Journal UNISCI/Revista UNISCI nº 50 (May/Mayo 2019) Indonesia, China, Middle East, North Africa, Kosovo, NATO, Public Diplomacy, Migration

Antonio Marquina: Editor´s Note/Nota Editorial
Selected Bibliography/Bibliografía Seleccionada


Necessity as a Force for Change: Refuting Reform Optimists and Reform Skeptics of Contemporary...

Jonathan Chen, Leonard C. Sebastian
Abstract: This article seeks to situate the current political polity of post-reformasi Indonesia by arguing against reform optimists and reform skeptics. It argues that necessity had given rise to wide-spread reforms within Indonesia. However, as a “politics-as-usual” atmosphere re-dominated the political landscape, the pace of reform was not as qualitatively comprehensive, its scope and variety decreased. Nonetheless, earlier necessity-driven reforms had set in place the bulwark of immutable change within Indonesia’s political landscape that makes re-centralization, or rather a reversion to New Order authoritarianism quite impractical.
Key words: Reform, Necessity, Politics-as-usual, Democratization, Decentralization.

China´s Bilateral Free Trade Agreements as Strategic Alignments: Building of a Comprehensive Cooperation Network...

Song Guoyou, Andres Borquez, Fabiola Zibetti Wust
Abstract: . This study distances itself from the approach that argues that China only exerts influence in Latin American through loans, aid and investment, since China has also established alignments that include sophisticated economic hubs. China has developed initiatives that this article calls "non-traditional economic influences" which have been established initially with pragmatic countries located in the Pacific Rim with which China has signed Free Trade Agreements (Chile, Peru and Costa Rica). In order to examine this empirical regularity, the article applies a Fuzzy-set Analysis exploring which factors are necessary and sufficient conditions for a Latin American country to sign an FTA with China. The results suggest that recognition of China as a market economy, a complementary economy with a low level of industrial competition, and a country with a high standard of regulations are conditions for signing an FTA.
Key words: China, Free Trade Agreements, Preconditions, “non-traditional economic influences”, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica.


Trump and Palestine: The Crowning of an American Approach

Dan Tschirgi
Abstract: The American approach to the problem of Palestine long rested on several recognizable pillars: a basic sympathy with the Zionist program, a sincerely felt belief that Palestinian Arabs had largely been victimized by historical forces that the United States itself had found it necessary to serve, and an unstated—but real—feeling of guilt over the key role Washington played in the 1948 birth of the Jewish state. Donald Trump’s presidency upended the long-held US posture on the Palestine issue, making Washington far more amenable to Israel’s growing appetite for Arab Lands taken in 1967. In his first two years in office Trump instituted a series of administrative and economic measures apparently designed to force the PLO’s acceptance of a still-unannounced peace plan. This article suggests that Trump’s strategy will fail..
Key words: Peace Process, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem, Mid-East Peace

Post-Hegemonic (Dis)order and Regional Balancing Strategies in the Middle East

Kostas Ifantis
Abstract: Following the so-called Arab Spring, the strategic situation in the Middle East has been one of disorder. A series of critical, complex and interrelated security failures have resulted in chaos and bloodshed unprecedented even for a region with Middle East’s history and legacy. The demand for intervention has been high but the response has been very low. In such an unchartered and rapidly deteriorating regional security setting, this paper argues that the conspicuous absence of US hegemonic engagement has allowed for the return to overt regional balance of power strategies and proxy conflicts. Our hypothesis is that a regional balance of power and the resulting order (or disorder) heavily depends on the type of great power regional engagement. In such a context, the “hands off” or non-hegemonic approach that characterizes US strategy since the Arab Spring eruption has heavily contributed to a highly disorderly regional balance of power landscape. In the absence of US hegemonic involvement, revisionist threats emerge and local rivalries intensify.
Key words: Middle East, Hegemonic stability, Balance of power, Order, Strategy

Algeria: Determining Vectors of its Relationship with the European Union. Updating the Center-Periphery Relationship...

José Manuel Muñoz Puigcerver
Abstract: Since the last third of the twentieth century and up to the present, the relations of the European Union with Algeria have evolved parallel to the international system and following a natural dynamic center-periphery. Thus, the signing, in 1976, of a Cooperation Agreement consisting of, above all, the facilitation of trade exchanges and the provision of technical and economic assistance to the Maghrebi country, progressed in the adoption, in 2002, of the Agreement of Association, which granted Algeria the status of strategic partner of the EU. In this way, in addition to the economic component, issues arising from the globalization process such as immigration, terrorism and, especially, energy security have become the determining vectors of Euro-Algerian relations. Changes in the nature of this bilateral relationship define the main thesis of this article: Algeria is no longer perceived by the EU only as a trade partner but as a strategic partner.
Key words: India, Foreign Policy, Ideational, Structure, Agency, System, Global.


The Atlantic Alliance through the Historian´s Looking Glass

Massimo de Leonardis
Abstract: The article gives a long-term evaluation of the Atlantic Alliance in the context of contemporary world history. Actually, the American revolution had much more important impact on international relations than the French one and since their origins the United States envisaged a world role. The period of the Cold War was a parenthesis between two epochs in which the approach of the European countries and of the United States to international politics has been quite different, since their culture and historical experience are different. However, even during the Cold War it was impossible to create a real “Atlantic Community” as advocated in the Preamble and art. 2 of the Atlantic Treaty of 1949. The period after the Cold War saw diverging geopolitical perspectives among the NATO allies and President Trump gives rise to doubts on the importance he attaches to the Alliance. In conclusion, while NATO, the military structure, remains a formidable tool, the political alliance struggles to remain relevant.
Key words: Atlantic Alliance, NATO, United States

Kosovo- Serbia Agreements between Creative and Destructive Ambiguity

Bardhok Bashota , Bujar Dugolli
Abstract: The European Union (EU) engagement through a pro-active approach in facilitating the negotiation process for normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations is the most complex and challenging motion ever undertaken within the European External Action Service (EEAS). Since the process aimed to resolve the protracted disputes between the parties, efficient management of this process required the application of a specific approach. This article examines how the 'creative ambiguity' became the key approach to reaching the 2013 Agreement for Normalization of Relations between two countries, which foresaw the creation of a so-called Association of Serb Majority Municipalities. It concludes that the inertia of the process for normalization of relations between the engaged parties urged them to reach a comprehensive agreement, even with the possibility of a land swap.
Key words: Mediation, Normalization, Creative ambiguity, Association, EU, Kosovo, Serbia


From Propaganda to the New Public Diplomacy: Experienced and New Stakeholders in International Communication

Jorge Tuñón Navarro
Abstract: The “New Public Diplomacy” represents the latest evolution of soft power theories. In order to positively influence foreign perceptions within the framework of global public opinion, international communication deals with international stakeholders’ interactions, with the aim of determining media flows of information. Whether they are states, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, private companies, otherwise, press, publicity and/or public relations services are sought to shape international information. Facing such public diplomacy and/or propaganda practices, international communicators should avoid becoming mere instruments and instead play the analytical and critical role demanded by international society. Today, such a task involves increased complexity due to: 1) actors’ multiplicity, and 2) and the new balance of forces on the field of play.
Key words: International Communication, Propaganda, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), Public Relations, Soft Power.


The Illegal Migration Flows to the United States of America

Gloria Inés Ospina
Abstract: In this article I would like to emphasize that both president Trump and president Obama migratory policies have defended the same thing: the security of the United States borders and the legality of all immigrants who live and pretend to enter into the country. At this time, the southern border has become a “hot spot”, given the arrival of thousands of immigrants from Central America and from all over the world, including Africa, driven by the welcome that Mexican president, López Obrador, proclaimed and, thus, becoming Mexico an open borders country and an expedited passage zone to the United States, as well as a place for work. The situation of chaos, created in Mexico, presages future problems of national security of undesirable consequences for the continent.
Key words: Trump, Obama, Security, Borders, Legality, Immigration, Central America, Mexico, López Obrador.