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Journal of International Studies (JIS) Vol. 15, 2019

Human Rights, State Sovereignty, and the Death Penalty: Indonesia’s Diplomacy Approach on Bali Nine
Yu Sin Huong & 1Ying Hooi Khoo
Department of International and Strategic Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya;
Abstract | Full Text
The discrepancies in Indonesia’s diplomatic approach on the death penalty for its people abroad and other nationalities at home have raised ‘double standard’ concerns. By looking into the factors affecting Indonesia’s diplomatic approach to Australia using the case of Bali Nine, the study explored the rationale of the Indonesian government putting national interest over its human rights commitment despite the increased pressure on its death penalty practice in the debate between human rights and state sovereignty. This study used the interview method with two objectives. First, to investigate the factors influencing Indonesia’s diplomatic approach to the Bali Nine case, and second, to explore the conflict between human rights and state sovereignty by drawing upon the theoretical framework on human rights and foreign policy as proposed by Jack Donnelly. The finding of this paper suggests that human rights interests are subordinated to other national interests in balancing the objectives of Indonesia’s diplomacy on the drug-related death penalty practice.

Keywords: Death penalty, human rights, state sovereignty, Bali Nine, Indonesian foreign policy, Australia.

Malaysia-Indonesia Cross-Border Governance: Is There a Trade-off between Security and Economic Development?
1Abdul Rahim Anuar & 2Azhar Harun
1School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia
2School of Government, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia;
Abstract | Full Text
The National Security Council of Malaysia has declared the east coast of Sabah as the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) to inhibit security threats and enhance security in the east coast of Sabah. This study employed an in-depth interview with the stakeholders involved in security governance and development in the study area. The selection of stakeholders was based on expert sampling. Secondary data relating to maritime economic activities were also used to reinforce the findings of the in-depth interview. The study areas were Tawau (Sabah) and Sebatik Island. Sebatik Island is divided into two regions; the northern region is owned by Malaysia and the south is owned by Indonesia. This paper examined the impact of ESSZONE’s security policy toward economic activities in Tawau and Sebatik Island. The security policy implemented by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) in Sabah’s east coast has a negative impact on maritime economic activities in Tawau and Pulau Sebatik. Therefore, the government must re-evaluate the security measures in Tawau and Pulau Sebatik waters, and the curfew regulations in particular, because the security threat is lower and more manageable than in Sandakan, Tawau, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Semporna, and Kinabatangan, which form the hot spot area. Furthermore, the government should consider appropriate measures to balance the objectives of security and economic interests, depending on the level of security threat zones.

Keywords: Economic development, Sebatik Island, Tawau, trade-off, security.

The Mahathir Influence and the Changing Phases of Malaysia-Syria Diplomatic Relations
Roy Anthony, Nour Altala & Wan Sharina Ramlah Wan Ahmad Amin Jaffri
Department of International and Strategic Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya
Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text
The purpose of this study is to examine Malaysia’s diplomatic relations with Syria through three periods: pre-Mahathir era, the first phase of Mahathir era (1981-2003) and the ‘inter-Mahathir’ years (2003-2018) - referring to the period prior to the return of Mahathir as Prime Minister for the second time in 2018. Ultimately, this study attempts to identify the key factors determining the nature of Malaysia’s bilateral ties with Syria during the Mahathir era. The methodology adopted for this study is qualitative in nature, relying on primary and secondary sources, the former being personal interviews conducted with Tun Dr. Mahathir himself and also with scholars in the field. This paper argues that during the pre-Mahathir era (1958-1981), relations with Syria were very much based on political and diplomatic considerations. However, during the Mahathir era (1981-2003) the emphasis changed due to the significant economic development and Malaysia’s foreign policy took a much more global approach. With this change, economic factors as a foreign policy determinant became more prominent as compared to the pre-Mahathir period. The inter-Mahathir years (2003-2018) did not witness any significant development except for the humanitarian support extended by the Malaysian government during the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011.
Keywords: Malaysian Foreign Policy, Syria, Middle East, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Islamic State or Daesh.

Impact of Corruption and Crime on Smuggling: Evidence from Iran
1Sayed Amin Manouri & 2Morteza Afghah
1&2Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran
1Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text
The main purpose of this research is to investigate the size and the relationship between smuggling and crime indexes such as returned checks, corruption and drinking alcohol in Iran during the period 1984–2015 by using Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model and Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) method. The results showed that among the crime indexes, divorce, drinking alcohol and corruption were positively correlated with smuggling, while another crime index, returned checks had a negative relationship with smuggling. Besides, all socio-economic cause variables on smuggling, including tariffs, misery index, illiteracy, gap of exchange rate, economic openness index and the size of government were found to increase smuggling. Furthermore, the findings showed that the cause variables on smuggling, including liquidity and energy consumption were positively correlated with smuggling.

Keywords: Crime, misery index, illiteracy, corruption, MIMIC, smuggling.

Does Democratic Peace Theory Genuinely Envision Global Peace? A Critical Approach
Yasin Caglar Kaya & 1Goktug Kiprizli
Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi, İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi, Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü, 61080, Ortahisar, Trabzon, Türkiye
1Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text
Democratic Peace Theory has been one of the most hotly debated topics ever since the 1980s. From Kant to the present day, the meaning of Democratic Peace Theory has changed, while the theory nowadays claims in principle that democratic states wage war against each other less often owing to their institutions’ and citizens’ abilities to urge their governments to establish a peaceful foreign policy. At this point, the critical theory offers an alternative explanation for the behaviors of democratic countries. This study was designed as a theoretical discussion utilising the analysis of primary and secondary sources in the field, both in printed and electronic materials. Employing the viewpoint of the critical theory, this paper argues that Democratic Peace is the disguise of hegemonic relations and the product of the historical block. This study revealed that democracies are not pacifist actors in the international realm. As articulated by the critical approach, the study also puts forth that the concept of Democratic eace facilitates the expansionist ambitions of hegemonic powers in the international system by utilizing various humanitarian interventions and serves as a means to maintain imperialist peace. Empirical evidence from the military intervention in Libya further reinforces this argument. Thus, this study asserts the idea to be cautious against the propositions of the Democratic Peace Theory because any activities done in the name of spreading democracy may involve a hidden agenda and disrupt the internal stability of non-democratic countries.

Keywords: Democratic Peace Theory, critical theory of ınternational relations, hegemony, historical block, imperialist peace, 2011 Libya military ınvasion.

Factors that Influence the Quality of Relationship between Exporters and Foreign Intermediaries in Relation to SMEs’ Export Performance
Norliza Hamir Basah
School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text 
This study aims to investigate factors that influence the relationship quality between Malaysia SMEs exporter and foreign intermediaries. This paper draws insights from two integrating theories such as social capital theory (SCT) and internationalization process (IP) theory to evaluate the synergistic consequences of several constructs such as cultural similarity, effective communication, knowledge sharing and trust on export performance. The model is tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) via Smart PLS on a sample of 203 SME exporters in Malaysia. The findings revealed that all hypotheses are supported. The research highlights that cultural similarity is a catalyst in internationalization process and show the mechanism on how cultural similarity can influence effective communication and knowledge sharing thus impetus trust which finally reflect the performance outcomes. The findings extended the application of the underpinning theories and their tenets in explaining the Malaysian SMEs’ export performance use foreign intermediaries.

Keywords: SME, export performance, intermediaries, relationship quality, cultural similarity

Combatting Terrorism at Sea: Assessing NATO’S Maritime Operations in the Mediterranean
Shazwanis Shukri
School of International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text 

Terrorism via the Mediterranean Sea route is one of the security threats faced by Europe in recent years. The basin recorded a large volume of maritime vessels traversing daily via the major straits and consequently exposed them to the possibility of terrorist attacks. This includes cargo and commercial vessels that carry tons of valuable cargo. There is growing concern that the vessels may be used to support terrorist activities. In light of this, NATO has adopted maritime operations to strengthen sea-patrolling and enhance the security of sea lanes in the Mediterranean. This paper sought to examine the terrorist incidents that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea. The paper then scrutinized the evolution of NATO’s approaches terrorism in the basin from 2001 until 2016 Specifically, this paper analysed the implementation of the Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) which was initiated as an immediate response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States to fight against international terrorism. The mandate assigned through this operation includes, amongst others, monitoring and surveillance activities, escorting assistance, compliant boarding and joint-training with NATO partners. These tasks have significantly contributed to a sharp decline in terrorist plots in the Mediterranean Sea. This paper obtained its data from textual analysis and interviews with NATO military officers. conclude that maritime operations by NATO play a functional role to hinder the potential of terrorist attacks and effectively maintain the security of the sea lanes.

Keywords: NATO, maritime security, maritime terrorism, Mediterranean Sea, Operation Active Endeavour.

Cybercrimes Act in Nigeria: Experimenting Compliance With Internationally Recognized Human Rights Provisions 
1Abdulkadir Bolaji Abdulkadir & Abdulrazaq Owolabi Abdulkadir
Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
1Corresponding author: 
Abstract | Full Text 
The occurrence of criminal activities has increased owing to the advent of internet or computer technology. Access to internet has posed serious challenges to the existing legal regime and enforcement paradigm. The recent experience concerning rate of technology and online communication has no doubt fashioned-out a dramatic increase in the incidence of criminal activities. It has also resulted in the occurrence of what is considered as a new approach of criminal activities. Although, the emergence of electronic communication advances economic prosperity of the world’s commerce, fraudsters have gained access and seen the medium as a fertile ground for pretence. This paper firstly discusses the wide-ranging descriptions that led to the complex concept of cybercrime. The paper then examines the importance of cybercrimes regulations to curb infidelity in the use of computer technology. It also investigates the interface between cybercrimes and human rights and argued that human rights are an onerous matter that should be given proper consideration when dealing with cybercrime offenders. The paper utilizes legal research method by way of examining the Nigerian Cybercrimes Act 2015 and its relationship with several human rights provisions. It concludes by revealing the need to prevent cybercrimes that coincide with the right of an individual to enjoy his right to privacy and at the same time ensuring cyber security.
Keywords: Cybercrimes, human rights, compliance.

Contextualising Hate Speech: A Study of India And Malaysia
Ishita Sharma
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, School of Law Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248007, India 
Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text 

Hate speech is a verbal expression, which is designed to promote hatred based on race, religion, ethnicity and violence between different communities. Hate speech are systematically used to lash hatred towards minorities and for inflaming regional, religious and ethnic passion. It has been repeatedly observed that inflaming and deleterious words have been used by people of influence to further their vested interests and incite violence. Indian laws as well as Malaysian laws forbid anyone from making hate speeches that disturb the communal harmony and creates discord among the people. When the issue of suppression of hate speech comes to purview, the notion of reasonable restriction comes into picture. Consequent debate narrows down to two sharply contrasting opinions ie: restraints v. freedom of speech and expression. It is difficult to balance both divergent opinions. Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution, provides for the freedom of speech and expression but also places reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) on the grounds of public order, decency and morality. Similarly, Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution empowers the Malaysian citizens with the freedom of speech and expression subject to restrictions imposed by the Parliament. Whenever these contradictory opinions are presented in front of the court, even the Apex court of the respective countries has shown its reluctance towards curbing such communally charged statements. Even if the judgment restraining hate speech is pronounced, it often comes too late, sometimes after the damage has already been inflicted, thus failing to exert any deterrent effect. By using doctrinal research methods, this paper a) discusses the terminology of hate speech; b) analyzes different legal provisions that deals with hate speech in India and Malaysia; and c) discusses non-legal solutions to the problem. This paper argues that although several legal provisions are available to curb hate speech, Alternative Dispute Resolution and counter speech may be used as alternative ways to address hate speech.

Keywords: Democracy, freedom of speech and expression, hatred, hate speech, harmony.

Towards Promoting Rural Infrastructure for Poverty Reduction: Analysis of FADAMA III Small-scale Community-owned Infrastructure in Kaduna and Sokoto States, Nigeria
1Sa’idu Idris & 2Salisu Ahmed Kabiru
1Department of Public Administration, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto-Nigeria
2Department of Public Administration, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University Katsina, Nigeria
2Corresponding author:
Abstract | Full Text 

This study is aimed at assessing the impacts of Third National Fadama Development Project (NFDP III) on provision of Small-scale Community-owned Infrastructures (SCIs) for poverty reduction. The sector goal of NFDP III was to reduce poverty by improving the living conditions of the rural poor; contribute to food security and increase access to rural infrastructure. The study made use of questionnaires to generate primary data from 245 respondents whilst Project Implementation Manuals, Appraisal Reports, Baseline and Midline Surveys, etc constituted the secondary data. The study found out that outcomes of NFDP III had profound impacts on the incidence of poverty of the beneficiaries. For example in Kaduna State, incomes of Crop farmers increased by 199% and Livestock owners by 221%. In Sokoto State, the incomes of Crop farmers increased by 225% and Livestock owners by 315%. The food security situation of about 84.4% and 98.3% of the beneficiaries had improved, greatly and the socio-economic conditions of 74.2% and 95.7% of the beneficiaries had been promoted, significantly. The study recommends that to further sustained the impetus created by NFDP III on poverty reduction in Nigeria, the Federal, States and Local Governments should as a matter of concern, extend their commitments beyond those of facilitating the provision of rural infrastructure to those of scaling-up the levels of provision, maintenance and management and poverty reduction should ever remain part of national development goals.

Keywords: Rural Infrastructure, Small-scale Community-owned Infrastructure, Poverty reduction and Development Project