1. What is a network or non-state actor?
A non-state actor is an entity who participates in international relations but who is not oriented to any state. They include terrorist organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, transnational Diaspora communities, and independent intelligence units. Non-state factors have independent means of obtaining their resources and are self motivating. They also have a choice of choosing the type of structure to use (Arts, 2000).
Non-state actors influence international relations by the use of various methods. The methods used depend on the nature of the non-state actors in question, the amount of power and following they have and the access they have to the various tools and weapons (Holzscheiter, 2005). In this regard, non-governmental organizations would prefer to offer funds to issues they support or organize the use of numbers in the form of strikes to coerce governments to act in their favor. Terrorist organizations on the other hand may opt to use threats and acts of terrorism to have certain measures effected in their areas. International companies on the other hand, may withdraw their business activities within a certain region to make their needs met.
2. Why is terrorism hard to define?
Defining terrorism comprehensively becomes difficult not only due to the complexity that arises in defining the motives, methods and targets but also in that which arises in attempting to untangle the overlaps between each of these factors. Attempting to define the full magnitude of terrorism becomes virtually impossible under normal conditions (Rugova 2008). While comparing the differences in definitions, the biggest disparity lies in the motivations behind terrorism. The importance of studying the motivations behind various acts of terrorism is based on the fact most the methods and targets are often based on the motivations.
In defining terrorism, a definition must be selected in such a way that it serves to fight terrorism as well as to prosecute terrorism suspects. Analyzing the challenges met by those trying to understand the motivations of the diverse terrorist groups enables for a more comprehensive application of the definition. In order to fight terrorism, one must be able understand the methods and the targets of groups. This definition would be best obtained by understanding the motivations thoroughly.
The major differences in the motivations of terrorisms are those that define terrorism as polically motivated and those that attempt to be more specific.
While defining terrorism as mainly politically motivated may be advantageous in certain contexts, it is also found to be very limiting. The purpose of those definitions that have defined terrorism as mainly politically motivated is to include all other motivations as being political. Other definitions have included religion, race, philosophy, ideology, and ethnicity as motivations too.
Since the 2001 terrorist attack, attention has been put on religion as a motivation for terrorism. It would however be argued that some of the terrorist acts that are religiously motivated could also be motivated by other factors like ideologies and politics (Rugova 2008). However, whenever other motivations diverge into political motivation, the purpose may be to obtain political influence on certain matters that are of religious concern.
Based on the different motivations behind terrorism, the methods used and the targets, it is almost impossible to define terrorism. Instead, a set of definitions would be more suitable to apply for the various acts as they arise. The use of such a set would therefore reduce the necessity for one definition as the nature of terrorism differs with the motivations behind it.
3. Why do uncivil networks form?
Uncivil networks are organizations that cause unwelcome, disruptive and threatening activities in the society. Often, the activities of uncivil societies are kept secret to the rest of the society. Uncivil societies have been found do primarily violent. However, there are other characteristics that would be used to describe uncivil societies (Denes 2012). Some of these characteristics include ethnic or religious exclusivism, and fundamentalism or a tendency to impose strict doctrines to the entire society including those who do not want to pursue them.
Uncivil networks are motivated by various factors. First, uncivil societies may be formed to pursue ends that are generally not accepted in the society (Denes 2012). The small group of people who would campaign for such ideologies can opt to form uncivil societies to pursue their motives. Second, uncivil networks may be created to pursue selfish motives (Denes 2012). Some uncivil networks are created with the intention of obtaining funds from the community or other forms of payment. In return, they may offer to provide security and a judicial system for the society.
4. What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the act of forcefully or coercively moving people illegally from one area to another mainly for the sake of obtaining labor, or sex exploitation on individuals. It could also be defined as modern slavery where people make a living by controlling and exploiting others. All people qualify to be candidates for human trafficking (Shelley and Lee 2007). However, the most commonly exploited groups are children, women and young men. The culprits are involved in commercial sex either by coercion or deception or forced to work in different areas against their will. Each of the factors surrounding human trafficking has fraud, coercion and fraud in common. These control is then attached to making someone to offer labor, services or commercial sex. The people therefore end up being forced to serve someone. Human trafficking is considered one of the fastest growing criminal activities worldwide.
5. Why don’t stronger arms control norms exist?
People have different beliefs about whether guns should be controlled or not. Generally, most people believe that it would be better for all people to be able to get access to arms. Peole cite different reasons as to why guns should be allowed. However, the most cited reasons are for self protection, hunting and target practice (Krause and Latham 1998).
Most people feel that it would be more secure if people were able to access guns more freely. People feel that the ability to get access to weapons would enable easier and more effective self protection. People believe that it would be harder for criminals to perpetrate criminal activities against the rest of the community if more people owned guns. Generally, this concept is based on the idea that more access to arms would make criminals feel more insecure while attempting to commit crime (Krause and Latham 1998).
Second, some people still make a living by hunting. While most people have no access to sufficient areas where they can do hunting to make a living, a significant number would still prefer easier access to arms for this purpose. This way, most people would be able to get access to hunting guns more cheaply.
A small number also would want to be better at target practice mainly as a sport. The availability of guns would then make it possible for individuals to practice and participate intarget practice games more easily.
Arts, Bas. 2000. ‘Regimes, Non-State Actors And The State System: Astructurational’regime Model’. European Journal Of International Relations 6 (4): 513–542.
Denes, Nick. 2012. ‘‘Welcome To The Counterjihad’: Uncivil Networks And The Narration Of European Public Spheres’. Journal Of Civil Society 8 (3): 289–306.
Holzscheiter, Anna. 2005. ‘Discourse As Capability: Non-State Actors’ Capital In Global Governance’. Millennium-Journal Of International Studies 33 (3): 723–746.
Krause, Keith, and Andrew Latham. 1998. ‘Constructing Non-Proliferation And Arms Control: The Norms Of Western Practice’. Contemporary Security Policy 19 (1): 23–54.
Protection, Infrastructure, and Ibrahim Rugova. 2008. ‘Definition Of Terrorism’. The Fight Against Terrorism And Crisis Management In The Western Balkans 32 (204): 221.
Shelley, Louise, and M Lee. 2007. ‘Human Trafficking As A Form Of Transnational Crime’. Human Trafficking, 116–137.
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