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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Power and Security

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Jeremy Moses and Geoffrey Ford
Humanitarianism and the Weapons Industry: From an ideology of peace to a logic of war

Humanitarianism was born out of anti-war sentiment and a desire to bring aid to those affected by war, regardless of their identity or allegiances. In current international politics, however, humanitarianism is commonly invoked in the justification of war. This instrumental use of humanitarian ideals in support of political violence is now so embedded in the theory and practice of contemporary warfare that it has become a major part of the sales pitch for many corporations in the weapons industry. This paper analyses the marketing materials and available associated literature on new weapons systems and technologies in order to demonstrate the extent to which humanitarian values – particularly in the form of references to international humanitarian law and just war principles – are now a central touchstone for the weapons industry. The paper criticises the presence and extent of the references to humanitarian principles in the marketing of weapons and calls for a demilitarisation of humanitarianism in order to protect and promote its traditional values.

Graeme P Auton
The Korean Peninsula and Multilateral Security Frameworks for Northeast Asia

A decade ago it seemed that Northeast Asia’s regional conflicts, particularly the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, might be addressed through multilateral arrangements. The 1990s Framework Agreement had given way to the Six Party Talks (6PT), while discussions among China, Japan and South Korea on the margins of ASEAN evolved into six trilateral summits between 2008 and 2015. The U.S., too, was committed to multilateral engagement. The world of 2019 is different. The Six Party Talks are dead. The United States, under the Trump Administration, has embraced unilateralism in foreign policy, including withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. China has launched its Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Development Bank. Trilateral Beijing-Tokyo-Seoul consultation has yielded to a triangle of distrust. Negotiation with a now-nuclear-armed North Korea has become a matter of bilateral summitry between Kim Jong-un, Xi-Xinping, Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump, turning the six parties into a party of four. In an epoch of burgeoning nationalism, is it still possible for multilateral mechanisms to contribute to the resolution of Northeast Asia’s conflicts? Can a multilateral security architecture for Northeast Asia be constructed, as called for under Committee Five of 6PT, and what relationship might such an architecture have with multilateral economic arrangements? This paper argues for the creation of a Northeast Asia regional security mechanism and examines how such a mechanism might be structured.

Patrick Flamm
Hegemonic, hierarchical, and/or exceptional? Conceptualising Antarctic political order

The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) is generally seen as a very successful international governance mechanism which is often attributed to a certain exceptionalism: whereas international politics haven been dominated by rivalry and conflict, Antarctic affairs were ‘a pole apart’ with cooperation and consensus being the main modes of operation on the ‘continent of peace and science’. The ATS order, however, also seems to exhibit hierarchical stratification and hegemonic features: there is a core group of actors (the so called 7+2) with certain privileges inherent to the status quo order. Further, historically the ATS order was set up by the United States and the other original signatories and still reflects their political interests. If a new actor wants to join or elevate their status within this order, this has to happen according to the established rules and practices which put the constitutes the core group as de facto-veto powers. As the ATS is facing new regulative and strategic challenges in climate change, increasing human impact on Antarctic ecosystems and global power transitions, a sound conceptual understanding of how power is structured within its political order seems necessary for future academic and policy analyses of Antarctic politics.

 Muhammad Arsalan Karim
International and Regional Power Politics Shaping Pakistan's Internal Security

The British Empire in the nineteenth century annexed two regions in the South Asian subcontinent that became part of Pakistan in 1947. It annexed Afghanistan and Balochistan; both inhabited by primitive and tribal ethnic societies; on whom the British were not able to exercise control. They created princely states and tribal agencies and handed them over to princes or tribal elders. These areas became a buffer zone between the British Empire and Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). The British left the newborn South Asian countries (India and Pakistan) to fight over the princely state of Kashmir. The role of the British Empire in creating conflicting borders and the USSR and United States (US) in exploiting those ethnio-religio-political rivalries in these border areas had an impact on Pakistan’s national security. These two super powers utilized regional allies like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and India to make the conflict situation in Pakistan more complicated by fostering their own national interests. Pakistan’s internal security has a strong link with the interests of its allies and adversaries. It should focus on having a more independent state and foreign policy before internal chaos in Pakistan worsens and spills over in the entire region.

avatar for Jeremy Moses

Jeremy Moses

University of Canterbury

Graeme P Auton

University of Redlands

Patrick Flamm

Victoria University of Wellington
avatar for Geoff Ford

Geoff Ford

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Canterbury
I'm a postdoctoral fellow (UC Arts Digital Lab) applying digital methods to study politics. From 2020 I will also be working on the Marsden "Issue Mapping and Analysing the Lethal Autonomous Weapons Debate".
avatar for Muhammad Karim

Muhammad Karim

PhD Student, University of Waikato

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Thursday November 28, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm NZDT
Eng Core 129, Meeting Rm 1 Engineering Core