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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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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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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Gender is widely recognized as an important and useful lens for the study of International Relations. However, there are few books that specifically investigate masculinity/ies in relation to world politics.

Taking a feminist-inspired understanding of gender as its starting point, the book:

  • explains that gender is both an asymmetrical binary and a hierarchy;

  • shows how masculinization works via ‘nested hierarchies’ of domination and subordination;

  • explores the imbrication of masculinities with the nation-state and great-power politics;

  • develops an understanding of the arms trade with commercial processes of militarization.

Written in an accessible style, with suggestions for further reading, this book is an invaluable resource for students and teachers applying ‘the gender lens’ to global politics.

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Since the early 2010s, academic and policy debates about the interlinkages between climate and security have expanded and deepened. Climate is now widely acknowledged to magnify security risks especially in conflict or post-conflict contexts. This relationship is viewed as complex, dynamic and indirect, involving a wide range of intermediate variables. However, this discussion – and hence, related policy efforts – have tended to occur at highly aggregate levels of analysis, especially national, regional and global ones. Instead, this paper addresses climate-sensitive peacebuilding at the local level. What does local climate-sensitive peacebuilding look like on the ground? What are the promising areas for research and policy responses in fragile and conflict-affected settings? After offering a broad overview of climate-sensitive peacebuilding, we focus on the case of Afghanistan, drawing on specific examples that were in place prior to the 2021 return to power of the Taliban. We find that the traditional Western approach in the country – top-down, focused on hard security rather than human security and highly state-centric – tends to ignore the impacts of climate change. In addition, the dominant security paradigm overlooks the potential of local peacebuilding initiatives that address adaptation and resilience. We argue that climate-sensitive peacebuilding offers a bottom-up alternative to addressing the intersection of these risks in conflict-affected settings.

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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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