Tag Archives: terrorism

An Analysis of the Obama Administration’s Use of Combat Drone Strikes from Classical Realist and Liberal Perspectives

Introduction

The drone strikes carried out in various locations in the Middle East under the authority of President Obama and his administration have sparked public outrage due to numerous leaked reports of innocent civilian casualties combined with immense collateral damage to the countries in which the drone strikes had been executed.

What is remarkable from an academic perspective is that it represents a classic example of the quintessential differences between a realist and liberal perspective on international law. Within this context, there are certain aspects of each theoretical approach to international relations that are extremely pertinent to the discussion of drone attacks as a case study.

Viewing realism and liberalism as antitheses, the former (i.) focuses its attention on the state as the primary actor in international relations, (ii.) values security over freedom in the international system, and (iii.) prefers power to interdependence with regard to relationships with other countries. Meanwhile classical liberalism (i.) places an emphasis on the individual (whether alone or as part of a larger governmental or non-governmental organization), (ii.) generally denounces unilateral action, and (iii.) stresses interdependence through cooperation for solving collective international problems. Continue reading

On Inadequate Definitions and Measures of Islamophobia: A Response to Geisser

In his article Islamophobia: a French Specificity in Europe? Vincent Geisser argues that while French society and culture exhibit symptoms of Islamophobia, there is no official prejudice against Muslims and that those who claim that France or the French government is Islamophobic are guilty of inappropriately using the term. Instead, Geisser asserts, these perceived symptoms of Islamophobia are more nuanced and derived from cultural and historical causes within French society. What ultimately happens is that French society aims to convert or transform potentially dangerous aspects of political Islam into a more Western and Francophone friendly version of itself. In what follows, I will offer a critical response to Geisser’s proposed definition of Islamophobia, arguing ultimately that it is inadequate.

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