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Assassinations in International Relations The subject of assassinations is a political issue, which has been very recently in the limelight when the American commando operation coded SEAL got successful in assassinating the extremist leader of al-Qaida, Osama-bin-Laden, hiding in Pakistan…
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Download file to see previous pages l relations. Such acts by the powerful countries need to be discussed on the parameters of the three theories of international relations, namely realism, liberalism, and constructivism (Wait 2011, par. 1). The theory of realism is based on assumptions. There are two competing branches of realism based on the assumptions about the behavior of the state, one is the neorealist theory of Kenneth Waltz and another is postclassical realism, which is not similar to Waltz neorealist theory. The impact of the theory of realism crosses the threshold to enter the non-realist theories such as liberalism, another political theory based on the positive human values such as right to freedom, favoring democratic rights. So far an exchange between the two theories has not been fruitful because the neorealist theory stresses with sureness that such an interaction would be a useless exercise. Constructivist theory was an attempt to find new means away from the theories of realism and liberalism. A constructivist sees the international relations as “an interactive process in which the ideas and communications among agents serve to create “structures”. These structures, in turn, influence the ideas and communications of the agents.” (Rourke 2007, 30). Seeing the height of extremism in political spheres at global scale, supporters of assassinations find nothing wrong morally to indulge in cutting the head of the dragon itself as there is no other option left using military force on the large scale by waging a prolonged war with no end result in sight. War affects the innocent; the actual culprits cannot be nabbed. The “ethical disconnect,” pervades as stated by Ralph Peters by not making a direct attack on dictators like Saddam Hussein committing atrocities on innocent people; it is devoid of ethical logic. Nonetheless, the norm against assassinations of such scale and kind have been there, which, off late, have been broken by the major super power, the U.S. Actually, this norm has been residing in ethical injunctions of basic moral principles in global politics getting strength from the design of international system (Thomas 2000, 106-7). Discussing the reality aspect of the norm as a concession, Thomas (2000, 123-24) states that states were against the norm to assassinate a foreign leader as it was not worth the effort. Assassination was observed as inefficient tool of foreign policy because of doubt over the success of the assassination, as leaders’ security was unassailable. Another reason of going against the norm of assassinations was not getting the desired outcomes of serving the purpose. Thomas findings on norms and practices related to international assassinations indicate how the assassination norms have shifted greatly over time. According to Thomas, it was a quite common foreign policy tool in old times, but a number of changing material factors and evolving normative principles started strong norm against the killing of foreign leaders because preference was given to fight of the armies on the battle ground and also because ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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