FIIA latest publications, October 2012

The Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs
The latest issue of the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs (Ulkopolitiikka-lehti) was published in mid-September. The issue takes a critical look at the (lack of) leadership in today’s world politics, analyses whether the US is capable of maintaining its leading role in the world amid deep internal divisions, and peeks behind the scenes of the great Chinese leadership game. The journal also introduces to its readers the new head of the Russian green opposition, Evgenia Chirikova, and tells about the book that President Tarja Halonen will not forget (The Kite Runner).

FIIA Briefing Papers 111-115
Jyrki Kallio, Kiinan meri vai kaikkien meri? Etelä-Kiinan meren sopassa on liikaa mausteita

Touko Piiparinen, Säilyykö suojeluvastuu? YK:n turvallisuusneuvoston rooli inhimillisen turvallisuuden puolustajana

Tanja Tamminen, Towards efficient early action: The EU needs a regional focus and proactive tools to prevent and manage conflicts
The Lisbon Treaty and the European External Action Service provide the EU with an excellent framework for comprehensive and effective crisis prevention and crisis management work. They just need to be utilised to the full. The security and development nexus can only be enhanced through long-term perspectives. Rather than renewing its general security strategy, the EU’s focus should be on preparing tailor-made and institutionally endorsed regional approaches and strategies, where the broad objectives would be operationalized into more concrete goals. In conflict-prone regions, goal-setting should be carried out through full participation with the beneficiary countries and their civil societies. Dialogue and mediation are perfect tools for achieving reconciliation and stability, and need to be utilized at every stage of comprehensive crisis management and at different levels of society. Comprehensive EU activities in the field of crisis prevention and crisis management should be duly evaluated, as only by looking at the bigger picture can lessons truly be learned and endorsed.

Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Not just another arms deal: The security policy implications of the United States selling advanced missiles to Finland
Finland’s decision to acquire advanced semi-stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from the United States is much more than an arms deal – it has significant political and regional military implications. Finland is only the second country to be approved for JASSM. No NATO country has ever received such approval. This suggests something about the closeness of the relationship between the United States and Finland, as well as something about how the United States sees European and regional defence arrangements. In the web of multilateral, multinational and bilateral relationships that Finland is weaving to enhance its security, the US relationship is a key cable. The JASSM acquisition significantly changes Finland’s ability to disrupt enemy activities, both within Finland and beyond its borders. Despite being a conventional weapon, it will serve as a deterrent. Finnish decision-makers have a responsibility to understand both the implications of the new capabilities, and to ensure that the continued development of the Finnish Defence Forces is not inhibited due to misunderstandings of what a modern defence requires and consists of.

Anaïs Marin, The electoral trap: Why the EU should think beyond Belarus’s parliamentary election

One should not expect the 23 September election to comply with democratic standards. The current legislation in Belarus does not guarantee a free and fair process. The institutional setting prevents a transparent vote count and the election of opposition candidates. Yet, in sending a full-fledged observation mission to Belarus, the OSCE again appears to be giving official Minsk the benefit of the doubt. Breaking the vicious circle of external regime legitimation would require consistency and restraint in giving this periodic electoral farce any credence whatsoever. Imitating procedural democracy brings regime consolidation for Lukashenka: enticing the opposition forces – and their Western supporters for that matter – into the electoral trap is a pre-emptive scheme to disqualify them. Decapitated, divided, distrusted, the opposition is incapable of carrying out regime change. The regime’s repressive build-up also dissuades Belarusians from mobilising to contest the predictable fraud – for now. They are nonetheless expressing increasing demands for independent election monitoring. In view of the 2015 presidential elections, the EU should invest more in the capacity-building and training of civil society actors, notably domestic election observers. Turning voters into reliable rule of law watchdogs could raise awareness in, and demand for democracy in Belarus.

FIIA Comments
Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Obama headed for victory: Four reasons why Romney is unlikely to re-bend the arc of history
The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney did not dramatically change the underlying trends as the last month of campaigning gets underway. For a number of reasons, voters are still likely to award President Obama a second term.

Jyrki Kallio, Bart Gaens & Mikael Mattlin, Between a rock and a hard place: Senkaku islands dispute triggers Chinese nationalist backlash
With anti-Japanese demonstrations in numerous Chinese cities, some media have already been pondering the possibility of war breaking out between the two countries. China cannot afford to let nationalism get out of hand, as it could easily turn into voices of resistance against the government.

Arkady Moshes, “Pacific Russia” is still a dream: An APEC summit alone will not make the country a top player in the region
The APEC summit in Vladivostok is designed to emphasize just how much today’s Russia aspires to become a recognized Pacific power. But the context in which the summit will be held only serves to highlight the challenges to which Russia is and will be exposed both generally and specifically.

All FIIA publications can be downloaded from the Institute’s website.