Chair: Silvia D’Amato

Discussants: Silvia D’Amato & Jonas Driedger

Panel 3

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The New Shuffle for Africa: The EU and the US vs. China and Russia

Joshua Grant, James Madison University

Russia and China have increased their strategic investments in the African Continent. Despite differing motivations and levels of investment, both Russia and China’s adventurism into the African continent represent a strategic threat to the preeminence of the Western Liberal international order in the context of Africa. These illiberal emerging nations provide an alternative model to the democratic, more open model of the West. A multitude of African nations, reliant on international investment, are being presented with an ultimatum: the West or the rising East. Africa’s resource abundance and its potential for growth in comparison to other continents make it a strategic region in which international actors should increase investment. This increased investment will allow international actors to facilitate and direct the growth of Africa and thus the future of international relations in the region. One of the primary instruments of the West is NATO. However, the recent breakdown in NATO’s ability to project a clear and concentrated narrative has weakened the West. External pressures from China and Russia as well as internal criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuelle Macron further the weakening caused by NATO’s diluted narrative. NATO is a reflection of its parts; if NATO members do not establish an effective presence throughout and around the world, NATO will lose influence to rising powers. Thus, the following paper will compare and contrast the interests and efforts of Russia, China, the U.S. and the EU in Africa, providing analysis and suggestions on how the E.U. and the U.S. should address and respond to these issues.

The Cracking of Crimea: two Sides to Every Annexation


Paige Moody, James Madison University

In this paper, the variation of support of the Russian annexation of Crimea through a socio- economic context is explored in both the Crimean Peninsula and mainland Russia. Previous literature demonstrates that many aspects of society, such as political freedom, economic prosperity and 9 cultural protection were promised within the Crimean Peninsula, but not necessarily carried out by the Russian administration. The citizens of Crimea were supportive of the annexation at first due to guarantees of gaining access to the Russian mainland, as well as promises of new infrastructure that would connect the peninsula to the mainland. Through newspaper articles, it became clear that these promises were all political rhetoric by President Vladimir Putin and his administration, as many of these projects were never seen through or started. Over the past six years, the citizens of both Crimea and Russia have seen economic stagnation in both regions met with economic sanctions from the international community. Additionally, there has been a lack of political freedom as the Russian administration wants to ensure that the only following is that of President Putin. This research is put forth in order to demonstrate that the annexation has now proved to be less successful than originally hoped for the Russian administration, and that there should be cause of concern in the international community as tensions are growing within both Russian and Crimean citizens. Unfortunately, with President Putin creating a new constitutional amendment that would allow him to stay in power for another fifteen years, there is a question of how far the Russian government will go to ensure that the citizens of Crimea and Russia publicly support him and will be punished otherwise.

The Legal Framework of Conflict Related Sexual Violence: The Kosovo Case


Valëza Ukaj, University of Prishtina

The core aim of this paper is to analyze the legal framework of conflict related sexual violence in general and the legal framework and the measures that have been taken from the Kosovo context. The legal framework will be discussed and reviewed focusing on the both the institutional and noninstitutional level. Specifically, the paper discusses the steps that have been taken towards providing a virtuous legal framework and reparation for survivors of conflict related sexual violence in Kosovo after the 1999 Kosovo-Serbia conflict. The overall sexual violence experiences have shown that information and acknowledge about sexual violence perpetrated during armed conflicts are scarce, scattered and very often very selective due to numerous challenges that such victims face. While there has been an increase awareness that sexual violence is a war crime over the past decades, the long term effects of the crimes are still felt by the victims, families, community and the country. The paper describes the challenges that have been put forward to the victims of conflict related sexual violence such as: ending the stigma, impunity for the perpetrators, implementation of comprehensive reparation programs for the victims, the denials of the survivor’s access to justice, survivals right to reparation, and empower women to support sustainable peace-building within the Kosovo context.

The EU's Common Foreign Security Policy: The Case of Russia’s Spread of Disinformation and Election Fraud


Mary Paige Van Kuiken, James Madison University

Within the past ten years, Russian election interference has escalated, affecting multiple countries across Europe as well as in the United States. The European Union’s (EU) Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) was created with the intention to promote international peace and security, however in its current state it cannot address the spread of disinformation that is taking place today. Particularly in Eastern Europe, the amount of interference from Russian media that is taking place is a threat to security, both on a national and EU level. In this paper, we seek to determine to what extent Russian disinformation and election interference has affected European security, and to a larger extent, the world. To do this, we examine cases from Eastern, Central, and Western Europe. Based on the study of trends in disinformation campaigns promoted by Russia, the paper provides an analysis of the CFSP and its shortcomings, particularly regarding the increase of disinformation on a global level.