisted mainly of quick-firing weapons, ammunition, uniforms, helmets, new anti-tank weapons, and Stingers. Norwegian Air Force
Captain Oivind Moldestad reported the flights on February 10, 1995, but nothing was done
with the information.46
Moldestad was not the only one to observe them as Norwegian logistics battalions also
thought they saw the flights. The actual landings of the flights were never seen, leading to
the belief that low-altitude cargo airdrops were being carried out. UNPROFOR observers
noted that the head of the Bosnian Air Force began showing up at Tuzla Air Base for short
periods of time, something that was relatively unseen before the suspicions surrounding
these flights existed. Many NATO allies believed the United States was behind the flights,
as only the United States had the technical capacity and flight skills needed to carry out this
type of operation.47
There were a number of states that became suspect, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,
Turkey, and Iran, as they all had strong military capacities and Muslim sympathizers. There
was still the question of the flight skills involved, leading to another theory: that the United
States used a third party supplier to the ABiH to avoid angering NATO and the UN.48
However, the true nature of the intelligence operations has not yet been declassified, and
the actual source of the Black Flights is still shrouded in suspicions.
44  Ibid.
45  Ibid.
46  Ibid.
47  Ibid.
48  Ibid.

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Impact of the Balkans War on Intelligence in Future Peacekeeping Operations
The Balkans War has led to three main changes in the international intelligence community. First, peacekeeping intelligence has led to a changed role of intelligence in conflicts
themselves. Second, intelligence capabilities have been expanded to include political, cultural, and economic functions to alleviate complex emergencies. Third, the international
community has become more open to the sharing of high-level SIGINT, leading to increased
efficiency in joint operations.
Many of the conflicts following the Balkans War have seen NATO allied forces as a form
of outside intervention in the conflict3. Because of this role, the intelligence community has
reshaped its role in such conflicts to focus on force protection.49 Force protection directly
and immediately affects the force’s political and popular support.50 Therefore, joint intelligence must form an expanding threat indication and create alerts for peace forces as they
deploy. Success in the operations relies on robust force protection through the monitoring
of movements and activities of the warring parties in order to keep them apart.51
Peacekeeping intelligence has become a fully multilateral task, emphasizing open information and gathering of all types of information, rather than solely militaristic. The war
in the Balkans taught the international community that resolving such conflicts requires
intelligence on political, cultural, and economic factors. Within the Balkans War, the international community failed to address the problem of small arms proliferation, as seen in the
Black Flights and the Croatian Pipeline. This, and other operations, has led to the formation
of economic intelligence that provides the ability to track small arms and weapons sales and
shipments. This helps prevent the arming of warring parties. In 1999, the Small Arms Survey
was developed to highlight the political, economic, social, and cultural contexts relevant
for understanding small arms sales. This information helped to better control, prevent, and
solve sales and shipments of weapons.52
The Balkans War also helped illustrate the need for sharing intelligence operatives and
collections in the post-Cold War era. During the Balkans War, the great level of secrecy surrounding SIGINT prevented it from reaching the right people at lower levels.53 The lack of
coordinated SIGINT gathering further exasperated political and technical obstacles at play.
Because alliances and coalitions serve to reduce threats to national security, not sharing
intelligence lessens the very reason for the alliance. Many of the interoperability problems
in the Balkans were resolved through the installation of technology in allied formations.54
49  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.
50  Colonel H. Allen Boyd, “Joint Intelligence in Support of Peace Operations,” Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, 25.
51  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.
52  Ibid.
53  “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security services,” 1-242.
54  Carment and Rudner, Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended Boundaries.

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Since the Balkans War, the U.S. and its allies have devised procedural workarounds to facilitate greater allied cooperation. Increased access to common databases has led to shared
awareness, the harmonization of operational goals, and the elimination of inefficiencies in
achieving them.55 NATO has since created the NATO Intelligence Fusion Center (NIFC),
a military-led, U.S.-sponsored organization.56 NIFC became fully operational in December
2007 and has helped counter the inherent lack of trust between allied forces. This has lessened the grievances and concerns associated with interdependency and opened the door to
a greater number of successful joint intelligence operations.

Conclusion
Following the Balkans War, the international intelligence community became much
more cooperative in nature. The Balkans War showed political leaders that the previous
intelligence strategies, shadowed in distrust of allies, would no longer prove effective. The
individual efforts among NATO member states often overlapped, causing confusion and a
limited amount of individual-states’ manpower. Convolution in intrastate conflicts required
intelligence on political, cultural, historical, and economic scenarios, as opposed to solely
military efforts. Joint intelligence efforts resulted in a larger pool from which to choose
intelligence personnel. Individual NATO member states were soon tasked specific collection requirements, based on what aspect of the mission they would be best suited for. These
states all reported to a single source, streamlining the analysis and dissemination process.
Consequentially, operations such as conversation interceptions, the Croatian Pipeline, and
the Black Flights were made possible. Now, twenty years later, joint intelligence has further
developed and is applied in multiple multifaceted conflicts, proving that the intelligence lessons from the Balkans have not been forgotten.

55  Ibid.
56  “About the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre (NIFC).”

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news/world-europe-17632399.
Boaru, Gheorghe and Ioan-Mihai Ilies. “Information Assurance - Intelligence - Information Superiority Relationship Within NATO Operations.” Journal of Defense Resources
Management 2: 111-120.
Boyd, Colonel H. Allen. “Joint Intelligence in Support of Peace Operations.” Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin 25.
Carment, David, and Martin Rudner.  Peacekeeping Intelligence: New Players, Extended
Boundaries. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006.
Cline, Lawrence E. “Operational Intelligence in Peace Enforcement and Stability Operations.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 15: 179-194.
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Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. “Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 19921995: The role of the intelligence and security services.” Srebrenica: a ‘safe’ area Appendix II: 1-242. http://www.srebrenica-project.com/DOWNLOAD/NOD/Appendix%20
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publications/historical-collection-publications/bosnia-intelligence-and-the-clintonpresidency/Clinton_Bosnia_Booklet.pdf.
The Washington Post Online. “Time Lines: Balkans 1940s to 1999.” Washington Post. http://
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/balkans/timeline.htm.
Wiebes, Cees. Intelligence and the War in Bosnia. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers,
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