Abstracts

 

Politica, Bind 33 (2001) 4

Abstracts

Preben Bonnén USA's Plans For A Missile Defense System and the Political Costs Associated With the Security Dilemma

A key element in USA's strategy for a defense system against missile attacks from "rogue states" centers around the notion of invulnerability. However, realizing this concept in practical and technological terms goes against conventional nuclear strategic thinking and established experience. The question is further intertwined with prospects that such a new type of defense initiative will undoubtedly jeopardize the existing international political system. The roles of China and Russia will have to be redefined in this new geopolitical arena vis-å-vis USA's missile defense strategy. Moreover, there is still the issue of Euro skepticism and its role in shaping the current political environment and public opinion. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on USA further heighten the relevance and, perhaps, the apparent need of the missile defense system. In the final analysis, will the US system truly root out terrorism or perhaps use it as means to further refine its new global geostrategic position in the wake of the Cold War Era?

Gorm Rye Olsen

Public Opinion In Europe and Development Aid To Africa:
Is There A Connection?

The international debate about development aid to Africa assumes that the public opinion has an affect on political decisions. However, this is hardly the case, judging by case studies of five European donors: France, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and the European Union. The absence of a link between opinion and decision making is explained primarily by centralized decision making processes and thus a weak link between government and society in this specific policy field. As a consequence, decisions regarding development aid are left to a small elite.

Anders Lundkvist
Democracy

Democracy has three necessary elements: majority rule, political freedom and political equality. The fundamental concept is political equality as the two others can be derived from it. In contrast, neither majority rule nor political freedom contains the two other elements. In relation to socialism, liberalism and democracy, a concept of democracy based on political equality means a possible combination of socialism and procedural democracy.

Side 472

Kristian Sloth

Disillusionment In Africa's Micro Cosmos:
Sudan's Failed Nation Building

46 years after gaining independence from British colonial rule, Sudan still struggles with what seems to be an unsolvable inter-societal security dilemma. Collective identities such as religion, language and ethnicity have been securitizised, and instead of marking the beginning of the construction of a national "self", the country's independence became the starting point for an antagonistic conflict between collective identities. These have evolved so strongly in opposition to each other that, today, the idea of a united Sudanese "sclf1 involving both the Arabic/ Muslim North and the Christian/animist South seems to be a very long termed and idealistic vision. Rather it is possible that Africa's next collapsed state will be Sudan. The article explores the reasons for the failed nation building.

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