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The Strategy of Coercion in Humanitarian Intervention: Can the EU Do It? By Christina Zygakis Founder & Director, The New IR Scholar project.

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Presentation on theme: "The Strategy of Coercion in Humanitarian Intervention: Can the EU Do It? By Christina Zygakis Founder & Director, The New IR Scholar project."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Strategy of Coercion in Humanitarian Intervention: Can the EU Do It? By Christina Zygakis Founder & Director, The New IR Scholar project

2 What is the strategy of coercion? Practically, a combination of military mobilization (military coercion) and diplomacy (coercive diplomacy) vs. Consideration of these terms as synonymous in Strategic Studies scholarship

3 What is the strategy of coercion? Definition: “Coercion is the use of threats to influence the behavior of another (usually a target state but occasionally a non-state actor) by making it choose to comply rather than directly forcing it to comply (i.e. by brute force)” (Bratton, 2005)

4 What is the strategy of coercion? Diplomacy-Military force Developments in the one shape developments in the other “We need to think about force and diplomacy not strictly dichotomously and not even necessarily sequentially: force “and” diplomacy, not just force “or” diplomacy” (Stanley Foundation, 2006)

5 What is the strategy of coercion? Purpose: to force the opponent to avoid, cease or undo an unwanted action (e.g. ethnic cleansing)

6 What is the strategy of coercion? Means of coercion 3 schools i.Use of diplomacy separately from the use of force ii.Almost exclusive use of force (mainly air power) iii.Application of both diplomacy and force

7 What is the strategy of coercion? Positive analogy between each actor’s power and possibilities of violence escalation Dependence on deliberate decision making Cost of non-compliance Very important factor

8 Factors for Success and Failure

9 Factors for success and failure Compliance of the opponent and avoidance of full materialization of threats/full escalation of violence by the coercer Success Materialization of threats/full escalation of force (no matter who is victorious) Failure

10 Factors for success and failure Table 1. Measuring success of coercion. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Och Tidskrift, April 2007

11 Factors for success and failure Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Och Tidskrift, April 2007

12 Factors for success and failure Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Och Tidskrift, April 2007

13 Factors for success and failure Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Och Tidskrift, April 2007

14 Factors for success and failure Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Och Tidskrift, April 2007

15 Factors for success and failure Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar Och Tidskrift, April 2007

16 Factors for success Constant maintenance of a communication channel with the target actor through diplomacy Credibility Persuasiveness Offering “rewards”/“motives” for giving in Assuring that compliance will not bring new demands

17 Factors for success Right timing Good intelligence system Enough resources and capabilities Deadlines for compliance Stressing the overwhelming costs of non- compliance Exact identification of the target actor Exact identification of objectives of each coercion initiative

18 Factors for success Support from public opinion Support by multiple actors and from major international institutions (UN) Coherence and solidarity when it comes to multiple coercers Consider each case as unique

19 Factors for failure Inability to give in due to domestic factors Psychological reasons (e.g. humiliation for giving in) Coercee’s perception that maintaining the undesirable conduct is more beneficial than abandoning it The cost of failure is paid by the coercer

20 The EU Tools and Prospects for Coercion

21 The EU tools and prospects for coercion Since 1992, the EU has obtained a variety of military and diplomatic decision-making bodies appropriate for a coercion strategy: i.External Action Service leaded by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy ii.Military Committee iii.Military Staff iv.Crisis Management and Planning Directorate v.EU Political and Security Committee

22 The EU tools and prospects for coercion Tools appropriate for military coercion i.Petersberg Tasks ii.EU Battle Groups

23 The EU tools and prospects for coercion Map of EU operations as of September defence/eu-operations?amp;lang=en

24 Can the EU conduct a coercion strategy? No!

25 Obstacles for the use of coercion Nature different from that of a traditional nation state Complex response system with plenty of overlaps and inter-institutional competition Lack of political will Indecisiveness of the High Representative Clash of interests among the Member States Individual actions by the Member States, outside the EU instruments Too strong resource dependence from NATO Funding issues

26 Obstacles for the use of coercion

27 Lack of credibility and persuasiveness “Tied hands”

28 How could we make the EU effective in coercion? Leave riskless paperwork and fancy chairs, get to bloody work! Invest money in strong and fast-deployable military capabilities Establish a decisive diplomacy with people both being and feeling committed to the establishment of the EU as a serious global political actor Invest in the practice of force, instead of “dust cleaning”

29 How could we make the EU effective in coercion? Find a way to detach the CSDP from NATO equipment pool Focus on the EU’s interests rather than national interests during decision-making procedures Less focus on enlargement Real, realistic and exact strategic doctrine

30 Thank you!


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