World Sociopolitical Studies

World Sociopolitical Studies

World Sociopolitical Studies, Autumn 2017, Volume 1, Issue 2



The United States National Security Strategy under Bush and Obama: Continuity and Change

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The foreign policy of states determines the way they behave in the international arena. Accurate analysis of official foreign policy documents of a country is helpful in that it shows what the international priorities of a country are at specific periods. This article reviews the U.S. National Security Strategy documents published in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2015 from the perspective of the perception of threats to the U.S. security and perception of the U.S. role in the world. It tries to study the differences and similarities between the Bush and Obama administrations in this regard using a Neoclassical Realist framework. The results show that the Obama administration identified a wider range of threat sources to U.S. national security while providing less detailed solutions to them. Also, as democracy promotion abroad ceased to be a priority in 2015, compared to 2002 and 2006, counterterrorism continues to be at the top of U.S. security agenda. In line with Neoclassical Realism, creation of an international order under U.S. leadership is an important priority mentioned in the NSS of 2015.

A Theoretical Study of Solidarity in American Society: The Case of the “Ground Zero Mosque” Controversy

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The paper uses the case study of the controversy regarding the construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Manhattan, New York, to analyze the different theoretical approaches to the concept of solidarity. It is argued that the presence of affectional solidarity which is based on feelings of caring, friendship and love was very limited in the case under study. Instead the primary form of solidarity present in the ground zero mosque debate was conventional solidarity, which is based primarily on common interests and concerns that are established through shared traditions and values. Nevertheless, conventional solidarity uses membership within a group to advocate for solidarity. In many instances however, people in need of solidarity might fall outside of the boundaries of “we,” and as a result limiting the utility of the approach. This is why the paper advocates for a revised form of Jodi Dean’s reflective solidarity, which is based on mutual responsibility toward each other despite our differences. It is argued that in its current form this approach is a normative universal ideal which holds great potential but is unclear, underspecified and impractical. However, by injecting some “realism” into this theoretical approach, reflective solidarity is superior to affectional and conventional approaches.

A Review of the Performance of the International Atomic Energy Agency Regarding Pakistan’s Nuclear Activities

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Among the significant issues of the subcontinental region, one can refer to the concern over Pakistan’s inability to maintain the security of its nuclear facilities, the illegal increase in its nuclear weapon production, extremist organizations’ access to nuclear weapons, as well as the fact that this country has not joined the NPT treaty. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was created to fulfill the two aims of promoting peaceful applications of nuclear power and preventing nuclear activities from edging toward military purposes, can play an effective role- within the framework of its legal authority- in preventing the potential threats of Pakistan’s nuclear activities from actualizing. Therefore, the main question of the present research concern the strong and weak points of the IAEA’s performance toward Pakistan’s nuclear activities. The findings of this essay will demonstrate the undesirability of the Agency accomplishments (drawing up several safeguard agreements), in comparison with its deficiencies, including cases such as the Agency’s silence regarding the uptrend in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons production, failing to persuade Pakistan to join the NPT, being affected by the great powers in observing Pakistan’s nuclear activities, as well as incorrect estimations of the security of its nuclear programs.

Social Factors in Cartoon Analysis through French Specialists

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Since their appearance, cartoons and their creators took interest in social and political facts and figures. Often a more direct witness than a text, cartoons were quickly transformed from their initial entertaining role, to a tool to attack oppressors and reveal social injustices. To easily communicate with their public, they had to share the same codes and experiences that lived their audience in the society. Various social factors were sometimes unconsciously transmitted in the drawing through the psyche of the cartoon’s creator, which was formed during his life, and sometimes consciously applied in the cartoon’s decoration, appearance or the movement of the characters in order to further elucidate the message. Therefore, cartoon analysis must take account of all social elements at the time of cartoons’ production and reception. In this area, French specialists, especially Roland Barthes are among the leading figures who have worked on the role of socials factors in image analysis. In this article, their opinions are applied to cartoon analysis in order to better understand the way a cartoon is intended to send a message to its public.

Analyzing the Consequences of the UAE Creating Artificial Islands in The Persian Gulf (Considering the Copenhagen School)

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In recent years, the United Arab Emirates has begun creating artificial islands in the Persian Gulf. These actions have sparked many concerns throughout the region, particularly from Iran. This study defines and analyzes the process of securitizing the creation of the UAE artificial islands in the Persian Gulf. Although, according to the Law of the Sea Convention, coastal states are entitled to create artificial islands, observing neighboring states’ interests are a primary prerequisite for creating these lands. This study seeks to answer the following question: What are the consequences of the UAE creating artificial islands in the Persian Gulf for Iran? The hypothesis of this paper proposes that creating these islands, regarding the expanding nature of the concept of security in the contemporary world, will have a fivefold consequence for Iran; creating artificial islands by the UAE will cause military, political, environmental, economic, and social insecurities for Iran in the Persian Gulf. The research follows a descriptive-analytical method and studies the question utilizing library sources. The Copenhagen School of Security Studies constitutes the theoretical framework of the paper.

Sociological Critique of Baha Tāher’s East of the Palms

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Literature, in addition to its aesthetic and artistic aspects, has always been a reflection of social and cultural realities and characteristics of its respective era and society. Sociological criticism is a relatively modern method in literary criticism. The method studies the structure and content of literary works and their relation to the structures and evolutions of the societies where they have been created. Baha Tāher is a distinguished Egyptian author who has written outstanding stories in the field of critical and social realism to the extent that the Egyptian society, with all its ups and downs, is inherent in his books. The most significant themes in his stories reflect opposing authoritarianism, imperialism, and feudalism. A distinguished novel of his, East of the Palms , includes subjects such as the conflict between tradition and modernity, the youth’s and the intellectuals’ problems, anti-imperialist movements, social repression, student protests during the Egyptian revolution of July 1958, and the issue of Palestine. In the present study, the authors have conducted a sociological critique of this novel based on György Lukács and Lucien Goldmann’s sociological theories. Analyzing the two elements of character and theme, the article seeks to find out whether Tāher has been successful in making a connection between the novel’s artistic world and the respective social structures. The analysis method of the study is descriptive-analytical. It is concluded that the writer has been successful in reflecting the realities of the Egyptian society and relating the artistic world and social structures.