Politikon, Vol. 35

Publication Date: December 2017


Responsible: The IAPSS Academic Department, represented by Jaroslava Barbieri, 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

Included in this issue

Original Articles

Identity, Securitization, and New Norm Creation: The evolution of US normative behavior during the Global War on Terror

by Filip Svítek

Politikon, 35: 5-29


This article explores domestic security policy and international threats through a constructivist lens, examining how the US Central Intelligence Agency functionally employs controversial tactics such as coercive interrogations and extrajudicial detention within a society that represents liberal normative democracy – one that in theory should prefer to uphold norms of human rights rather than infringe upon them. There appear to be two main concepts at play: security as an underlying cultural identity (i.e. a product) and security as a subjective act (i.e. a process). In particular, National Security Culture (the product) and securitization (the process) can together allow for the evolution of normative behavior. Empirical results show that techniques of enhanced interrogation, practiced furtively during the Global War on Terror, were introduced as new internal norms due to successful securitization. These norms, however, did not coalesce as rules, and through the President Bush administration remained a distinct “torture lite.”


Central Intelligence Agency; culture; discourse; enhanced interrogation; identity; intersubjectivity; language; National Security Culture; norms; rules; securitization; torture

Moving from a centralised to a network strategy in addressing unemployment: The Mangaung Metropolitan as a case study

by Lenie Swanepoel

Politikon, 35: 30-51


Unemployment is a challenge for the South African government, including of the Local Government. Many strategies were developed to do so, but with little success. This article argues that this is due to the application of a centralised approach instead of a network one. The centralized strategy is depleting state resources, whilst the private sector has expertise, skills, know-how and credit that could be used. The theory of network governance reiterates that partners are equal and function horizontally, which provides a safe environment for private partners in the network with the government structure retaining the responsibility of coordination and being at the centre of decision-making. This framework is applied to the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality’s Youth Enterprise Development Programme where the private sector was drawn in in line with the network approach. The article concludes that the mode of governance within local government needs to be transformed.


Network Governance; Local Government; Policy; Unemployment

What kind of foreign policy actor can the EU be defined as in respect to their sanctions regime against Belarus?

by Anna Lederer

Politikon, 35: 52-71


The aim of this paper is to assess the character of the European Union as a foreign policy actor through examining its restrictive and proactive measures vis-à-vis Belarus, a country often branded as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’. For this purpose, documents of the European Parliament are examined throughout a ten-year period, allowing for a coherent policy assessment of European Union decision-making. By depicting the Parliament’s impetus behind each decision to impose or lift sanctions and behind introducing other foreign policy tools, this analysis will gain some insight on the principles guiding the European Union as a foreign policy actor. The comprehensive approach further allows us to draw conclusions on the coherence and structure of the European Union’s foreign policy towards Belarus, as well as on the type of actor the European Union can be defined as in light of their policies.


Belarus; EU; foreign policy; sanctions; restrictive measures; normative power

United in Diversity: A Comparative Analysis of the Voting Behaviours of European Far-Right Political Parties in the European Parliament between 2009-2014

by Pınar Sayan

Politikon, 35: 72-88


While the rise of European far-right raises many questions, this article aims to contribute to the debate by looking at their voting behaviour in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2014. Although some of the most prominent European far-right parties try to emphasize their differences, this article shows how united they actually are on salient issues. This can be seen from their voting cohesion on economic and monetary affairs and immigration, but also their party programs, election manifestos, parliamentary speeches, statements and media coverage. The article concludes that far-right parties have similar voting preferences on the most salient issues, while existing deviations are mostly caused by country-specific reasons.


European Far-Right Parties; European Parliament; Party Cohesion; Party Politics; Voting Behaviour