Conflict, Security and Peace

Addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, the books and journal articles we publish in this area focus on the impact of vast power differentials and the issues that need to be addressed as a threat to human rights and international security, including conflict-based migration and political instability. 

Our aim is to publish innovative research that supports finding ways to protect groups that can be an easy target for violence and discrimination.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Conflict, security and peace, we aim to address the following goal:  

Conflict, Security and Peace

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Political hackers, like the infamous Anonymous collective, have demonstrated their willingness to use political violence to further their agendas. However, many of their causes – targeting terrorist groups, fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, and protecting people’s freedom of expression, autonomy and privacy – are intuitively good things to fight for.

This book will create a new framework that argues that when the state fails to protect people, hackers can intervene and evaluates the hacking based on the political or social circumstances. It highlights the space for hackers to operate as legitimate actors; guides hacker activity by detailing what actions are justified toward what end; outlines mechanisms to aid hackers in reaching ethically justified decisions; and directs the political community on how to react to these political hackers.

Applying this framework to the most pivotal hacking operations within the last two decades, including the Arab Spring, police brutality in the USA and the Nigerian and Ugandan governments’ announcements of homophobic legislation, it offers a unique contribution to conceptualising hacking as a contemporary political activity

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Civil–Military Relations in Asia
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This book explores civil-military relations in Asia. With chapters on individual countries in the region, it provides a comprehensive account of the range of contemporary Asian practices under conditions of abridged democracy, soft authoritarianism or complete totalitarianism.

Through its analysis, the book argues that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be examined under the concept of ‘Asian military evolutions.’ It demonstrates that while Asian militaries have tried to incorporate standard, western-derived frameworks of civil-military relations, it has been necessary to adapt such frameworks to suit local circumstances. The book reveals how this has in turn led to creative fusions and novel changes in making civil-military relations an asset to furthering national security objectives.

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Politics of Peacebuilding in Lebanese Municipalities

How is peace built at the local level?

Covering three Lebanese municipalities with striking sectarian diversity, Saida, Bourj Hammoud and Tyre, this book investigates the ways in which local service delivery, local interactions and vertical relationships matter in building peace. Using the stories and experiences of municipal councillors, employees and civil society actors, it illustrates how local activities and agencies are performed and what it means for local peace in Lebanon.

Through its analysis, the book illustrates what the practice of peacebuilding can look like at the local level and the wider lessons, both practical and theoretical, that can be drawn from it.

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How do local communities effectively build peace and reconciliation before, during and after open violence? This trailblazing book gives practical examples, from the Global North, the former Soviet bloc and Global South, on communities addressing conflict in divided and contested societies.

The book draws on a range of critical perspectives and practitioner analysis. The diverse case studies demonstrate the considerable knowledge, skills, commitment, courage and relationships within local communities that a critical community development approach can support and encourage.

Concluding with activists’ perspectives on working with the challenges of violence, the book offers insights for both an understanding of the root causes of conflict and for bottom-up peacebuilding.

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A Differential Framework
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Drawing on insights from differentiation theory, this book examines the participation of middle powers in multilateralism.

Taking Australia, Indonesia and South Korea as examples, the book examines these countries’ roles in regional organizations, and particularly their creation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and East Asia Summit. Through its analysis, the book argues that middle powers pursue a weakening of ‘stratificatory differentiation’, targeted in particular at major powers, and a strengthening of ‘functional differentiation’ in which middle powers can assume key roles.

The book sets out a valuable new framework to explain and understand the behaviour of middle powers in multilateralism.

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From Strategy to Decision

Between 2021 and 2031, the UK government is set to spend over £230 billion on its military. Who decides how to use these funds, and how can we be sure that the UK’s armed forces can meet the threats of tomorrow?

This book provides the answers to these crucial questions. Concentrating on decisions taken below the political level, it uncovers the factors that underpin the translation of strategic direction into military capability. In a series of interviews, over 30 top admirals, generals and air marshals give their own views on the procurement and maintenance of the nation’s current and future military capability. Their unrivalled professional knowledge and experience affords a fascinating insight into the higher management of national defence.

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The Subregional Approach
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This timely analysis of security in Europe identifies the factors that enable and hinder the creation of networks of defence cooperation across the continent.

Going beyond regional arrangements established by NATO and the European Union, the book considers the sub-regional level by focusing on bilateral and minilateral defence collaborations. It provides a new conceptual framework to assess the rationales, leadership and the complex dynamics within these alliances, and highlights how they shape and interact with NATO and EU initiatives.

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Presidential Decision-Making in a Post-Cold War World
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The decision to mount an armed foreign intervention is one of the most consequential that a US president can take. This book sets out to explain why and when presidents choose to use force.

The book examines decisions to use force throughout the post-Cold War period, via flashpoints including the Balkans, the ‘War on Terror’ and the Middle East. It develops new explanations for variation in the use of force in US foreign policy by theorizing and demonstrating the effects of the displacement and repression of ideas within and across different US presidential administrations, from George H.W. Bush to Donald Trump.

For students, scholars and anyone with an interest in international relations and global security, this book is an original perspective on a defining issue of recent decades.

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Energy Securitization in Azerbaijan
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Known as ‘the land of fire’, Azerbaijan’s politics are materially and ideologically shaped by energy. In the country, energy security emerges as a mix of coercion and control, requiring widespread military and law enforcement deployment.

This book examines the extensive network of security professionals and the wide range of practices that have spread in Azerbaijan’s energy sector. It unpacks the interactions of state, supra‐state, and private security organizations and argues that energy security has enabled and normalized a coercive way of exercising power. This study shows that oppressive energy security practices lead to multiple forms of abuse and poor energy policies.

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Cross-National Perspectives

This volume brings together international experts to provide fresh perspectives on geopolitical concerns in the South China Sea.

The book considers the interests and security strategies of each of the nations with a claim to ownership and jurisdiction in the Sea. Examining contexts including the region’s natural resources and China’s behaviour, the book also assesses the motivations and approaches of other states in Asia and further afield.

This is an accessible, even-handed and comprehensive examination of current and future rivalries and challenges in one of the most strategically important and militarized maritime regions of the world.

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