Friday, October 22, 2021
Text Size

Journal of International Studies (JIS) Vol. 10, 2014

China and the Emerging Global Energy System
School International Relations and Politics
Mahatma Gandhi University
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Energy and resource security have become critical issues on the economic and strategic agenda in the Asian region as demand and dependence on imported supplies grow. Energy security cuts across many sectors–economic, environmental and national security. Recent increases in energy prices, climate change and a steady escalation in global energy demand –expected to rise by nearly 60% over the next 20 years–have led energy policy-makers across the world to engage in a wide ranging debate over how best to address their country’s future energy requirements. Regional powers, most notably China, have responded with nationalistic strategies to secure control over energy and commodity supplies. China is trying to shift its role from a passive recipient to an active innovator of international energy rules; from an onlooker to an active participant in international energy affairs; and from a receiver to a contributor of international energy policy. Major Asian powers are now redefining their foreign policy to meet the growing energy needs. This is most evident from the grand strategy adopted by China since 1991. China is destined to become a significant player in key energy- and resource-exporting regions, such as the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China’s new involvement in these regions could have a powerful impact on the strategic goals of other major power in the world. Asian stability is central to the global prosperity and security; thus, the potential for conflict driven by energy competition and resource insecurity must become a conscious and carefully crafted dimension of energy strategies of all leading players in the region.
Keywords: Energy security, geopolitics, sustainability, development, resource governance.

Sovereign Wealth Fund or State Capitalism: Nigeria’s Search for a Stable Economic Order
G. S. Mmaduabuchi, OKEKE
     Department of Political Science
University of Lagos
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
For quite some time now, the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) has become an issue in the front burner of Nigeria’s national debate. The manner it was handled by the federal government became suspicious because there was serious disagreement among the stake holders, starting with the source of funding. But the whole idea of SWF in itself has remained controversial especially with regard to the problem it is meant to solve. The paper makes a contribution to this debate with an analysis of the extant literature and theoretical framework. It cites examples of successful experiences of the SWF and the circumstances that back up their results and suggests that Nigeria’s search for a stable economic order does not lie in the SWF but more importantly to take care of all the necessary structural changes and erect a new political framework for a viable and durable economic development.
Keywords: Nigeria, Sovereign Wealth Fund, State Capitalism, Stable Economic Order.

Zimbabwe’s Experience in International Peace-Support Operations Since 1980
John Max Chinyanganya
National Defence College
University of Zimbabwe
Sadiki Maeresera
School of Social Sciences
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
This article makes a critical analysis of Zimbabwe’s contribution to peacekeeping and peace-support operations in the period 1980 to 2000. It argues that this contribution has brought in a new thrust of peacekeeping operations of coercing the other party to the negotiating table. The article demonstrates the complexity of traditional peacekeeping operations where member states (and in this case Zimbabwe) have made notable contribution to the cause of peacekeeping operations, not only through traditional methods and principles of peacekeeping but also through various other methodologies such as peace-support efforts. Using the 1980 to 2000 time frame, in case studying Zimbabwe’s contribution to peace support operations, this article demonstrates that even developing countries have the capacity and political willingness to shape international activities.
Keywords: Zimbabwe, United Nations, Peacekeeping/Peace Support Operations, Non-Military Agencies.

The Syrian Conflict: Regional Dimensions and Implications
Sherko Kirmanj
School of International Studies
UUM College of Law, Government and International
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The Syrian conflict which started in March 2011 is well into its third year and its dimensions and implications are steadily moving beyond Syrian borders and the broader Middle East. Syria’s uprising has developed into a civil war between government forces and the opposition, motivated primarily by internal and external actors’ strategic and at times existential interests. This article examines the implications and dimensions of the Syrian crisis for the major actors in the region, including Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, the Gulf States, Israel and the Kurds. It argues that pitting a Shiite Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah axis against a Sunni Turkey-Gulf states axis is the most significant geo-political regional effect of the Syrian crisis. What is more devastating is not the division of the region along sectarian lines but the proxy war between the Shiite and Sunni factions.
Keywords: Syrian conflict, Shiite-Sunni Sectarianism, Regional Dimensions, Kurdish Question.

A Quest for Defining Terrorism in International Law: The Emerging Consensus
Mohammed Salman Mahmood
Ahmad Masum
School of Law
UUM College of Law, Government and International Studies
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The United Nations (UN) has no internationally-agreed definition of terrorism. The definitional impasse has prevented the adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. Even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the UN failed to adopt the Convention, and the deadlock continues to this day. The prime reason is the standoff with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The Arab Terrorism Convention and the Terrorism Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference defines terrorism to exclude armed struggle for liberation and self-determination. This increased its complexity and vagueness. The aim of this paper is to examine the definitional aspect of terrorism and the challenges faced in adopting a single universally accepted definition by the international community. The methodology adopted in this paper is purely a library based research focusing mainly on primary and secondary sources. The paper concludes that nations or states have to come to agreement on a definition of the term “terrorism”, for without a consensus of what constitute terrorism, nations or states could not unite against it. A general definition of terrorism is necessary in order for the international community to fight against terrorism in a precise way.
Keywords: International law, international terrorism, terrorism, liberation, self-determination.

Nepal: From Constitutional Monarchy to a Republican State (1990-2008)
Tri Ratna Manandhar
Tribhuvan University
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The peoples’ movement of 1990 was a great landmark in the history of modern Nepal for it ended the three-decades of the old dictatorial rule of the king and established a parliamentary system with the king as a nominal head of state. But unfortunately, the country could not form a good government because of inter and intra-party conflicts. To add fuel to the flame, the rise of the Maoist movement and the royal massacre put the country in a state of confusion and uncertainty. The new king tried to revive dictatorial rule once again by suppressing the political parties and the Maoists. But his attempts failed, and the 19-day movement in 2006 re-established peoples’ sovereignty in the country. The first meeting of the elected constituent assembly in 2008 formally ended monarchy and declared Nepal a republic. But the first constituent assembly ended its four–year term without drafting a constitution. The second constituent assembly has pledged to promulgate a democratic constitution by January 2015, but all indications are that that the country is unlikely to get a constitution in time.
Keywords: Nepal, Constitution, Monarchy, Republic, Politics.

An Appraisal of Malaysia’s Continuing Membership in the Commonwealth Organisation
Muhammad Muda & Nazariah Osman
School of International Studies
UUM College of Law, Government and International Studies
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
The Commonwealth has always had a central place in Malaya/Malaysia’s foreign policy, especially in the period immediately after independence and in the first few years of the formation of Malaysia. This was the period when Malaysia needed Commonwealth assistance most, in part, due to its requirement for external defence. Such assistance was not only relevant in the context of constructive cooperation but, more importantly, there was no other organization at that time in the region that could be of assistance to it. Whilst Britain was keen at accommodating Malaya as a member of the organisation upon independence, it were the Prime Ministers of Malaysia who played decisive roles in determining the extent of the relationship with the Commonwealth. The benefits Malaysia derived from such association were also heavily shaped by the styles and perceptions of successive Prime Ministers. Although the emergence of ASEAN, OIC, and other similar bodies in later years of which Malaysia is also a member, has gradually eroded Malaysia’s profound attachment to the Commonwealth, however, it has no intention of leaving the Commonwealth. It has continued to offer some degree of both tangible and intangible support to the organisation in which successive Malaysian Premiers have acknowledged its relevance to the country’s foreign policy as well as it being a useful platform to articulate Malaysia’s views on political and socio-economic matters concerning, not only Commonwealth countries, but also the world at large.
Keywords: Malaysia, Commonwealth, Relevance, Continuing Relations.

Foreign Aid to Timor-Leste and the Rise of China
Cristian Talesco
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Foreign aid forms an important part of a state’s identity within the international system. The established dichotomy saw developed countries giving aid, while developing countries were receiving it. Nevertheless, China’s ‘rise’, along with that of other ‘emerging economies’, changed such a dualist view; or at least undermined the traditional concept of aid giving. China is becoming a world power, it is the second largest economy, yet it is still within the group of developing countries. However, it provides a considerable amount of foreign aid worldwide. This is destabilizing the established understandings of aid regimes, as set by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors since the 1950s. In particular, the rise of China in Timor-Leste as an important aid contributor, but working outside the leading aid regime, is affecting the most prominent donor in the country, Australia. Moreover, the rapidly growing presence of China in Timor-Leste seems well received by the local government, although criticism arose amongst the population. Thus, this paper attempts to analyse the issue from different levels. Firstly, it will analyse how China managed to “break” the monopoly of Australian aid by accessing Timor-Leste. It will then explicate the principles and the practices of Chinese aid, and will attempt to establish whether Chinese aid has produced a positive economic impact on Timor-Leste and its people. Finally, this paper suggests that Chinese aid is not challenging, neither threatening the Australian aid assistance in Timor-Leste; rather Chinese aid offers an alternative way of giving aid, and which can also convey to Australia with the possibilities of establishing mutual benefits and effective partnerships with the recipient countries.
Keywords: Foreign aid, China, Australia, Timor-Leste, Development.

Nigeria: A Country Profile
Emmanuel Ikechi Onah
Department of Political Science
University of Lagos
Abstract Ɩ Full Text
Nigeria is a sovereign country located in the area of West Africa bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. The country has a total area of 923, 769sq km (a little more than twice the size of California). Its physical size makes Nigeria the third largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country’s terrain consists of the lowlands in the South with mountainous formations in the South-east, which merge into the hills and plateaus of the Central belt and the plains of the far north. The climate varies from the largely equatorial climates in the South to the tropical climates in the centre and the North (Ekoko, 1990). It is also the most populous country in Africa, with a population of about 160 million (2006 census), and a population growth rate estimate of 3%. The country is bordered on the west by the Republic of Benin and the Republic of Cameroon, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the north by Niger Republic and the Republic of Chad. Nigeria is endowed with numerous natural resources, the most important being petroleum and natural gas, found in the Niger Delta areas of the country. Coal, iron ore, tin, limestone, zinc, lead, gold, precious stones, and uranium are found across the country.There are many ethnic groups, roughly categorized into the majority ethnic groups and the minority ethnic groups. The majority groups are namely, the Hausa-Fulani of the North, the Yoruba of the South-west, and the Igbo of the South-east. The hundreds of so-called minority ethnic groups include the Igala, Tiv, Idoma, Junkun, Angas, Birom and others in the Central-belt, the Edo, Urhobo and Itshekiri in the Mid-west, the Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio and Ogoni in the South-south, and the Kanuri, Gwari and Kataf of the far-North. On the whole, it is estimated that the country has more than 250 ethnic groups (Osaghae, 1998). English is the official language in Nigeria, by virtue of the country being a former colony of Britain. Christianity, Islam and traditional beliefs are the religions in the country, and although there is no state religion, the various tiers of government in the country are often involved in aspects of some of these religions, including state sponsorships of annual Muslim and Christian pilgrimages to the Holy lands.