Politikon, Vol. 32 (Special IAPSS Student Research Committees Issue) 

Publication Date: April 2017


Responsible: The IAPSS Academic Department, represented by Lorand Bodo, Acting Editor-in-Chief of Politikon and Max Steuer, Head of the Academic Department.

Copyright © 2017 International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS). All rights reserved.

Full Issue

Front Matter (Table of Contents, Editorial Note)

Call for Papers and Instructions for Authors

Included in this issue

Original Articles

The European Union and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia: A Case of Effective Multilateralism?

by Gergana Tzvetkova

Politikon, 32: 5-21


The call for solutions to global problems through effective multilateralism has been one of the main messages of the European Union during the past decade. This paper explores EU participation in the Contact Group on Piracy of the Coast of Somalia as an example of a multilateral initiative. First, the paper offers an outline of effective multilateralism and the activities of the Contact Group. It then examines developments related to three markers of effective multilateralism: scope of involvement, the role undertaken by the UN as a consequence of the group’s activities and the extent to which the Contact Group facilitated the spread of international rules and norms related to piracy. The analysis showed that the EU is inclined to engage in international attempts at multilateralism but hints that in the future a change in the EU perception of multilateralism is likely.


European Union, Effective Multilateralism, Contact Group, Piracy, Somalia

From Governmental Vigilance to Diffuse Control: Surveillance and Accountability since the Spanish Transition

by Jaseff Raziel Yauri Miranda

Politikon, 32: 22-41


Considering the inertia of past institutions and practices, this paper questions how the accountability of surveillance has been affected in terms of its quality and mechanisms. To verify this, the first part depicts the background related to intelligence institutions since the Spanish democratic transition in the late 70s. The second part is focused on digital personal data flows in a de-concentrated surveillance assemblage since the 90s. On each part, the accountability mechanisms are analyzed through a historical and political methodology based on the theory of legacy constraints. Structured bibliography related to checks and balances and the analysis of legal measures regarding the protection of privacy are the sources for this study. The conclusion alludes to a posteriori mechanisms of answerability and to uncoordinated efforts of accountability since the first period. It also stresses the importance of answerability promoted by the citizenship to complement and reinforce enforcement dimensions which are affected by the secrecy of surveillance.


surveillance, accountability, intelligence services, personal data, democratization process

Puzzling Policy Shifts: Fickle Western Support of Democracy Promotion in Economically Salient Countries

by Kirstie Lynn Dobbs and JeongWoo Lee

Politikon, 32: 42-59


Why do Western powers support ruthless dictatorships in allied countries, but at other times condemn the actions of these same dictatorships in support of democratic revolutionaries? Based on this puzzle, this paper argues that Western support of democratization is dependent upon the economic ties that develop between the two allied states during the dictatorial era, prior to a democratic revolution. In contexts where the Western power has strong historical relations rooted in economic ties, a regime change is likely to be supported to ensure a continuation of the economic benefits previously received. We use the analytical perspective offered by the linkage and leverage thesis offered by Levitsky and Way (2013) and reformulate it to offer an alternative view in which to analyze foreign policy shifts and the breakdown of authoritarian regimes.


Authoritarian regime, Democratization, Dictatorship, Economic interdependence, Foreign Policy

Branding Rights: The position of political cartoons in the securitisation of population groups in a democracy

by Dané Smith

Politikon, 32: 60-80


Extending on notions of securitisation and how it challenges democracy, this paper uses Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad of media effects within a social constructivist paradigm, to engage in an intertextual and intervisual analysis of political cartoons in Denmark. In doing so this paper illustrates how and why particular community groups within democracies can be targeted in ‘speech acts’ that subsequently pushes them into becoming securitised as possible threat groups within the democracy. The securitisation that takes place in democracies through these identified and analysed ‘speech acts’ embedded in political images are deconstructive features to promoting democratic rights, and must be understood and addressed at a structural level to instead promote desecuritisation.


securitisation; democracy: social construction; political cartoons; democratic rights; plural society

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