Vol 20, No 4 (2020): New Modalities of Regional Peacekeeping


In This Issue

Bellamy A.J.
Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):665-666
pages 665-666 views


The African Union and Peacekeeping in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

Apuuli K.P.


Africa continues to suffer from outbreaks of conflict, with evidence pointing to an increasing number of violent armed incidents. The establishment of the African Union (AU) heralded (or so it was hoped) a new era in how African conflicts are managed and resolved. Since 2003, the AU has mandated a number of peace support operations including the African Union Mission in Burundi (AMIB), the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as a means to manage conflicts on the continent. In more recent times, the organization has also authorized three operations dealing with non-state armed groups namely the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Boko Haram and the Sahel Region Jihadists. Whilst some of these peace support missions recorded successes in meeting their mandates, generally all of them faced or are facing a number of challenges including funding, and logistical inadequacies among others. At the same time, the AU’s engagement in peacekeeping in Africa has occasioned opportunities for the organization including: increasing its capacity building in the area of conflict prevention, management and resolution; adoption of initiatives like “Silencing the Guns” aimed at lessening the outbreak of conflicts; and establishing its own funding mechanisms on how to support its mandated and authorized peace support missions among others.
Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):667-677
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African Peacekeeping and African Integration: Current Challenges

Gottschalk K.


Peacekeeping and economic union are the two most important dimensions of African integration. The first section of this article aims to analyse some current challenges to African peacekeeping, peacemaking, and African integration. The continuing Libyan civil war epitomizes the diplomatic stalemates and military stalemates which form the limits of current African peacekeeping. It exposes the North African Regional Capability and North African Standby Brigade as paper structures which do not exist operationally, and so limit the capacity of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council. The military intervention of states outside Africa can polarize conflicts and escalate civil wars. Africa’s colonial epoch serves as a warning of the potential dangers of foreign military bases in Africa. In parts of West Africa, states sub-contract peacemaking and anti-terrorist operations to unsupervised local militias, which are lawless at best, and commit ethnic killings at worst. African integration fares better in the economic dimension. The second section analyses African integration, with its focus on the most recent step of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which starts to lay the cornerstone envisaged four decades ago in the Lagos Plan of Action, and three decades ago in the Abuja Treaty for an African Economic Community. The historic track record of African continental organizations indicates that a decade will be a realistic minimum period for it to be substantially implemented. The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System will help operationalize the AfCFTA by lowering forex currency transaction charges. Severe difficulties can be predicted for future attempts to upgrade the AfCFTA into a continental customs union, and ultimately into a continental common market.
Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):678-686
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Germany’s Participation in Peacekeeping Operations in Africa at Present

Ivkina N.V.


The article is devoted to the study of the peculiarities of Germany’s participation in UN, EU and NATO peacekeeping operations in Africa. The relevance of the research topic is due to conflicting opinions about the need to preserve and prolong most operations in the region. In this regard, the opinions of experts with optimistic and pessimistic views on this problem are considered, and the stages of the evolution of peacekeeping activities are highlighted. The purpose of the study is to prove the validity of the assumption of the critical theory of the use of peacemaking by countries as a tool for realizing their foreign policy aspirations. Based on the analysis of German efforts to increase its military contingent in UN peacekeeping operations and maintain positions (despite the presence of oppositional representatives of the Parliament) in EU and NATO operations, it is proposed to identify the cause-and-effect relationships of such behavior. To achieve this goal, we used the method of historicism, which helped to identify the problems of the past that Germany is trying to get rid of by participating in the operations of international organizations, as well as the method of comparative analysis, which regulates the comparison of Germany’s efforts in missions with its foreign policy tasks. The analysis of the documents of the international organizations under consideration, as well as legislation and foreign policy doctrines of Germany, allows us to assess not only the legality of the country's operations outside its borders, but also to identify foreign policy priorities in order to obtain reliable results when comparing them. In conclusion, we present the following conclusions: the evolution of Germany’s efforts in the UN, EU and NATO missions in Africa. The results of the research reflect the postulates of critical theory in the process of studying German peacekeeping activities in Africa.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):687-697
pages 687-697 views

Farmers-Herdsmen Conflict in Africa: The Case of Nigeria

Oghuvbu E.A., Oghuvbu O.B.


General population growth and an increase in the number of farmers, environmental degradation, disruption of conditions for resolving land and water disputes, and the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the Sahel and West Africa have exacerbated the struggle for the survival and security of economic livelihoods, and in particular negatively affected relationships between shepherds and farmers in several communities in Africa. This kind of conflict between farmers and herdsmen mainly applies to Nigeria, but is also present in other African countries, especially in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Senegal, Cameroon, and Côte d’Ivoire. Such conflicts are not triggered by a single reason, but are driven by a set of multi-causal factors, such as scarce resources in the face of greater need, reprisal attacks, land and climate change, etc. Obviously, in case of Nigeria this kind of conflicts have a disintegrative impact, as they lead to the inimical effects to the country’s unity. The need for fostering value reorientation and restoring earlier interactive ties between herdsmen and farmers seems vital today, so that Nigerians can learn to appreciate the values that unite them more than those that separate the society.
Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):698-706
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Peacekeeping Potential of the Collective Security Treaty Organization

Kornilenko A.V.


The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as an international regional organization, unites states that have common principles for ensuring collective security in the post-Soviet space. In addition to military, political, anti-terrorist, anti-drug, migration aspects, the Organization’s practical activities provide for the implementation of peacekeeping missions in the region, as well as beyond. Over the past decade, the CSTO has been systematically raising the level of its readiness to respond to various types of threats, interacting with both states and other international organizations in this area. The purpose of this article is to assess the current state of the CSTO peacekeeping activity, to identify its strengths and weaknesses, and possible ways to increase the effectiveness of peacekeeping. The scientific novelty of the research lays in the consideration, on the basis of a retrospective analysis, of the actual state of the political, military, information components of the Organization’s peacekeeping, which at the present time, obviously, have not yet reached their maximum efficiency. The author examines the reasons for the creation of the CSTO, the historical stages of the Organization’s interaction with the UN, the practical aspects of their cooperation. Special attention is paid to the existing relationship between the member states within the Organization itself, to the political problems of the perception of the CSTO by other subjects of international law as an equal partner. It notes its complete political ignorance on the part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the presence of bilateral contacts with most member states. In conclusion, the author comes to the conclusion that the Organization is currently experiencing an identity crisis and does not show sufficient efficiency in the context of the implementation of close allied relations in the system of ensuring regional security.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):707-720
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Peacekeeping in Foreign Policy of Japan

Dobrinskaya O.A.


The article analyses Japanese approach towards peacekeeping and issues associated with Japan’s participation in the peacekeeping operations (PKOs). It focuses on factors which influence shaping and transformation of Japan’s approach towards this sphere of UN activity. For the first time, Japan sent its Self-defense forces to participate in the PKO in the early 1990s and since then peacemaking has become one of the symbols of Japan's contribution to international security. Despite the significance of cooperation with the UN that the Japanese government has underlined, the indicators that characterize Japan's participation in peacekeeping remain at a low level. In the article, the author explores the causes of this phenomenon and identifies patterns that characterize the models of Japanese participation in PKO. Using the historical method and content analysis of official documents and speeches by Japan’s representatives the author explores the hypothesis that currently, from the point of view of the Japanese government, the issue of participation in the PKOs is important as a way to adapt the public to the expansion of the sphere of activity of the Self-defense forces, but in practice, the ruling circles seek to avoid the risks associated with the participation of the Japanese military in the PKOs, preferring to shift the focus on peace-building, financial, educational and technological contribution that Japan can make to UN operations. The concept of active pacifism promoted by Abe did not lead to a more extensive participation of the Japanese military in the PKOs. An analysis of current trends in peacekeeping suggests that the participation of Self-defense forces in PKOs will remain at a low level and will be offset by other opportunities for Japan to contribute to international peacekeeping.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):721-737
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The Evolution of Peacekeeping Operations : Interview with Professor Alexander I. Nikitin

Nikitin A.I.


Professor Dr. Alexander I. Nikitin is a leading Russian IR scholar, an expert on problems of international security, international conflicts, peacekeeping operations, activities of international organizations. Professor of the Political Sciences Department at MGIMO University, Director of the MGIMO Center for Euro-Atlantic Security of the Institute for International Studies, Director of the Center for Political and International Studies, Professor of the State Management Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor of the Public Policy Department of the Research University - Higher School of Economics, President Emeritus of the Russian Political Science Association (RPSA) and Chairman of the RPSA International Cooperation Council. Subject area: International Security, Peacekeeping, Conflict Resolution, International Relations, NATO Policy and Russia - NATO Relations, International Organizations (UN, OSCE, NATO, CSTO, SCO), Nuclear Policy and Non-Proliferation, Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, Civil-Military Relations. Born in 1958, graduated from the Department of Philosophy of Moscow State University in 1979. PhD (International Relations) in 1983 and 2000. Research work for 10 years (1979-1989) in the USA and Canada Studies Institute (Senior Research Fellow, Head of Section). From 1989 to the present day Dr. Nikitin has been teaching in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (from 1996 to the present day - Professor of the Department of Political Sciences). From 2004 to the present day - Director of the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security of the Institute for International Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Center specializes in research in the spheres of international security and international relations. In his interview Professor Dr. Alexander I. Nikitin describes the current state of international peacekeeping, current trends and characteristics of conflicts and their impact on international relations. Professor Nikitin assesses Russia’s participation in peacekeeping operations within the UN and other formats of international cooperation.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):738-746
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Muslim Clergy vs. Authority in Contemporary Afghanistan: View from Uzbekistan

Khaydarov A.A.


Significant geopolitical changes taking place in the modern world in recent decades urge us to take a fresh look at the role of Islam and the clergy in the political processes of a number of countries of the Muslim world. This perspective is especially relevant vis-à-vis Afghanistan where a fierce war is being waged under the slogans of Islam for more than four decades. The purpose of this research is an in-depth study of the relationship between the state and the Muslim clergy, Islamic institutions in the development of political processes in Afghanistan since the mid-70s of the last century. The article reflects shaping of the Islamic opposition and its efforts to stand up to innovations and reforms during attempts of the Soviet stile modernization in 1978-1992, and then the efforts to democratize Afghan society, undertaken in Afghanistan since the end of 2001 with the assistance of the international community. The work is based on the study of factual historical material, a chronicle of the events of the last decade and personal observations of the author during his work in Afghanistan during the mentioned period. Analytical materials published on the pages of English and Russian mass media were used. The methodological basis of this study is the comparative historical method; the article is based on the principles of historicism, reliability and scientific objectivity. The author concludes that the conflict is based on mistakes and underestimation by the state the role and influence of the Muslim clergy and Islamic institutions of the country. It has been noted that the recently reached US - Taliban agreements, as well as the assistance of such influential players as Russia, sparkle hope for the launch of a direct inter-Afghan negotiation process, which most likely will not be as simple but thorny.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):747-762
pages 747-762 views

Terrorist Islamist Groups on the Sinai Peninsula

Krylov A.V.


The article examines the illegal activities of terrorist Islamist groups in the Sinai Peninsula. Within the framework of this study, the main attention is focused on the analysis of those links that make up the modern structure of local takfiri jihadist organizations that oppose the secular government of Egypt and demand the establishment of an Islamic order in the country based on Sharia law. The author reveals the reasons that turned one of the most famous resort areas in the world into a hotbed of terrorism and Islamist extremism. After the destruction of the quasi-state structures of the so-called “Islamic State” in Syria and Lebanon, a significant part of its militants moved to hard-to-reach areas of the Sinai Peninsula. An extensive network of well-armed bandit formations was created here, which carried out hundreds of terrorist acts. On October 31, 2015, a Russian Airbus A320 belonging to the Kogalymavia campaign was blown up over the central part of the Sinai Peninsula. As a result of this plane 224 people were killed, and the Russian government was forced to interrupt air traffic with Egypt, as a result of which the Egyptian budget suffered multibillion-dollar losses. A significant part of the article is devoted to an analysis of the response measures taken by the current Egyptian government to eliminate hotbeds of terrorist threats in the Sinai and establish an effective security regime on the peninsula. At the same time, the author reveals all the shortcomings admitted by the authorities of the Arab Republic of Egypt during counter-terrorism operations. The article presents consolidated recommendations for the Russian state foreign affairs agencies that currently determine the level of security in the areas where Egyptian attractions and resorts are located and, therefore, the possibility of restoring in full the cooperation of the Russian Federation with Egypt in the tourism sector. The article may arouse the interest of all those who associate themselves with the Middle East scientific community, as well as those who are professionally involved in the problems of terrorism and the fight against terrorist threats and challenges in the region.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):763-780
pages 763-780 views


Transformation of Uzbekistan’s Approaches to Afghanistan after 2016

Pritchin S.A.


With its key geostrategic position in the center of the Eurasian continent, Uzbekistan has a prominent impact on the nature of the development of interregional relations in Central Asia. After the transit of power in the republic that took place in 2016, a gradual transformation of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy model was carried out - from a closed and isolated to a proactive one. This led to several major changes - there was a significant improvement in both the nature of cooperation and the regional dialogue between the countries of Central Asia. The author analyzes the changes in Uzbekistan’s foreign policy in the Afghan direction, their reasons and the impact they had on the position of the republic both in the Central Asian region and in the international arena. This is especially relevant given both the importance of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan as partners for each other and the degree of threats posed by the difficult internal political situation in Afghanistan and holding back their bilateral interaction. As a methodological basis for the study, we used a systematic and comparative analysis of Uzbekistan’s approaches to solving security issues through the implementation of its foreign policy towards Afghanistan until 2016 and after. They also considered both internal factors influencing the formation of Uzbek approaches to the southern neighbor, and external ones. The theory of political realism was used as a theoretical basis for the study. The change of power in Uzbekistan in 2016 marked a radical revision of Tashkent’s approaches to the Afghan vector of its foreign policy. Uzbekistan has begun to implement a strategy to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan through the pragmatic development of economic cooperation and support for a peaceful inter-Afghan dialogue, abandoning a rigid isolation policy towards its southern neighbor. At the same time, the main emphasis in mediation activities was placed on formats that were supported by the United States. Thus, today, thanks to the revitalization of its Afghan agenda, Uzbekistan is actively increasing its authority in the international arena as an important regional player for Afghan regulation.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):781-790
pages 781-790 views

Institutional Mechanisms of the Turkish Foreign Policy: The Case of Russia - Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council

Aslanli K., Akgün B.


The article aims to examine and explore with pros and cons of High-Level (“Strategic”) Cooperation Councils (HLSCC) mechanisms in Turkish foreign policy and evaluate its effectiveness in foreign trade, foreign policy cooperation, and crisis management capacity of Turkey concerning the relations with Russia. Turkey has already started to establish High-Level Cooperation Councils to build institutional infrastructure for strategic partnerships in foreign policy and strengthen institutional power in the bilateral cooperation after 2006. The study of Turkish foreign policy is an academically attractive topic mostly in terms of its geopolitical dimensions. The institutional mechanisms that enable the country to interact with other states in a dynamic regional and international environment remain less researched heretofore. The article attempts to highlight the evolution of Turkish foreign policy in terms of institutional changes in the bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. The article applies a case study method with descriptive analysis examining Councils’ functions such as foreign policy coordination and determination of collective commitments and official bilateral targets in the case of Russia - Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council. The article found out that these institutional mechanisms partly justified themselves as a coordination mechanism, but they were relatively weak for achieving the pledged commitments. The Councils were flexible and innovative cooperation mechanisms of the foreign policy to develop bilateral and multilateral ties in the age of the global power restructuring and the volatile conjuncture in world politics.
Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):791-804
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The Evolution of the Cooperation between South American Countries in the Amazon Basin: From the Development of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty to the Signing of the Leticia Pact for the Amazon

Nekrasov B.I.


This article is focused on special characteristics of formation and development of the interaction between South American countries located on the territory of the Amazon Basin from the development of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty (ACT) in 1978 to the signing of the Leticia Pact for the Amazon in 2019. Considering the evolution of cooperation between South American countries in the Amazon River basin, the author relied on the regional integration theory and the Neoliberal IR theory and proposed his own periodization of this process with an analysis of the stages of interaction. The main methods used by the author in the study are systemic analysis and structural-functional analysis, thanks to which the author was able to examine in detail the main directions and characteristics in the sphere of interaction of South American countries in the ACTO. The method of content analysis was used in dealing with documents of the organization. The author came to the conclusion that for South American countries geographically located in the one area, one of the most important components in the interaction was the creation of a common mechanism - ACTO. Without the creation of ACTO and the implementation of coordinated activities in this area, there would be a certain risk of an institutional vacuum in the Amazon, which, due to the activity of illegal armed groups, could potentially lead to the emergence of quasi-governmental entities. In the context of the global transition to a sustainable development model, such format of interaction as the ACTO plays a special role because natural disasters occurring in the Amazon region strongly affect climate change on a global scale. Thanks to the existing coordination among member countries in the ACTO the Leticia Pact was signed.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):805-822
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Book review: Lebedeva, M.M. & Nikitina, Y.A. (Eds.). (2020). International Security: Global and Regional Actors. Moscow: Aspekt Press publ., 320 p. (In Russian)

Eremin A.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):823-825
pages 823-825 views

Book review: Balezin, A.S., Mazov, S.V. & Filatova, I.I. (Eds.). (2019). Peacemaking and Peacekeeping in Africa. To the 90th Anniversary of Academician Apollon Borisovich Davidson. Moscow: Ves’ mir publ., 313 p. (In Russian).

Bokeriya S.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):826-828
pages 826-828 views

Book review: Karbo, T. & Virk, K. (Eds.). (2018). The Palgrave Handbook of Peacebuilding in Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, 498 p.

Kostelyanets S.V.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):829-831
pages 829-831 views

Books review: Alden, C., Alao, A., Zhang, С. & Barber, L. (Eds.). (2018). China and Africa. Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent. Palgrave Macmillan, 393 p.; Hodzi, O. (2019). The End of China’s Non-Intervention Policy in Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, 266 p.

Zabella A.A.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2020;20(4):832-835
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