Unit 4D New Warfare


  • Changing nature of war from ‘old’ wars to ‘new’ wars – Mary Kaldor (From New Wars to Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Age, (1999; 2007)
  • Features of conventional wars
    • armed conflict between states; Iran-Iraq war 1980-1988, Russia V Georgia 2008
    • war an extension of politics, (Von Clausewitz, 1831)
    • clear civilian/military divide
    • The inevitability of war – Thucydides & KN Waltz Man State and War, 1959 – war is intrinsic to human nature.
    • Offensive Realism – Mearsheimer (2001) States seek to maximise their power. War is one means by which states can do this, however does not account for intra-state conflict
    • Defensive Realism – Mastanduno – state’s primary concern is to guarantee its own security
    • War is obsolete  – Gray 1997
  • Realism
  • dynamics of power politics as states pursue national interests
  • Classical realists emphasize state egoism. Rivalry is driven the human nature of self-seeking.
  • Neorealists argue that the international system is anarchic, states are forced to be self-help to achieve survival and security (ensured by maximising military power).
  • The principal factor distinguishing between war and peace is the balance of power.
  • States that wish to preserve peace must therefore prepare for war, “Si vis pacem, para bellum” hoping to deter potential aggressors and avoid predominance of a rival state. However this may give rise to the security dilemma (Booth and Wheeler, 2008, Graham Allison, 2015 – The Thucydides Trap)
  • Liberal
  • War arises from three sets of circumstances.
  • First, liberals accept that state egoism may lead to conflict and a possibility of war.
  • Second, there is a link to economic nationalism and autarky. (quest for economic self-sufficiency).
  • Peace can be achieved through free trade, because it make war economically costly.
  • Third, a state’s disposition to war and peace is determine by its constitutional character.
  • Authoritarian, tend to be militaristic, Democratic, tend to be more peaceful, especially to other democratic countries – democratic zones of peace – Max Singer & Aaron WildawaskyThe Real World Order: Zones of Peace/Zones of Turmoil, 1994)
  • Critical
  • Tend to explain war primarily in economic terms – Marxist Analysis
  • WWI was an imperialist war fought in pursuit of colonial gains in Africa. (Lenin 1970).
  • War, being the pursuit of economic advantage by other means.
  • Chomsky- (hegemonic war), powerful states use war to defend or expand their global economic and political interests.
  • From ‘old’ wars to ‘new’ wars –  features of modern or ‘new’ wars
      • civil wars rather than inter-state wars; Interstate Vs Intra-state; Civil Wars – (Syria, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan (Before the secession of Southern Sudan) and Southern Sudan now.
      • wars of identity (fuelled by ethnic nationalism or religious radicalism; intractability nature of warfare)
      • use of guerrilla and insurgency tactics
      • asymmetrical war – ‘mismatched’ enemies
  • Post Westphalian
  • Post Structuralist (Post Modern)
  • Post ClausewitzianWhat Von Clausewitz meant is that war was effectively an extension of that state sovereignty/external sovereignty and foreign policy, but because some theorists argue that we are in a post sovereign phase of global politics we are also in a post-Clausewitzian phase of warfare. War is no longer primarily state v. state
  • Post Sovereign
  • uncertain outcomes – intractability no clear decisive outcomes; wars are more prolonged
  • blurring of civilian/military divide; – irregular fighters; civilian targets; overlaps between war and criminality
  • Ethnic conflict; Ethnic cleansing; Genocide; War Crimes; Crimes against Humanity; Wars of Aggression
  • International Law and Humanitarian intervention; ICISS; R2P, Conditional Sovereignty
  • Afghanistan and Iraq as ‘new’ wars;
  • WMD – increased willingness to use chemical weapons Syria; USA in Fallujuah 2004 – Depleted Uranium Munitions; Phosphorous Bombs; Gaza and in first Gulf War
  • Barrel Bombs (Syria/Assad)
  • An increase in breaches of Human Rights:
  • Genocide, (Rwanda, East Timor)
  • Ethnic cleansing, (Bosnia and Kosovo)
  • Summary execution
  • Rape as a weapon of warfare (Sierra Leone and Bosnia),
  • Torture (The CIA and waterboarding), Extraordinary rendition, (USA in cooperation with 55 other states around the world) held without due process or legal representation
  • Wars of aggression (Iraq),
  • Child Soldiers (Uganda and the DRC),
  • Insurgency, Kidnap Execution,
  • Thus new wars are far more likely to be more barbaric than traditional warfare.
  • Challenges to ‘new’ war thesis
    • little genuinely new about such warfare – Algeria; Vietnam;
    • war has always been barbaric;
    • civilians have always been targets;
    • Nothing new about the Arab Spring
  • Escalation in terrorism as a weapon of warfare. 9/11, Nairobi (1998), US embassy in Lebanon (1983), Madrid Train Bombing (2004), London Tube Bombings (7/7, 2005), Bali 2005, Mumbai, (2008) Al Shabbab in Nairobi- 2013, Boko Haram-2013, Nigeria. (Attack on dormitories) Paris attacks November 2015
  • Postmodern’ wars– revolution in military affairs; Post Modern ‘virtual war’ and ‘cyber war’ Derian (2001)
    • ‘hi-tech’ weaponry; drones
    • ‘virtual’ warfare;
    • casualty-less warfare (Kosovo)
    • War on Terror – Highly problematic. Very difficult to wage or conclude decisively  Howard 2002
  • Diaspora / Refugees -Syria Yarmouk, Lebanon, Iraq UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for refugees) Fillipo Grandi – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihEv_F_VIO4
  • Secessionist Conflicts – Chechnya, Annexation Crimea
  • Timothy Garton Ash –  New World Disorder 2008
  • Joseph NyeChaotic distributions of power
  • Seamus Milne The Weakness of the Strong – US and UK Intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq was an abject failure

Divisions within the Conservative and Labour Parties

Hi. I hope exam preparation is going well and you are counting down the days. This is really the time when you should be pretty comfortable with all the material including concepts and case studies and are simply planning out fairly brief plans for all of the past paper questions. That is certainly what I would be doing. 

I’ve had a request for how to approach divisions within the two major parties and broadly speaking this is not that difficult. You could either take a traditions and factions approach (Modernising Conservatives V Thatcherites; Progress V Momentum) which is now beginning to look a bit worn especially on the Conservative side of the equation or a more policy specific approach which given that the manifestos have just come out may at first look daunting. However the examiners don’t necessarily require you to be absolutely current, as long as we are dealing with fairly recent history.

Now taking the Labour party first these divisions have been very well documented. There is a clear division for example on at least two fronts. Firstly within the PLP itself there has been a widely reported rift between the leadership and the rest of the PLP. 172 out of 229 Labour MPs passed a no confidence motion in their own leader Jeremy Corbyn in June 2016 and he was then challenged for the leadership on the premise that he was unelectable by Owen Smith, but won  with an increased mandate. The other front in which there is a very deep divide is between the huge influx of members (broadly Corbyn has attracted a very large number of younger members, and some former members who were alienated by the Iraq War have returned to the fold) and what might be termed the Blairite progress wing of the PLP. The divide here is between those who maintain that Labour cannot be elected on a left wing platform and those who would like to see Labour offer policies that are more in keeping with its socialist roots and traditions. The latter option is the one Corbyn has pretty firmly adopted though he has had to make some compromises. There was certainly no appetite in the NEC for pursuing for example unilateral nuclear disarmament, but there is a strong commitment for a return to public ownership of certain industries/services, most notably rail and a pledge to scrap university tuition fees. Corbyn thinks education, as with health and social care, should be a public good free at the point of delivery and has talked in the past of a National Education Service (NES) just as we should protect and fund the National Health Service. 

Following the Brexit referendum there were a large number of resignations from the Shadow Cabinet which briefly looked to have totally destabilised Corbyn’s grip on the party and leadership. More recently Corbyn lost the support of Clive Lewis, widely regarded as a natural successor to Corbyn, following the leader’s  decision to vote with the Conservatives on the triggering of Article 50. Lewis, with a strong pro-remain constituency, (Norwich South) felt he could not follow collective responsibility on this issue and therefore resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. 

This article here offers a very detailed account of a number of senior Labour MPs who have strongly criticised Jeremy Corbyn recently over his stance on Syria. This is a very clear indication of the deep divisions in foreign policy between Corbyn and the PLP. 

Moving onto the Conservatives divisions are also evident. In March 2017 Michael Heseltine was sacked from 5 Key advisory roles he held in government for leading a Lords rebellion over the triggering of Article 50. Other noted pro Europeans include Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve, whilst David Davies and Liam Fox are profoundly Europhobic. 

May was forced into a U-Turn in face of a looming Commons revolt over the Chancellor’s proposed rise of NICs for the self employed. Up to around 20 Tory Backbenchers threatened a rebellion.

Threatened with a backbench rebellion of up to 20 MPs on government proposals to seek cuts in the overall education budget. MP’s publicly told May to reverse the policy or lose the vote.

Another division opening up is that the general election campaign is widely seen to be a shambles and far from the foregone conclusion it looked to be about 3 weeks ago. There are murmerings that May owns this having placed so much store in her leadership. Undoubtedly a bad result in the general election campaign would be pinned on her and her close advisor Nick Timothy. See this article here



Coalition Government and Rebellions

Source: Daily Telegraph 14th November 2014

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 12.40.09 PM.pngLords Reform

In July 2012 91 Conservative MPs voted against Lords reform, defying a three-line whip and kiboshing Nick Clegg’s dream of reform to the upper chamber.

A furious David Cameron was reported to have confronted the leader of the rebellion, Jesse Norman MP, just outside the House of Commons division lobbies late on the night of the vote as it became clear that normally loyal Tory MPs were determined to register their opposition.


In August 2013 vote for British air strikes in Syria was defeated in a Commons vote after a rebellion of 31 Tory backbenchers and opposition from the Labour Party.

MPs complained that Britain’s mission in Syria was not clear: was it simply to destroy the regime’s stockpiles of chemical weapons; or to weaken the regime enough to swing the civil war in the rebels’ favour; or to simply send a message that the world would not tolerate chemical weapons attacks? And after that, what? Many asked whether this really had to be Britain’s fight.

It damaged Mr Cameron and made him more cautious over such votes in the future. A key reason British airstrikes against ISIS are now limited to Iraq not Syria is because the Prime Minister was not willing to risk losing again.

EU Budget

On 31 October 2012 Mark Reckless, the Conservative MP who has since defected to Ukip was credited with masterminding the coalition’s first Commons defeat leading 53 Tory rebels to join with Labour to back a motion demanding a real terms cut in the European Union budget.

The vote came as an embarrassment to David Cameron on the eve of crucial talks in Brussels but the Prime Minister has since negotiated the first real-terms cut in the EU budget.

Gay marriage

The Prime Minister suffered one of his biggest rebellions over gay marriage with 134 of his MPs voting against in May last year.

Mr Cameron was in the Commons to hear that the bill had passed by 366 to 161 and despite the rebellion there was applause in the House when the result was announced.

Afterwards Mr Cameron said that there were “young boys in schools today who are gay” who will “stand a little bit taller today and I am proud of the fact that that has happened.”

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary and equalities minister, voted against the move but has since said she has changed her mind and would back it if voting again.

European referendum

In October 2011 a total 79 of his MPs voted for a Commons motion calling for a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU, even though Mr Cameron had ordered his party to oppose it. Two tellers indicated they supported the motion.

In the vote another two Tories voted yes and no, the traditional way of registering an abstention. A further 12 did not vote.

MPs voting against Mr Cameron in such numbers meant that about half of all Conservatives outside the “payroll vote” of ministers and their aides scorned Mr Cameron’s authority.

European referendum, again

In this symbolic expression of deep unease with the Coalition’s European policy, 114 Conservative MPs, including ministerial aides, backed an amendment regretting the omission of a referendum law.

Mr Cameron has promised to hold a referendum by 2017 but many of his MPs say his promise is not enough and only a law will persuade voters that the referendum will happen.

The vote which was believed to be the first time since 1946 that members of a governing party have voted against a Queen’s Speech, and reflected deep Conservative unhappiness with Mr Cameron’s coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats and concern over the inexorable rise of Ukip.


In February 2014 the Prime Minister was faced with a 86-strong rebellion on an amendment to the Immigration Bill.

The amendment, crafted by Dominic Raab, a Eurosceptic Tory rising star, sought to make it easier to deport foreign criminals who claim a right to a family life as protection under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Theresa May said that the amendment would be illegal, but the Tory front bench abstained. In the end the Prime Minister was saved the embarrassment of defeat although he was forced to rely on Labour and Lib Dem votes to quash it.

The worst offenders

Philip Hollobone is top rebel, ignoring party orders 129 times, followed by David Nuttall on 88, Philip Davies on 85 and Peter Bone on 68.

Recent Electoral Systems and Democracy Stats

The following stats and case study examples may be useful if you are doing electoral systems and/or representation and democracy on Unit 1 this summer. Just a month to go now so I hope revision is bedding in well. 

2015 General Election – First Past the Post criticisms

UKIP 12.4% of vote, 1 seat, SNP 4.7 % 56 seats

Also 63.1 % did not vote Conservative, yet they obtained a majority of 12 seats. Conservatives won their majority on just 36.9% of the turnout and just 24.4% of the entire available electorate.

Turnout – 66.1 % – 33.9% abstention. 3rd election in a row there has been an increase but does not compare with 1974 (78%) or even 1997 (72%)

18-24 Turnout 58%

Two parties still dominate Westminster with 85% of the seats for 67% of the vote.

In the 2015 General Election, only 328 MPs (51%) had a ‘majority mandate’, while 322 MPs (49%) had a ‘minority mandate’.

Stoke By-election 2017 – More First Past the post Criticisms

First of all note that the turnout at just 36.7% means 63.3% of the electorate in Stoke did not cast a vote. You could argue that the result therefore lacks legitimacy.

The winning candidate has the positive vote of around just 13% of the entire constituencies electorate, an obvious flaw of FPTP.

In addition 63.91% of all votes cast in this by-election were wasted. So almost 2/3 didn’t vote and of those who did, 2/3rds of the votes did not count. This is one of the biggest flaws in FPTP.

Scottish Parliament Election Results (Additional Member System, AMS) 2016

Conservative 7 FPTP seats for  22% share of the vote

Labour 3 FPTP seats for 22.6% of the vote

Even more bizarrely…

Conservatives 24 seats for  22.9% in the Party list element whilst the SNP got just 4 PArty List seats for 41.7% of the regional vote. This is due to the way the D’hondt formula counterbalances gains in one element against gains in the other.

Welsh Assembly Election Results (Additional Member System, AMS) 2016

Plaid Cymru 6 constituency seats for  21.1% of the constituency votes compared to Lib Dems 1 Constituency seat for  12.5% of the constituency votes

Ukip got 7 regional seats on 13% of the regional vote compared to Labour with  2 regional seats on 31.5% of the regional vote

London Assembly Election (Additional Member System) 2016

Labour London wide vote 40.3% but only 3 seats, Conservatives also 3 seats on Conservative 29.2%  of the London wide vote

Turnout for London Assembly elections – Turnout 45.6% – up from 38.1% in 2012, so AMS would not necessarily remedy the voter apathy problem that FPTP is said to suffer from

Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough By-Election (First-Past-The-Post)

33.2% – down from 54.8% in the 2015 General Election turnout very low for by-elections.


Judiciary Past Paper Questions

June 2009

How effectively can the judiciary control executive and legislative power in the UK?

JUDICIARIES JANUARY 2010Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.30.39 AM.png



How effectively can the judiciary protect civil liberties in Britain ?

 Judiciaries January 2011


Is the judiciary too powerful, or is it not powerful enough?

JUNE 2011 Judiciaries

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Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.33.49 AM.png

 June 2012 ESSAY 

To what extent do judges protect individual rights and freedoms in the UK?


In what ways, and to what extent, is the Human Rights Act controversial?

June 2013

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.35.08 AM.png

 June 2014

To What extent is there conflict in the UK  between judges and government ministers?

June 2015

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 10.35.47 AM.png

 June 2016

To what extent are judges better guardians of rights and civil liberties than Parliament or the executive?


Constitutions Past Paper Questions

June 2010 The British Constitution

Study the following passage and answer the questions that follow.

A Possible Codified Constitution for the UK

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, has used a visit to Washington to hint that Britain could finally get a codified constitution spelling out citizens’ rights and codifying this country’s political system. He is already working on a new Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, clearly defining people’s relationship to the state, as part of a wide-ranging package of constitutional reform. But he has, for the first time, also said that the Bill could be a step towards a fully codified constitution to ‘bring us in line with the most progressive democracies around the world’.

Britain’s constitution has developed in a haphazard fashion, building on common law, conventions, case law, historical documents, Acts of Parliament and European legislation. It is not set out clearly in any one document. Nor is there a single statement of citizens’ rights and freedoms. As Jack Straw put it yesterday: ‘Most people might struggle to put their finger on where their rights are’.

Supporters argue that producing such a document could tackle disillusionment with politics, at the same time as setting new, clear limits on the power of the executive. Opponents of a codified constitution argue, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ insisting that the existing arrangements, however piecemeal their development has been, have worked well in practice. There are, moreover, formidable practical problems to be overcome before such a document could be drawn up.

Source: adapted from an article by Nigel Morris in The Independent, 14 February 2008

a) With reference to the source, describe three sources of the UK constitution. (5 Marks)

b)With reference to the source, and your own knowledge, explain the arguments in favour of a codified constitution for the UK. (10 Marks)

c) Make out a case against the adoption of a codified constitution for the UK. (25 Marks) 

Essays on Constitutional Reform – June 2009

Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough.’ Discuss. (40 Marks)

January 2010 – The advantages of a codified constitution now outweigh its disadvantages’. Discuss.  (40 Marks)

January 2011 – The UK constitution is no longer fit for purpose.’ Discuss.  (40 Marks)

June 2011

To what extent has the location of sovereignty in the UK changed in recent years?  (40 Marks)

 January 2012

To what extent have constitutional reforms since 1997 reduced the powers of UK governments?  (40 Marks)

June 2012

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 4.41.08 PM.png

a) With reference to the source outline two constitutional reforms proposed by David Miliband. (5 Marks)

b) With reference to the source and your own knowledge, explain the arguments in favour of introducing a codified constitution. (10 Marks)

c) To what extent have the coalition government’s proposals to reform the UK constitution been controversial? (25 Marks)

January 2013

To what extent have the constitutional reforms introduced since 1997 made the UK more democratic? (40 Marks)

June 2013

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June 2014

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June 2015

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June 2016

‘Arguments in favour of further constitutional reform are more convincing than those against.’ Discuss. (40 marks)