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Options for Peace: Stateless Nations’ Defence and International Policy Options

Open Panel

Abstract

The aim of this communication is to introduce a specific Defense and International Policy initiative (Options for Peace) currently being elaborated in Wales, Cornwall and Ireland, as well as in Galicia and Catalunya, with tentative future involvement of other small European nations such as Bretagne, Scotland and Austria. Its main features are discussed within the frame of the process of European “Internal Enlargement” (i.e. the inclusion of new EU members following the secession from, or dissolution of, a member state) and an underlying normative robust pro-Peace orientation. This initiative translates the will of some small, hitherto stateless, nations, and the determination of independent, consolidated yet small nations to confront and tackle every dimension, including the military, of the harsh Realpolitik realities of “self-government”. The communication analyses some of the hard cases faced by independentist movements in their attempt at a genuine defense policy oriented towards peace. It explores why political actors such as independentist movements resort to military instruments to reach pacific goals. It stresses the interweaving of any defense strategy with a more general world-view, itself defining the more fundamental tenets and targets of any military policy. Defense and military policies are thus construed as an outer image of the very way a nation defines, and conceives of, itself, its role in the world and the interrelations with other nations and actors. As such, military and defense policy reverberates outside the nation a specific national identity. One crucial identity feature of these small nations being a categorical refusal of imperialism, the communication specifies the optimal entanglement with, and involvement in, international security frames and agreements such as NATO or OSCE or a European defense program or capability, for small nations’ Defense and international policy. The communication further explains how small nations define the friends/enemy sets, what’s their interpretation of the main global and regional security challenges and issues (so-called “soft-security” threats), and how their defense policy integrates and implements these.