Managing Complexity and Change in International Relations: The Case of Yemen

Date of Award

Summer 8-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science & Geography

Program/Concentration

Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Kurt T. Gaubitz

Committee Member

Steve A. Yetiv

Committee Member

Angelica J. Huizar

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 C85 2010

Abstract

Matters of war and peace may be as old as civilization itself but the definitions and practices of each are constantly evolving. Innumerable theories and models have been developed over the past few centuries, which are designed to explain modern international politics. As academics and policymakers debate their assumptions regarding conflict and cooperation, current events challenge their intellectual foundations and may even serve to overturn them. The scholars and practitioners of foreign policy may have reached the point where the traditional explanations of political behavior can no longer account for the pressing issues of the day. In such an age of immense complexity and dynamic change, a new path to political understanding must be forged.

The way forward is through integration. Combining theoretical elements within International Relations and marrying them with key concepts found in Political Science is the first step towards progress. As a basis for consensus, the competing approaches offered by academia must agree on the most fundamental features of international politics. The concepts of anarchy, order, and power provide the intellectual building blocks for explaining many global political flashpoints when one considers an issue from an outside-in perspective. Similarly, analyzing the quality and function of the state is crucial when one views such an event from the inside-out. By fusing the outside-in with the inside-out, one is better able to understand international political and security events from which competent policies and solutions can be utilized to address them. The following work utilizes the case study of Yemen and its struggle against al Qaeda. Yemen's war on terrorism exemplifies the complexity of today's security problems while illustrating the utility of an integrationist approach. Although the analysis presented cannot claim a new universal truth in the pursuit of political understanding, the work represents the first step towards grappling with a constantly evolving and increasingly diverse political landscape.

Rights

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DOI

10.25777/s6mq-sa11

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