Citation
Understanding territorial disputes

Material Information

Title:
Understanding territorial disputes case studies regarding the disputes between Ecuador and Peru, Belize and Guatemala, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Laos and Thailand
Creator:
Whitaker, Cary Pendelton ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file (98 pages). : ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Boundaries -- Ecuador -- Peru ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Peru -- Ecuador ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Belize -- Guatemala ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Guatemala -- Belize ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Indonesia -- Malaysia ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Malaysia -- Indonesia ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Laos -- Thailand ( lcsh )
Boundaries -- Thailand -- Laos ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Review:
"Of all the social processes, conflict is perhaps the most universal and potentially the most dangerous. A feature of every society and every form of relationship, conflict can be found at all levels of human interaction, from sibling rivalry to genocidal warfare (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004)." The purpose of conflict management study is to determine how to manage and resolve these destructive events. Due to the pervasiveness of conflict, the stakes or success are extremely high. Failure results in catastrophic results that can plague the world system over time. International actors must become better at resolving disputes. Resolution is certainly an extremely important aspect to conflict management. Unfortunately, many policy makers have treated resolution as a first step to conflict management. While it is easy to want to work immediately towards resolution, a lack of history and events that shaped the dispute, how can we sustain resolution? The first step to appropriate conflict management is to thoroughly understand the attitudes that shape the dispute. Additionally, it is important to understand if resolution is even possible. By taking a more thoughtful and balanced approach, resolution will become more realistic and sustainable.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colorado Denver. Political science
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
General Note:
Department of Political Science
Statement of Responsibility:
by Cary Pendleton Whitaker.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
892531846 ( OCLC )
ocn892531846

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
UNDERSTANDING TERRITORIAL DISPUTES:
CASE STUDIES REGARDING THE DISPUTES BETWEEN ECUADOR AND PERU,
BELIZE AND GUATEMALA, INDONESIA AND MALAYSIA, AND LAOS AND
THAILAND
By
CARY PENDLETON WHITAKER
B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 2000
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Political Science
2013


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Cary Pendleton Whitaker
has been approved for the
Political Science Program
by
Jana Everett, Chair
Thaddeus J. Tecza
Thorsten Spehn


Whitaker, Cary, Pendleton (M.A., Political Science)
Understanding Territorial Disputes: Case Studies Regarding the Disputes Between
Ecuador and Peru, Belize and Guatemala, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Laos and
Thailand
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Jana Everett
ABSTRACT
Of all the social processes, conflict is perhaps the most universal and potentially the
most dangerous. A feature of every society and every form of relationship, conflict can
be found at all levels of human interaction, from sibling rivalry to genocidal warfare
(Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004).
The purpose of conflict management study is to determine how to manage and
resolve these destructive events. Due to the pervasiveness of conflict, the stakes for
success are extremely high. Failure results in catastrophic results that can plague the
world system over time. International actors must become better at resolving disputes.
Resolution is certainly an extremely important aspect to conflict management.
Unfortunately, many policy makers have treated resolution as a first step to conflict
management. While it is easy to w2ant to work immediately towards resolution, a lack of
understanding can undermine efforts. In fact, without an adequate understanding of the
history and events that shaped the dispute, how can we sustain resolution? The first step
to appropriate conflict management is to thoroughly understand the attitudes that shape
the dispute. Additionally, it is important to understand if resolution is even possible. By
taking a more thoughtful and balanced approach, resolution will become more realistic
and sustainable.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Jana Everett
m


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First, I would like to thank my father, Mark Whitaker, for supporting me through my
undergraduate degree and through some very challenging times in my life. His own
regret of never completing a Master of Business Administration degree served as
inspiration and a constant reminder when I struggled at times to balance my personal life,
work, and academic pursuits. Unfortunately, due to my fathers recent passing (August
28, 2012), he was unable to witness two very important events in my life, my wedding
and graduating with a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado
at Denver.
I would also like to thank my mother, Dianne Whitaker, for all her support and emphasis
on education during my upbringing. As difficult as it was at times, she always sought to
improve my writing and was relentless in her review and proof reading of many of my
papers growing up. Furthermore, she proof read and provided valuable insight on many
of my papers required for this Masters of Arts degree. This degree brought us together
in a manner that wasnt possible in recent times.
Next, I would like to thank my wife, Christine Whitaker. Due to a busy work schedule,
she was often neglected as I worked over weekends to read, research, or write the
numerous assignments and papers required for this degree and, more specifically, this
thesis. She understood the importance of this degree and was gracious in my neglect of
her at times. While she would have preferred to of been camping, hiking, running, or
doing anything outside, my academic pursuits limited our time together and our time
outside.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the professors in the Department of Political Science at
the University of Colorado, Denver. These individuals renewed my passion in political
science that had faded. They allowed me the opportunity to be wrong, argue my
perspective, and demonstrated the value of knowledge, research, and understanding all
sides of an argument. The value gained in my critical thinking skills will serve me well
regardless of how this degree is applied in my professional career. Graduating with this
degree brings a sense of accomplishment, but also great sorrow as I know the discussions
Fve had with these professors over the past few years will be less frequent.
IV


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF
UNDERSTANDING TERRITORIAL DISPUTES............................1
Background on Territorial Disputes............................2
Literature Review.............................................4
Theoretical Perspectives and Framework.......................10
Methodology..................................................14
II. ECUADORIAN AND PERUVIAN CASE STUDY...........................21
History and Background.......................................21
Case Study Analysis..........................................29
III. BELIZEAN AND GUATEMALAN CASE STUDY...........................37
History and Background.......................................37
Case Study Analysis..........................................43
IV. LAOTIAN AND THAI CASE STUDY..................................50
History and Background.......................................50
Case Study Analysis..........................................57
V. INDONESIAN AND MALAYSIAN CASE STUDY..........................63
History and Background.......................................63
Case Study Analysis..........................................72
VI. CASE STUDY REVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS............................77
VII. REFERENCES...................................................88
v


Table
LIST OF TABLES
I Latin American Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and reasons
for the Ecuador/Peru and the Belize/Guatemala disputes............................16
II Southeast Asian Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and
reasons for the Lao/Thai and the Indonesia/Malaysia disputes.....................17
III Regional Territorial Dispute Case Study Summary.................................18
vi


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
I Map of disputed lands between Ecuador and Peru............................20
II Ecuadorian and Peruvian join in a display of cooperation..................28
III Map of Guatemala and Belize..............................................36
IV Belizean and Guatemalan leaders meet.....................................42
V Map of Laos and Thailand.................................................49
VI Lao and Thailand leaders meet............................................57
VII Map of Borneo............................................................62
VIII Indonesian and Malaysian leaders meet..................................72
vii


CHAPTERI
INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OFTERRITORIAL
DISPUTES
Conflict management is a growing field within political science discourse and may be
one of the more applicable subfields. Due to shared borders and history, regional conflicts
between states represent a significant portion of issues facing the international community.
Jacob Bercovitch and Judith Fretter (2004) documented some 343 regional conflicts between
1945 and 2004. The most prominent catalysts for these conflicts were security (27.7% of all
conflicts), territorial (22.7%), and ethnicity (21.9%) (Id). Territorial catalysts represent a
significant portion of these conflicts and are, therefore, an important are of study. 66.5% of the
conflicts discovered by Bercovitch and Fretter were interstate conflicts. 33.5% of such conflicts
were civil conflicts. Not only are territorial conflicts salient, but interstate conflicts represent a
majority of the issues that have arisen. This thesis focuses on interstate territorial disputes in
order to better understand why they arose, what sustained the dispute, and how the dispute was
resolved, if applicable. The most common approaches to examining past conflicts has relied
heavily on the theoretical underpinning of realism, which studies the use of force, power, and
relative gains. Unfortunately, military force and warfare have only produced a small percentage
of clear victors, 15% to be precise, in the disputes highlighted by Bercovitch and Fretter (Id).
As such, this approach to managing conflict has not achieved an acceptable level of success.
Accordingly, this is an important issue for political scientist to investigate and seek to better
understand.
Territorial integrity is a highly salient matter between nation-states. One of the most
influential world events that have resulted in increased territorial conflicts has been the Western
1


export of the nation-state through colonialism. This has certainly been the case in disputes and
territorial claims between Ecuador and Peru, Belize and Guatemala, Laos and Thailand, and
Indonesia and Malaysia on the Island of Borneo. It is important to explore these case studies
with these three different theories to ensure a well rounded analysis. The differences of each
case study will help showcase the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and will help in
determining if any theory is dominant. All of these disputes evolved due to the presence,
influence, and the political vacuum left by colonial powers. The colonial legacies were often
defined by porous and undefined borders within previous colonial economic regions, which
often created instability as post colonial countries became independent and developed into
nation-states. These realities created circumstances ripe for diplomatic rifts and military conflict.
Background on Territorial Disputes
Due to the enormous consequences of regional conflicts, conflict management and
resolution perspectives must be further explored in order to better predict and address potential
disputes in the future. Some of the costs associated with conflict include, but are not limited to,
the loss of life, swells of refugee populations, ecological destruction, loss of economic trade
between countries, and the continued investment in military capabilities rather than investment in
infrastructure or other domestic needs (Id). The sizable amount of resources spent on conflict,
can often be spent more productively and without the significant human costs. Bercovitch and
Fretter estimate that in the conflicts they reviewed 25-30 millions lives were lost from 1945-2003
(Id). In 2004, the United Nations estimated there were 21 million refugees worldwide (Id).
Refugee populations generally create significant costs to any host nation and often result in these
groups living on the periphery of society. Additionally, armed conflicts cost state economies
vast sums of resources that may be better allocated to domestic or regional projects that possibly
2


have more positive and long lasting effects (Id). As the global arena grows increasingly smaller
and as resources continue to dwindle, territorial disputes may increase, while existing disputes
may become more intense as states seek to diversify expanding economies and satisfy the needs
of growing populations.
In much of the past research on this topic, there has not been sufficient use of qualitative
studies. In the literature reviewed, quantitative approaches dominated the landscape. Due to this
void, it is important to take a qualitative case-study approach to the specific conflicts listed
above. This approach allows each theory to be applied to a variety of real world circumstances,
hopefully resulting in a more thorough understanding of each theory. A better understanding of
these disputes may lead to better management and quicker resolution moving forward. This
thesis will also use a comparative case study approach to examine the Ecuadorian/Peruvian,
Belizean/Guatemalan, Laotian/Thai, and Indonesian/Malay conflicts.
The field of conflict management can be categorized into the following areas:
understanding disputes and conflicts; identifying future disputes; prevention; managing active
conflicts; immediate or short term resolution; and sustainable resolution. Among the topics just
delineated, this thesis will focus solely on understanding territorial disputes. As noted earlier,
this includes exploring what caused the dispute, what factors sustained the dispute, and if the
dispute was resolved, what events contributed to the resolution. The three most prominent
theories in international relations discourse will be applied in order to determine their strengths
and weaknesses. Each theory will be applied to these case studies in order to determine their
contributions to this field. The three most prominent theories include realism, liberalism, and
constructivism. In doing so, we will be able to examine how practitioners of these theories may
approach these cases studies and how they might explain the events that occurred. Due to the
3


significant consequences involved with these types of disputes, it is vital that political science
attains a firm understanding of these circumstances in order to provide solutions and relevant
policy recommendations in the future.
Literature Review
The literature review included herein explores many of the important facets of the
complicated realm of territorial conflict management. First, the context of conflict management
study in the discourse of international relations is presented. Next, the methods of study will be
highlighted in order to understand various research approaches. The infusion of theory into the
articles highlights trends common to conflict management study, but also to the more general
field of international relations. Furthermore, the importance of this discourse will be
demonstrated by the various studies conducted in this genre. Additionally, we will review
various tools utilized in pursuing conflict resolution. Lastly, gaps in this discourse will be
highlighted in order to determine valuable areas of study moving forward.
The articles reviewed highlight two significant events in recent history that have
witnessed substantial spikes in conflict during the wake they produced. These include global
decolonization and the Cold War (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004). Only one author, Beth A.
Simmons (2003), briefly researched territorial disputes in the pre-WWII era. Furthermore, all of
the literature reviewed described territory as one of the most salient characteristic of statehood
and as a significant indicator of where military confrontations and war might occur (Bercovitch
and Fretter, 2004; Kocs, 1995; Tir, 2003; Simmons, 2002; Chiozza and Choi, 2003). All the
authors included in this review believe that territory defines the very essence of nation-states.
Land mass is valuable for both tangible and intangible reasons. Tangible value may be defined
by economic resources and commodities, the strategic interests of land, and as ethnic and cultural
4


similarities and differences often define natural boundaries (Chiozza and Choi, 2003). Intangible
aspects of territories may include areas that are significant for religious or historical reasons.
Examples include landmarks, religious monuments, or other significant areas that are regarded as
sacred or spiritually important. Regardless of how tangible the value may be, territorial
disputes have resulted in deleterious impacts on numerous actors on the international stage.
After reviewing the value of territory, it is also important to explore the research design
of past works. In most of the articles reviewed, the unit of analysis focused squarely on the state.
Only Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi (2003) explored a different unit of analysis, that being the
role of state leaders. In doing so, they explored how the psychological approach to decision
making of an individual leader may be affected by how recently s/he took office, the length of
his or her tenure, and how past experience affects the likelihood for peaceful resolution or
military conflict (Chiozza and Choi, 2003). Accordingly, they were able to provide a more
detailed analysis of the circumstances, rather than being more limited in focusing squarely on the
state as the sole unitary actor.
Quantitative research was the primary method of all material reviewed. The primary
difference was that most sought to define correlation between events with different types of
statistics and data, while only one article relied on an explanatory perspective. Stephen A. Kocs
(1995) sought to demonstrate that contiguous states were far more likely to experience military
conflict than non-contiguous states. His statistical findings demonstrated that conflict is 300
times more likely with contiguous states. Beth A. Simmons (2005) focused on third party
arbitration and adjudication. Specifically, she examined what circumstances may influence a
state to seek third party resolution, thus voluntarily subjugating its sovereignty. She determined
that states might utilize third parties when there is significant value for resolution and when
5


unilateral and bilateral attempts have failed. Jaroslav Tir (2003) focused on the impacts of
territorial transfers regarding peaceful outcomes between territorial winners and losers. He
found that only 50% of territorial transfers result in peaceful relationships in the long term.
Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi (2003) utilized quantitative processes to analyze the decision
making of recently elected officials versus tenured ones. They also sought to understand the
decision making of leaders who had experience with conflict or military experience. They
defined multiple variables including the type of government of challenger nations, balance of
military power between disputants, prior military conflicts, the relevance of common security
ties, political unification, and the economic value of the land. Such variables were utilized to test
how leaders made decisions with different circumstances in play. The result of their study
showed that leaders are more likely to pursue peaceful paths for resolution the longer they are in
office. Their findings stated that past military experience does not affect decision making
regarding either conflict or peace.
The only research that was not restricted to correlational analysis was the work of Jacob
Bercovitch and Judith Fretter (2004). This material appeared to be a mix of qualitative and
quantitative research approaches. It appears such because, while they did count all conflicts
from 1945 2003 and did utilize percentages to categorize various types of conflict, their
perspective was explanatory and descriptive. Their project provided the best backdrop for
understanding this field in general terms, not just focusing on a specific aspect of conflict
management in order to determine a causal relationship.
As noted above, there are numerous aspects to conflict management. While all authors
mentioned in this review believe strongly that conflict management study is severely neglected,
they all highlight the complexities of this field. One of the most significant contradictions found
6


within the literature involves determining territorial value. As previously mentioned, tangible
and non-tangible land value plays a pivotal role in whether countries seek peaceful solutions or
conflict. Jaroslav Tir (2003) believes economically valuable lands are a direct determiner of
adversarial and violent outcomes. Tir reached this conclusion by defining a variable he labeled
Power-Value Transform (the PVT) and using measures that influence this variable. PVT is
utilized as a control to demonstrate a countrys willingness to relinquish territory or seek to
reclaim territory based on the countrys perceived value of the land. His causal analysis
demonstrates the greater the PVT, the greater the likelihood for future conflict. He reached this
conclusion by developing and comparing both ethnic and economic PVT values, with only
economic PVTs resulting in a positive coefficient. Beth A. Simmons supported these
conclusions. Her research demonstrated that states are far less likely to comply with the results
of third party arbitration or adjudication when the land in question contains substantial natural
resources. Accordingly, the economic value of land appears to trump non-tangible values.
In their study of conflicts from 1950-1990, Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi (2003), on
the other hand, believe that if the disputed land would divide peoples with ethnic ties,
relinquishment of such lands is far less likely than lands that contain economic resources. They
stated natural resources and economic assets can more easily be divided and managed through
partnerships, cooperatives or other arrangements between disputants. According to Chiozza and
Choi, intangible value trumps tangible attributes in the specific instances they studied. All
authors agree, however, that geostrategic lands, tangible in nature, represent the most salient of
issues to any state. As a result, the understanding and use of conflict management tools may be
most crucial regarding geostrategic lands.
7


Conflict management tools were discussed in three of the articles reviewed. Only the
material authored by Jacob Bercovitch and Judith Fretter (2004) explored all of the applicable
types of tools at the states disposal. Beth A. Simmons (2002) and Jaroslav Tir (2003), on the
other hand, explored the use of specific conflict management tools. The three primary types of
conflict management tools include diplomatic, legal, and political methods (Bercovitch and
Fretter, 2004). Diplomatic methods include traditional diplomacy, bargaining and negotiation,
mediation, observer fact-finding missions, peacekeeping, good offices and shuttle diplomacy,
and the use of international organizations as a tool to air grievances. Legal methods attempt to
establish international norms and laws through the use of arbitration and adjudication. These
methods have legally binding results, but are limited in the enforcement of the outcomes. Legal
methods are often seen as a tertiary tool once diplomatic channels have failed (Simmons, 2002).
Beth A. Simmons (2002) focused exclusively on legal conflict management tools as she sought
to determine what would influence a country to temporarily relinquish sovereignty regarding
territorial disputes under the guise of resolution. The final broad category of conflict
management tools includes political methods (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004). This approach
seeks to create and use organizations and institutions to incorporate state cooperation and to
settle disputes when they arise. Tirs (2003) research of territorial transfers transcends both
diplomatic and political conflict management tools since territorial transfers are often negotiated
bilaterally or with the assistance of international institutions. While several authors emphasize
the causes of conflict, notably Stephen A. Kocs, Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi, only a few of
the authors focused on how to manage territorial disputes. This appears to be an important area
that is understudied in conflict management study.
8


The most glaring deficiency with the articles reviewed is the lack of the qualitative
research method. Without discounting the value of quantitative analysis, many of the topics
discussed are left void of answers to questions that cannot be gained through ratios, statistical
analysis, or algorithmic equations. All of these studies present large amounts of data that are
manipulated through quantitative experiments and tests. But, there is no detailed analysis of
specific territorial disputes. Examples of disputes are sprinkled throughout these articles, but
they are not subjected to in-depth analysis. Accordingly, it appears that a qualitative perspective,
specifically one involving case studies, could provide value to this discourse.
The articles explored in this review have provided substantial insights that have been
useful in framing the issues surrounding territorial conflict management. Although insightful,
more study must take place in order to thoroughly understand territorial disputes and when they
are likely to result in conflict. Through this review, it has been demonstrated there are many
factors that lead to territorial disputes. Whether the value of the land is tangible or not plays an
important role in the parties willingness to negotiate and resolve disputes. It is certainly clear
that territory is a highly salient matter in the realm of conflict management. With the advent of
the state, territory provides economic resources, provides geostrategic protection and aids in the
development of national identities. The articles reviewed demonstrate there are many unresolved
territorial disputes that exist today. This genre has witnessed many mistakes and successes for
researchers to utilize moving forward. One would hope that further research will result in a
better grasp of the various perspectives at hand, help develop new and possibly more effective
approaches, and create new avenues for avoiding the travesties witnessed in the past.
9


Theoretical Perspectives and Framework
After reviewing much literature, it became clear the field of conflict management is
rooted in realism. Realists interpret international politics as a never-ending struggle among
states for power and security, and they regard war as an unavoidable facet of that struggle (Kocs,
1995). Bercovitch and Fretter (2004) assume the world is anarchic in nature, but demonstrate
that most of the conflicts they researched are solved peacefully through channels of diplomacy
and international institutions. Beth A. Simmons (2002) emphasis is specific to regional and
international institutions that engage in legal arbitration and adjudication. In doing so, she
focuses on the value of institutions to resolve territorial disputes, which is an attribute of
liberalism. Furthermore, she directly challenges realism. Realist theory does not offer a good
explanation for the decision of states to turn to authoritative third parties to render an arbitral
award regarding territory (Id). She surmises that realists believe states utilize third party
intervention only for non-substantive issues. Since territorial integrity is vital to defining a state,
states should be unwilling to cede control to a third party arbitrator who is able to make legally
binding decisions. But, a states willingness to comply with arbitration or adjudicated decisions is
not impacted by the military capabilities of a nation. While not all authors agree with realist
perspectives, realism is, at a minimum, a reference point throughout all of the literature
reviewed.
In order to understand conflict from a realist perspective, one must first understand the
assumptions of this perspective. Realists have established two important characteristics that
sculpt their worldview. First, the international arena is a static world of anarchy that is void of
any semblance of central governance or perceived order (Reus-Smit, 2009). Second, states, the
primary unit of analysis under realism, are rational self-interested entities that seek to ensure
10


their own survival (Id). Accordingly, states focus on maximizing their relative power, which is
generally to the detriment of subservient states. The relativity of power requires states to be
more concerned with relative strength than with absolute advantage (Waltz, 1979). This
approach could lead a state to engaging in conflicts that leave it worse off, as long as the
opposing state is left relatively worse off as well. The assumptions and approach of realists have
gained much traction over time, especially during the Cold War when conflict abounded.
One of the basic assumptions of realism is that states act in a rational manner. This
assumption can become a liability as states do not always appear to be acting rationally. Since
realism focuses squarely on the state as the primary actor, this theory struggles to explain
domestic influences that are often prevalent in territorial disputes. Due to the assumption of an
anarchic world, the realist approach is also relatively weak at explaining social aspects of state
relations including long lasting rivalry and friendships between states. This approach views
every other state as a threat to its own self interests and is very weary of cooperation and allies of
a state. Another flaw of realism is the assumption of perfect information. In order to truly make
a rational choice, it is assumed that all information is known and clear. As a result, this often
creates credibility issues in the international arena since many actions of state actors are not
public and open. Rather states often employ subversive and deceptive tactics to help keep their
perceived enemies in balance. Accordingly, how can a state truly behave rationally if it does not
know everything about the other various actors that exist on the world stage?
Since liberalism has adopted many of the fundamental principles inherent in neo-
realism, this approach falls into many of the same theoretical traps described above. Similarities
include the international arena as anarchic and a reliance on states as rational and the primary
actors. Differences between these two ideologies emerge due to liberalisms emphasis on
11


economic forces and the need for cooperation (Burchill, 2004). As a result, many liberals place
great importance on economic markets, trade and resources. These economic resources play
heavily on territorial disputes.Another difference between realism and liberalism is states
perceptions of the utility of relative versus absolute gains. In regards to cooperation, liberals
believe that states need to cooperate in their pursuit of absolute gains, regardless of any gains of
their foes or friends (Keohane, 1988). Since the world arena is premised in anarchy, there are
perceived risks associated with cooperation (Id). Institutions, both formal and informal, are vital
to initiate and sustain cooperation because they are able to limit risk and ensure that benefits of
cooperation outweigh the costs (Id). Examples of formal institutions include international
organizations such as the United Nations. Informal institutions are not as structured, but do
facilitate cooperation. Institutions are considered highly valuable because they are able to
develop and enforce rules that otherwise do not exist in an anarchic world order (Id). Due to the
influence of institutions, states often become interdependent and are therefore more aligned with
partnership and peace, rather than with adversarial pursuits. Accordingly, liberalists would most
likely view conflict as a result of a lack of shared economic integration and a void of formal
institutions that could define appropriate behavior for states. They would first seek to work
through existing institutions to resolve existing disputes. If no qualified formal institutions
existed, liberals would seek to begin development of such organizations. They would state that
without the use of this type of cooperation and agreement, conflict in general continues to
persist. Finally, they would argue for a strong institutional presence able to oversee the peace
and stability that was fomented between disputing states. Since liberalism focuses on institutions
and ways to cooperative, it appears more transformative in nature than realism.
12


A critique of the liberal approach is that this perspective struggles to explain what events
resulted in a dispute. Liberalists would attempt to indirectly explain conflict as resulting from a
lack of institutionalization. Thus in an anarchic world, conflict naturally occurs due to difference
of interests. The only way to prevent such conflict is by establishing the rules to the world order
through institutional framework. While this approach is helpful in explaining how states may
cooperate, its assumptions limit this theorys ability to explain what shaped a dispute in the first
place. Due to its focus on economics, liberalism often ignores many of the other types of events
or undercurrents of disputes. While more transformative in nature than realism, a lack of
understanding regarding the history and norms that shape conflict is a significant weakness of
this theory.
Constructivism is an approach that directly evolved from traditional liberalism.
Specifically, Keohane, a founding father of liberalism, describes two types of institutions, formal
and informal. Liberal focus has primarily been on formal or specific institutions (Keohane,
1988). Such institutions are organized into institutions that contain binding agreements, rules for
participation, and consequences for states that behave improperly (Id). Informal institutions have
become the primary unit of analysis for constructivists. Informal institutions include norms,
beliefs, ideas, and values. Constructivists believe that norms, beliefs, ideas, and values define
the building blocks for how various actors behave on the world stage (Ruggie, 1998). An area
where constructivism breaks away from the liberal approach is in regard to the debate between
rational and interpretive perspectives. Both realism and liberalism rely solely on rational models
and logic to define and understand behavior. Constructivism, on the other hand, assumes that
socially acceptable ideas predate and structure the formation of rational preferences by agents.
Because preferences are endogenous, the social world needs to be interpreted. This does not
13


mean that rational choice does not exist, but it is generally thought to be less of an emphasis. In
fact, some constructivists believe that it is the understanding of experiences and social patterns
that actually explain rational behavior (Checkel, 2001). Ultimately, constructivism seeks to
understand the foundation of behaviors that result in realist and liberal assumptions.
Accordingly, constructivism seeks a much deeper understanding of world events.
Constructivism is also the most transformative approach of the three theories discussed in this
paper. This approach envisions embarking on the development of a more sustainable world visa-
vie a more thorough understanding of norms and ideas and subsequent applications.
While constructivism utilizes norms and beliefs to explain world happenings, this
approach has struggled to define exactly how to change norms and beliefs (Wendt, 1999).
Additionally, due to this approaches reliance on history and past events, it would appear that
norms and beliefs take decades to shape or change. Now while there can be significant events
that quickly change norms and believes, this is rare and often unpredictable as this theoretical
perspective relies more on the establishment of norms and believes occurring over time. This
weakness creates challenges as it relates to disputes and conflict. If a dispute exists, resolution is
often time sensitive. It is irresponsible for states to simply wait for norms and beliefs to
organically change since the stakes are simply too high. Until constructivism resolves this issue,
this approach is severely limited in resolving disputes or conflicts.
Methodology
While it is important to establish a clear theoretical perspective, it is equally important to
define a clear research design. Aspects of research design include, but are not limited to the unit
of analysis, selection of case studies, methods of collecting data and data analysis. The units of
analysis for this research include the actual disputes between these countries. Selection of
14


adequate and like case studies was important to the validity of this research. Due to the literature
reviewed, certain characteristics of the selected disputes defined their relevance. Researchers
have demonstrated there have been two major waves of conflict in the past century resulting
from colonization and the Cold War era. All of the cases selected are post-colonial states that
have dealt with the impacts of their own colonial legacies. In most of the cases studied, conflicts
arose immediately after states were granted independence. In all cases, territorial conflicts were
a result of conflicting and fluid territorial boundaries often mismanaged or deemed unimportant
to the agendas of colonial powers.
Another important criterion for case selection was the geographic nature of the conflicts.
Past scholars have demonstrated states are more likely to have conflict if the land is contiguous.
Accordingly, it was important to ensure that all cases contained contiguous borders. All of the
selected disputes contain land considered part of the home territory of the countries. The
Indonesian/Malay conflict could be viewed as the most controversial selection, in light of the
criterion described above, as these states are essentially archipelagos. They do, however, share
contiguous lands on the Island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Encompassing
some 287,000 square miles, almost three times the size of Great Britain, and housing three
sovereign nation-states, this island is substantial and similar in nature to the other continentally
oriented territorial disputes selected for this research.
It also was important to address power-relations between the countries to ensure that
disputes were not wholly dominated by the sheer strength of one country. Accordingly, it would
have been inappropriate to select countries involved in territorial disputes directly with world
powers, especially so if the dispute involved an existing hegemonic power. All of the countries
selected were relatively equal from a military standpoint. This was clearly demonstrated in the
15


Ecuador/Peru conflict that lasted over 150 years. This conflict would not have lasted as long
without the balance in power.
In selecting these case studies, it was also important for the underlying causes of these
disputes to be similar. The case between Ecuador and Peru is specific to the lack of sovereign
territorial access to the Amazon River and the Maranon waterway. Without such access,
Ecuador cannot easily access trade or the economic benefits that exist amongst countries from
the Eastern portion of South America or by having access to the Atlantic Ocean. Accordingly,
this conflict is primarily a resource-based conflict. The Belize/Guatemalan dispute is also
centered on resources. Guatemala has made claims to disputed lands in Belize, in some
instances to the entire country of Belize, in order to gain increased access to the Atlantic Ocean,
which includes mineral deposits and the presence of oil, for economic activities. Unlike the
Ecuador/Peru conflict, the Guatemalans claim the lands of Belize are historically and culturally
linked to Guatemala. Additionally, Belizean worldview is more Caribbean oriented than it is
with Latin American culture. Therefore, the conflicts primary agendas include both economic
and cultural disparities that arose from nation-state building and British colonization of these
lands. Moreover, both of these conflicts arose in Latin America.
Table I Latin American Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and reasons for the
Ecuador/Peru and the Belize/Guatemala disputes.__________________________________________
Type of Conflict: Reason for Conflict:
Ecuador and Peru: Resource Access to the Amazon River
Belize and Guatemala: Resource and Culturally Access to ancestral lands and the Caribbean Sea
The case studies chosen from Southeast Asia include conflicts between Laos/Thailand
and Indonesia/Malaysia. As is the case with the Latin American cases, these conflicts contain
16


similar characteristics. The territorial dispute between Laos and Thailand involved disputed
watershed areas located between the Mae Nam Nan and the Mekong Rivers. The geographic
ruggedness of these lands resulted in poorly demarcated borders developed under Colonial rule.
Similar to Ecuadoran access to the Amazon River, the watershed represented valuable lands for
the economic value associated with access and production. The dispute between Indonesia and
Malaysia also included economic resources. Such resources included the minerals, gold and
other commodities ready for exploration on Borneo. In addition to the influence of the islands
resources, this dispute also involved cultural realities. Indonesia, on one hand, viewed the Island
of Borneo as historically important lands under the control of the Sriwidjaya and Madjapahit
Empires (Jones, pp. 19-20). The geographic areas on the northern side of Borneo contained
heavy Chinese influences and the population culturally assimilated with Malaysia. Similar to the
Guatemalan/Belize dispute, the conflict on Borneo contained economic and cultural influences.
Table II Southeast Asian Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and reasons for the
Lao/Thai and the Indonesia/Malaysia disputes._________________________________________________
Type of Conflict: Reason for Conflict:
Lao and Thailand: Resource Access to the Mekong River Basin
Indonesia and Malaysia: Resource and Cultural Access to Borneo resources and Ethnic Divisions
Lastly, it was important to select disputes that contain different outcomes. In order to
appropriately understand varying results, it was important that two of the four cases include
disputes that were actually resolved and two which remain unresolved. The Ecuadorian and the
Peruvian territorial dispute was resolved, albeit after a 150 period of conflict. Likewise,
Indonesia and Malaysia have settled their territorial differences on the island of Borneo. After
loss of life and years of tension, Thailand and Laos have failed to officially resolve their
17


territorial disputes. Guatemalas claim to Belize, while effectively dormant, has not been
resolved either. The difference in outcomes is also an important aspect to understanding disputes
in general.
Table III Regional Territorial Dispute Case Study Summary._________________________________________
Resolved Conflicts: Unresolved Conflicts:
Resource Based Conflict: Ecuador and Peru Laos and Thailand
Resource and Culturally Based Conflict: Indonesia and Malaysia Belize and Guatemala
In researching the selected case studies, the primary source of information will be the use
of secondary literature describing the events, actors, and various stages of conflict management.
Additionally, legal agreements and treaties represent a valuable resource in determining what
various agreements described. Many scholars have researched these case studies and their works
will be utilized extensively. The role of the researcher will involve objective research and
explanations of the many events and characteristics for the disputes. Since the researcher is
primarily learning about these disputes through this research, no bias exists regarding the actors
involved. One hopes that this will allow for honest exploration of the topics and the ability to
rely on the merits of the data collected to better understand the underlying causes and reasons for
different outcomes.
The above research design was selected in order to provide detailed insights into specific
conflicts that have occurred, that continue today, and for similar conflicts of which we are not
yet aware in the international arena. The research design was a result of the findings in the
literature reviewed. In approaching a thesis, it is important to ensure such work addresses
existing gaps and creates value for political science. Accordingly, this research design seeks to
address some of the gaps highlighted in the literature review, which include evoking the
18


qualitative research method, utilizing similar case studies, and an explanatory approach to the
research. The limitations to this style of research are indicative of qualitative research. The
resulting thesis will not provide detailed analysis of a broad spectrum of conflicts. While
utilizing quantitative statistics, the research conducted will be limited to providing detailed
insights about the four conflicts selected. Furthermore, the cases selected have specific
characteristics that are difficult to compare to disputes that lack similar characteristics or
histories. Conflicts between non-contiguous states, for example, may not resemble the conflicts
studied in this paper. While there are limitations to this approach, as is the case with any
research, the qualitative approach and overall research design will hopefully provide valuable
insights to the study of territorial disputes.
19


20


CHAPTER II
ECUADORIAN AND PERUVIAN CASE STUDY
History and Background
The territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru is focused on an area that now makes
up northern Peru, called the Loreto area in the Condor Mountain range (Bercovitch & Fretter
2004; Simmons, 2005). The disputed border stretches some 883 miles and initially became a
source of conflict in 1830 when under Spanish colonial rule Ecuador was annexed from the
Greater Colombia (Id). While at one time or another many territorial boundaries have been
disputed throughout Latin America, the territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru has been
the most enduring and spanned some 168 years. This conflict has witnessed 34 documented
military confrontations over this period (Simmons, 2005). In this region of South America,
Spanish colonizers were directly responsible for the territorial ambiguities that provoked this
dispute. Under Spanish rule, political authority was granted to three separate bodies: the Viceroy
or captain general; the Audiencia, which was the administrator of colonies; and the church
(Bowman, 1942; Maier, 1969). The roles and powers of these three separate bodies were not
clearly defined (Id). As a result, it was unclear how the different administrations and oversight
was geographically divided. Furthermore, due to the terrain of South America and the
technologies of the time, access and exact mapping of remote areas, especially within the
Amazonian jungle, was extremely difficult, if not impossible (Bowman, 1942).
Spanish lands in Latin America were essentially divided into two administrative
areas, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, established in 1535, and the Viceroyalty of Peru,
established in 1542 (Id). New Spain spanned what is modem day Mexico and most of Central
America. The Viceroyalty of Peru consisted of all of South America, with the exclusion the
21


Comandancia of Caracas and Portuguese territories, which is primarily modem day Brazil.
These two administrative areas were divided into 11 audiencias, with four in New Spain and 7 in
Peru. The Audiencia of Quito was initially under the authority of the Viceroy of Peru, but later
was integrated into the Viceroyalty of New Granada when this administrative area was created
by the King of Spain in 1717 (Maier, 1969). This Viceroyalty was later abolished in 1722,
resulting in the Audiencia of Quito falling under the jurisdiction of the Viceroy of Lima, only to
change authority in 1739 back to the Viceroyalty of New Granada when this audiencia was re-
established (Id). In 1740, the territories of the Viceroyalty of New Granada and Lima were
loosely established (Id). These boundaries continued until July 15, 1802, when the Catholic
Majesty Charles IV, separated the provinces of Mainas and Quijos from the Viceroyalty of New
Granada for what was expressed as ecclesiastical purposes that sought to increase Spanish
missions in the Upper Amazon Basin (Id). This decision, referenced as the Cedula of 1802, was
a pivotal and controversial point in the dispute between Ecuador and Peru. Peru often pointed to
the Cedula of 1802 in regard to their claims on disputed lands. Ecuador, on the other hand,
claims that the Cedula of 1802 was only specific to the administrator of this area and this cedula
did not involve changes to any existing geographic territory. Ecuadors claim is supported by
events that began in 1799. In 1799, a report by the Minister Requena requested the territory and
the government be separated. In the 1802 Cedula, the King of Spain only separated the
government. To further complicate matters, all of the colonized territories were considered the
personal estate of the King of Spain. As a result, the various audiencias regularly contained
poorly demarcated boundaries (Bowman, 1942). This complicated matters as these audiencias
and Spanish rule began to erode in the early 1800s. To avoid conflict, the doctrine of Uti
Possidetis Juris or the possessory of the status quo, was established in 1810 (Maier, 1969). This
22


doctrine allowed the various provinces to align with whichever new republic they chose. As a
result, the province of Guayaquil became part of Colombia and Jaen was assumed into Peru.
In 1823, Colombia and Peru signed the Mosquera-Galdeano Treaty, which codified uti
possidetis juris in regards to these emerging countries. From 1822 to 1829, both Colombia and
Peru embarked on independence movements, which resulted in their emancipation from Spanish
rule. During the course of independence, these two countries engaged in a border dispute, which
resulted in a full-scale war in 1829. Colombia was victorious in this war and the Treaty of
Guayaquil was signed. The Treaty of Guayaquil established a border commission to address the
demarcation of the border (Maier, 1969; Elbow, 1996). While both Colombia and Peru proposed
differing borders for resolution, Colombia ultimately accepted Perus proposal to draw a border
along the Tumbez-Chinchipe-Maranon Line. This agreement was approved by the Peruvian
Congress on October 16, 1829. Ecuador has historically opposed the legal foundation of the
Treaty of Guayaquil based on three premises. First, Ecuador believes the treaty was not
enforceable as it only established a border commission and did not define exact boundaries (Id).
Secondly, in 1830, Colombia was divided into 3 republics, consisting of Venezuela, New
Granada (now modern day Colombia), and Ecuador (Id). As a result, one of the primary parties,
to this treaty, Columbia, was essentially abolished shortly after signing the treaty. Lastly,
Ecuador believed that the Treaty of Guayaquil was superseded by the Treaty of July 12, 1832
between Ecuador and Peru (Id). The Treaty of July 12, 1832 provided a status quo
understanding of the boundaries between these two countries, while a definitive settlement was
reached. While the Treaty of July 12, 1832 was signed by both Ecuador and Peru, no definitive
border was established for the next 8 years. As a result, in 1840 both countries renewed their
claims. In 1853, the Peruvians set up a political and military government in Loreto (Maynas)
23


under the guise of the Cedula of 1802 (Maier, 1969). Ecuador objected through a declaration of
its congress in Quito on November 26, 1853. While both countries protested, the issue became
dormant until 1857, when Ecuador attempted to deal with foreign debt issues by attempting to
sell some of the disputed area to British bondholders. Peru immediately objected and the sale
of the land was cancelled. Due to this attempted sale of disputed land by Ecuador, tensions rose
and on October 26, 1858, Peru responded with a full naval blockade along the entire coast of
Ecuador (Maier, 1969). This blockade initiated a war that lasted until January 25, 1860, when
the Treaty of Mapacinque was signed (Id). This treaty was ratified by Peruvian President
Castillo and Ecuadorian General Franco. The Peruvian Congress rejected this treaty, as did their
counterparts in Ecuador. Ecuadorian General Franco was soon removed from his position due to
the strong opposition to the treaty.
Subsequently, for 26 years this dispute was dormant until the Conference of
Espinosa-Bonifaz occurred in 1887. This conference established that both countries sought to
resolve their dispute by enlisting the King of Spain as the arbitrator. Even though both countries
had agreed to have the King of Spain resolve the dispute, Ecuador and Peru continued to pursue
bi-lateral resolution by agreeing to and signing the Garcia-Herrera Treaty in May, 1890 (Id). In
this treaty, Peru was to receive Tumbez, Jaen, and the parts of the Maynas where Peru had a
presence. Ecuador was to receive the zones of the Maynas, which included Macas, Quijos, and
the northern strip of frontier along the Colombian border. The treaty was ratified by Peru, but
with noted reservations. Ecuador insisted on ratification without exception and withdrew its own
ratification due to Perus tepid acceptance. Due to this failed treaty, the dispute stayed on course
for the King of Spain to resolve it. In 1904, Ecuador and Peru pursued Spanish arbitration. In
1908, the King of Spain sent Menendez Pidal to South America. He presented his findings, to
24


the King on January 22, 1908. They significantly favored Peru. In 1909, the findings were
leaked to Ecuador, which became aware that the impending outcome was unlikely to be in their
favor. As a result, Ecuador backed out of the arbitration. Such a decision almost led to
immediate warfare.
From 1910 to 1924, there were no further attempts to resolve the dispute. In 1924,
however, both countries asked for direct negotiations to be held by the United States pursuant to
the Ponce-Castro Oyanguren Protocol (Bowman, 1942). Negotiations began in Lima in 1929.
They were soon derailed by domestic tensions and strife in Ecuador. In 1933, Peru proposed a
resumption of the negotiations. Negotiations occurred for over 2 years with no resolution and
finally were abandoned in October of 1938. The end of the negotiations was followed by small
scale fighting in the disputed areas. On July 15, 1942, the skirmishes mounted to a full scale, but
undeclared, war (Elbow, 1996). Ecuador was no match for Peru and was easily beaten (Id). As a
result, at a conference in Rio de Janeiro on January 29, 1942, Ecuador and Peru signed the
Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries between Ecuador and Peru, often referred to as
the Rio Protocol (Simmons, 1999). The Rio Protocol was not only an agreement that ended the
military conflict, but also provided a framework that would hopefully lead to sustained
resolution. The agreement contained the following six provisions: 1. Peru was to withdraw its
military within 15 days;
2. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and the United States agreed to send military observers to oversee
the withdrawal of Peruvian forces and agreed to stay involve in this dispute until it was resolved;
3. These four countries signed on as guarantors;
4. It granted Ecuador navigation rights to the Amazon from the northern tributaries;
5. Technical experts were to be responsible for demarcating the border; and
25


6. Ecuador and Peru agreed to submit the Rio Protocol to their respective congresses for approval
within thirty days of signing the agreement.
Close to 95% of the shared border between Ecuador and Peru was demarcated in 1942
(Simmons, 1999; Bell 1987). A small and less accessible portion of this border became the only
area in dispute. Eventually, due to the work of Brazil, the countries resolved this matter as well,
at least until 1946. In 1946, the territorial dispute was resurrected due to new aerial photography
by U.S. aerial photographers that displayed a Cenepa River watershed that was far more
extensive than either party had realized (Id). Ecuador quickly challenged the validity of the Rio
Protocol on two bases. First, the Rio Protocol was not valid because they signed this agreement
under duress. Specifically, Ecuador stated that they experienced undue pressure from the United
States to resolve this dispute (Elbow, 1996). Furthermore, Peru had not fully ceased military
action and had threatened to capture Guayaquil if Ecuador refused to sign the agreement (Id).
Second, Ecuador claimed the Rio Protocol was null and void since it was based on an incorrect
understanding regarding the topography of the area (Id). Rendering the Rio Protocol null and
void became a national rallying point in Ecuador, so much so that in 1953, Ecuadorian President
Emilio Murillo Ordonez announced the Rio Protocol as unenforceable.
Shortly thereafter, Peru began to mass troops in the disputed areas. This resulted in
violent conflicts from June 1977 to January of 1978, in January of 1981 and in January of 1984.
It appeared in 1988, that resolution was possible. Ecuadors President Borja sought to resolve
the dispute. Boija and his Peruvian counterpart, Alan Garcia, exchanged visits to their respective
countries. Ecuadorians cheered these exchanges and held hope that a face-saving compromise
might be possible (Elbow, 1996). However, the progress made between Boija and Garcia was
soon challenged as each country ushered in new leadership in the early 1990s. When new
26


Ecuadorian president Sixto Duran Ballen took office in 1992, newly elected Peruvian President
Alberto Fujimori attended the inauguration, renewing hope of an eventual solution.
Unfortunately, in 1994 and 1995, Ballen faced significant economic issues domestically, which
diverted his attention away from resolution. And, in order to increase his chances of winning a
Presidential election, Fujimori hardened his position on this dispute in 1995 (Elbow, 1996).
Unfortunately, any hopes for resolution eroded when in January of 1995, fighting
between these countries reignited. With military bases only 50 meters from each other, conflict
was inevitable. The conflict in January of 1995 was the most violent and serious since the
conflict in 1942. With an average cost of 10 million U.S. dollars per day for each country, the
conflict became deleterious and unsustainable for both economies. Ecuador lost an estimated 50-
100 military personnel and Peru lost close to 100 within the first two weeks of the fighting (Id).
Additionally, Indian communities were heavily impacted as their farms were invaded by military
units, which resulted in loss of crops and livestock. Peru and Ecuador signed the Montevideo
Declaration on February 28th and later signed the Itamaraty Peace Declaration that provided
supervision by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the U.S. These agreements ended the month long
conflict. Tensions between these two countries ebbed and flowed over the next several years,
but without any significant events. Eventually, on October 25, 1998, the Mission of Military
Observers Ecuador-Peru (the MOMEP) was established, implemented, and, ultimately, it
managed the withdrawal of forces in the area and the demilitarization of the region (Bercovitch
and Fretter, 2004). Subsequently, the conflict was finally ended through the signing of a peace
treaty. In this treaty, Peru was awarded the disputed area, while Ecuador was granted access
through commercial and maritime use rights to the Amazon River (Id).
27


Figure II Ecuadorian and Peruvian join in a display of cooperation.


Case Study Analysis
Realists would initiate their explanation of the various conflicts between these two states
primarily as an opportunity for Ecuador, the claimant, to maximize its utility as a state. In
maximizing utility, Ecuador needed to increase its material capabilities and, thus, increase its
relative power in relation to Peru. In order to increase Ecuadors material capabilities, it was
necessary to gain control and access to the Cenepa River watershed and the Amazon in general.
This was primarily due to the rubber boom, timber, the discovery of oil, and the ability to access
the other parts of South America and the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so, Ecuador would be able to
increase its material capabilities through increased economic resources. This would help to build
Ecuadors military should future conflicts with any other nation-states, specifically Peru, arise in
the future. Geo-politically speaking, this would be an extremely rational approach for Ecuador
since this may be the most efficient way to increase its capabilities and thus guarantee its
survival. Ultimately, it is a rational approach since Ecuador would not need to conquer an entire
country in order to gain access to these valuable resources. Rather, Ecuador only needed to gain
enough land, about 20 square kilometers, to provide Ecuadoran access to the Amazonian basin.
In regard to the final settlement, realists would argue that the final agreement between Ecuador
and Peru was in the best interests of Ecuador, since it provided for an outcome that allowed
Ecuadoran access to the Amazonian river basin, providing substantial relative gains that should
have been their primary goal from the beginning.
The strengths to the realist argument present a straightforward explanation of the events.
This is one of realisms greatest strengths. It is easy to catalog the significant power difference
between Peru and Ecuador. Over history Peru maintained significance dominance over the much
weaker Ecuador (Maier, 1969; Simmons, 2005). When referring to a 1995 confrontation
29


Simmons states: by most accounts, the Ecuadoran military had dealt a tactical blow to Peruvian
forces, in sharp contrast to their engagements in 1941 and 1981. It is widely recognized,
however, that the long-term balance of forces is and will remain in Perus favor (Id).
Militarily, economically, and in virtually every facet, Peru was superior. Accordingly, this
power structure created a need for Ecuador to increase its capabilities in relation to Peru.
Would Ecuador be doing itself any favors in the long term if it merely accepted this relationship?
Was Ecuador supposed to be satisfied with being the inferior neighbor? Realisms approach is
able to explain the reasons behind Ecuadors actions. Furthermore, this theory, through relative
gains, is able to demonstrate how Ecuador acted in a rational manner to defend and improve its
own self interests. This realist approach is also very convincing because the power relationship
and access to Amazonian resources provides for an extremely tangible and easy to understand
explanation. One of the basic tenants of realism is that nation-states act in a rational manner.
Alternatively, some may interpret Ecuadors actions as irrational. Due to the size and might of
the Peruvian military, pursing a conflict with this country can also be easily interpreted as
nonsensical. This was demonstrated in military conflicts in 1941and smaller scale skirmishes
throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The realist approach is also squarely focused on the state as the
primary and sole actor. Because of this, this theory does not explore or seek to explain domestic
influences that escalated violence or helped resolve the matter. In the decade following the
1941 war, public opinion in Ecuador was staunchly anti-Peruvian and highly supportive of a
confrontational approach to territorial issues (Simmons, 2005). This opinion was present
through the 1960s as Ecuadorian President Galo Plaza used public sentiments to win popularity
and staying power for his government (Id). Additionally, in 1995, just three years before these
countries reached a final settlement, 58% of Peruvians and 79% of Ecuadorans were amendable
30


to resolving this long-standing territorial dispute with mutual concessions (Id). This
demonstrates that public opinion supported resolution more so than it had at any time in the past.
A final weakness to the realist explanation is that this approach is unable to explain the long
lasting rivalry between these states. Realists prefer to live in the present and speculate about
future instability due to the inherent nature of our chaotic and anarchic world. As a result,
realists are unable to theoretically explore enduring foes and friendships or any relational matters
that exist between countries over time. In the case of Ecuador and Peru, this territorial conflict
lasted 168 years. The continued state of animosity is unexplainable through neo-realist lenses.
Moreover, realists would be unable to explain how populous animosity evolved into a
conciliatory approach. Although realisms straightforward and easy to understand approach is
appealing, there are significant weaknesses to this approach that must be considered.
Liberals, unlike realists, would not focus on military might and maximizing relative
power. Liberalisms explanation of the conflict between Ecuador and Peru would view it as
resulting from a lack of shared economic integration and resulting from a lack of institutional
strength that would otherwise define how states should behave. They would first seek to work
through existing regional institutions that might resolve this matter. In South America, examples
may include the Mecosur, the Andean Community of Nations or the Organization of American
States. If no qualified formal institutions existed, liberals would seek the development of such
organizations. Furthermore, liberals would highlight the economic forces at play. Access to the
Amazon represented significant economic resources for Ecuador. Accordingly, Ecuador sought
rational absolute gains by pursuing this dispute. The risk of pursuing this would have clearly
been worth the risks involved. Liberals would also highlight the cooperation among
guarantor states that helped facilitate the Rio Protocol (Simmons, 1999). They would point to
31


this agreement as an initial step and would encourage continued cooperation. Since Ecuador
failed to comply with the agreement, they would argue that there was inadequate institutionalism
in order to enforce the rules of the agreement. A sign of weak institutions is that they are unable
to enforce the rules they have defined. Nevertheless, because of differences between the parties
have continued to remain almost 50 years later the guarantors find themselves still trying to
ensure faithful execution of that Protocol (Palmer, 1997). Accordingly, only with more time,
experience, and participation would an institution be strong enough to manage this conflict. An
example of this strengthened institutionalism is the multilateral mediation process that eventually
resolved this dispute in 1998 (Herz, 2003). Furthermore, liberals would champion the eventual
success of the military observer mission in Ecuador and Peru (the MOMEP), which managed
the withdrawal of forces and the demilitarization of the area. They believe that without the use
of this type of cooperation and agreement, this conflict would have continued to persist. Finally,
they would argue for the continued development of strong institutions as a means to oversee the
peace and stability that was ultimately fomented between Ecuador and Peru. In the end, the
liberal perspective would most likely argue that regional cooperation through the guarantor states
resulted in the resolution of this conflict.
All of the forces highlighted by the liberal perspective were present in this dispute.
Economics played an important role in Ecuadors desire for access to the Amazon. The
livestock industry is important, and charcoal, fruits, vegetables and gold are also exported
(Bowman, 1942). This did create incentive and reason for Ecuadors desire to include these
lands within its territory. Another viable aspect to the liberal explanation is the use of formal and
informal institutions over time. Various levels and types of institutions existed prior to Spain
leaving South America. The various audiencias and how they were managed established the
32


framework for this dispute. These audiencias had overlapping borders between different
administrative and economic zones. In fact, the failure of Spain to clearly demarcate the borders
opened the possibility for this conflict. One cannot deny the role of colonial, regional, and
international institutions in this conflict. While in various forms and including a variety of
participants, they were present and were actively involved in shaping this issue. As such, the
economic and institutional influences to this conflict are explained easily via liberalism.
The first critique of the liberal approach to explaining this territorial dispute is that this
perspective is simply unable to identify the reasons conflict occurred. Liberals would attempt to
indirectly explain this conflict as resulting from a lack of institutionalism. While this may be
helpful in explaining how states may cooperate or resolve the dispute, it is void of any real
account of why conflict this existed in the first place. Additionally, throughout the 168 years of
conflict, there were systemic institutional failures along the way. Cooperative states and
agreements were made but were unable to be enforced. Such failures included the adoption of
uti possidetis juris, the Treaty of Bogata in 1810, the Mosquera-Galdeano Treaty, the Treaty of
Giron, and the numerous other failed treaties and agreements (Maeir, 1969). In fact, the Rio
Protocol occurred at a time when populous sentiments in Ecuador created an environment for
non-compliance. Neo-liberalism would further be unable to explain why such sentiments existed
or how they were important. As a result, neo-liberalism fails to adequately explain this territorial
dispute. Rather, neo-liberalism appears to look past the undercurrents of conflict and appears too
focused on forging ahead with institutional cooperation and interdependence.
A constructivist would first look to the annexation of Ecuador through Spanish colonial
policy in 1830. A constructivist could argue that the arbitrary borders created through colonial
policy removed access to lands used and envisioned by Ecuadorans. Furthermore, after
33


achieving Ecuadoran independence, the country could then concentrate time, energy and general
efforts to lands that were perceived to have been taken from Ecuadorans. Massive public
demonstrations erupted in favor of this position to regain sovereign access to the Amazon
(Simmons, 2005). Such sentiments shaped public opinions and norms regarding the importance
of these lands and the feeling that such lands had been taken from Ecuador, further fomenting the
rivalry between these two states. This was a factor in Ecuadors mission to take back these lands
at all costs, even though they were clearly outmatched over the years. It would also help to
explain why Ecuador continued to irrationally engage in military confrontations, thirty-four in
total, with a country that had a substantial military advantage and won every conflict. Populous
norms and beliefs could also explain the continued adversarial relationship with Peru and the
eventual reversal of the Rio Protocol in 1946. In the decade following the 1941 war, public
opinion in Ecuador was staunchly anti-Peruvian and highly supportive of a confrontational
approach to territorial issues (Id).
Understanding norms and beliefs can also explain why this confrontation eventually
ended. First, the success of Ecuador in the conflicts of the 1990s may have changed the Peruvian
perspective on continued warfare. While Peru remained dominant, Ecuador had proven that it
could inflict serious injury and that it may be a force to be reckoned with moving forward (Id).
While this most certainly affected Peruvian perspectives, it also affected Ecuadoran leadership.
This may have provided a window of opportunity for Ecuadors leaders to make principled
rather than coerced concessions.. .the respectable military showing in 1995 gave them an
opportunity to make the concession with their dignity intact (Id). It appears the 1995 war may
have also changed Ecuadoran public opinion regarding resolving this confrontation, at least more
so than in years past. As noted earlier in this paper, in 1995 public support for resolution was at
34


an all time high (71%) (Id). Leadership capitalized on this and, for the first time, began speaking
openly about conciliation. Ecuadoran President Bucaram stated, Bullets cost the same as
Books, a rifle costs the same as a school, and a war tank costs the same as a university.. .the
concept of a nation is increasingly defined by the citizens power of determination and attitudes
(Id). The change in perspectives within both of these countries created a path for resolution.
One of the primary shortcomings of the constructivist perspective is that it struggles to
pinpoint what event(s) or happening shaped public opinion. Was the populous tired of this
struggle after 168 years? Was the change in beliefs generational? Was it indeed the 1995 war
that influenced stakeholders? Was it the fact that Ecuador had an impressive showing at the
1995 war that allowed public opinion to change? While constructivists are able to study and
demonstrate that public opinion did indeed change, it can only explain causation of change
through logical assumptions. It may very well be that no one event changed public opinion so
drastically and that it was a series of influences over time that gradually forced perspectives to
change. This is the certainly the weakest component of a constructivist explanation.
35


fVjllahermosa
,r
M!EXICC|>
Guatemala and Belize
L
40
J
SO 120 ISO
Kilometers
World Sites Atlas (sitesetles.com)
San Criatnbal
^ Q de las C^sas
\ Comitan de
Djomfnguez
16<
TapachulJ*^
Qdiejg qltenango
88
Chetumal
lietiunal Bay
(*Orange Wlfalfc
''---aBelize City
*p
Bejjrioparj q
San Ignapio s Caribbean
t-1* Darigriga -
/[ Sea
BELIZE /
Gulf of
H onduras
'funta Gonda
16*
GUATEMALA Puerto Barrios
.-.Coban Izabal

.Huehuetenango ' S^Pe£lsul^# -*^Pr0greS
.1 T^r422D m 01 ^ Santa Cms Salama
* .San fcfamos ^1 Quiche
Totonicapan Guastatova-- . .
P --.4Sh?la Mjxco ^;Chiqufr,ula
'L ChimaitenangpA-.-.jScft-^ # Jalapa Ir |
etalhuleu*_"*Ty^23tenango V PUtltema'tl H Comayagu-a.
1 ..'/Vrbtitlan
L. i_-
iuK
HONDURAS
Santa Lucia-* ._ffL V-v. ) %-J
Cotzumalguapa scIJ'ntierr-putiapi^/
14c
PACIFIC
OCEAN
92
Tegucigalpa^
striate _ \ J,. San Salvador \
9011
San MigueTT c
8
Figure III Map of Guatemala and Belize.
36


CHAPTER III
BELIZEAN AND GUATEMALA CASE STUDY
History and Background
The first settlers of the lands that now encompass Belize, an area consisting of 8,860
square miles, were English loggers and their slaves, primarily from the British colony of Jamaica
(Bell, 1987). They arrived in the middle of the 17th Century (Id). At this point in time, Spain
had colonized all of what is now Mexico, Central America, and much of South America. Spains
conquest of Guatemala occurred in 1524 (Young and Young, 1988). Spain, however, never
maintained a colonial presence in modem day Belize (Id). Rather, in 1670, Spain granted
logging concessions to English timber cutters in the Treaty of Madrid (Bell et al, 1987). While
concessions were only granted in northern Belize, English settlers expanded south to take
advantage of the vast resources of mahogany (Bell et al, 1987). Over the next 130 years,
however, Spain asserted sovereignty over the area of Belize and regularly attacked loggers that
were violating their concessions (Id). Eventually, tensions between the English settlers and
Spain led to the Battle of St. Georges Cay on September 10, 1798 (Id). In this battle, a small
boat fleet of settlers defeated a Spanish naval flotilla (Id). Shortly after this battle, in 1821, all of
the Spanish colonies had achieved independence, leaving Spain with no physical presence in the
Americas (Gorina-Ysem, 2000).
In 1828, Britain claimed Belize based on conquest, use, and custom. In 1835,
Britain asked Spain to formally cede Belize and, thus, recognize British sovereignty over these
lands (Id). Spain was silent on the issue. Due to Spains lack of response, the British
government looked to resolve this issue with newly independent Guatemala, which along with
other Latin American countries had claimed successor and inheritance rights regarding all
37


Spanish property and land (Bell et al, 1987). Such claims led both Mexico and Guatemala to
claim Belizean lands, claims that Britain rejected (Id). With hopes to resolve this dispute, the
British government began to consult with regional actors. In 1850, the United States recognized
Belize. This emboldened Britain to seek resolution with Guatemala and Mexico. In 1859, the
British and Guatemalan governments signed a treaty that contained seven articles (Young and
Young, 1988). The first six articles demarcated the boundaries of Belize (Id). The seventh
article required that a road be mutually built from Guatemala City to the Caribbean Sea (Id).
Guatemala viewed the seventh article as compensation for abandoning its rights to Belizean
lands. Moreover, Guatemala assumed that the British government was responsible for building
the road. Due to the language in the seventh article that stated a road would be mutually
built, there was disagreement between the two countries over which country was ultimately
responsible. This disagreement resulted in a convention in 1863to resolve the matter (Id).
Unfortunately, at this time, Guatemala was engaged in a civil war and was unable to ratify the
1863 convention treaty (Id). Due to Guatemalas failure to ratify the treaty, Britain claimed they
were released from any obligation possibly created by the seventh article of the 1859 treaty (Id).
The disagreement regarding the seventh article continued into the 1930s. However, Mexico
renounced all claims to Belizean territory in 1893 (Bell et al, 1988). While Mexican recognition
was an important victory for the British government, Guatemalas position on Belizean territory
became more fervent with time. In 1945, Guatemala claimed the Treaty of 1859 had not been
fulfilled and that it now had the right to take back lands given to the British government for
compensation outlined in the contentious seventh article. Furthermore, Guatemala adopted a
new constitution that, in Article 1, stated: any efforts taken towards obtaining Belize
reinstatement to the Republic are of national interest (Young and Young, 1987). The British
38


government flatly refused these claims and encouraged Guatemala to take their territorial claim
to the International Court of Justice (Bell et al, 1988).
At this point, Britain had been in control of Belizean lands for 150 years and was
unwilling to entertain secession of any lands. Britain further ratcheted up this issue when they
granted the British Honduras the right to self-government on January 1, 1964 (Id). Guatemala
followed this action by breaking all diplomatic ties with the British government. In 1965,
however, both Guatemala and the British government asked for the United States to mediate the
dispute (Id). Bethuel M. Webster became the mediator of this dispute and, in 1968, proposed a
solution, known as the Webster Proposal, (Id). This proposal suggested the following:
cooperation between Belize and Guatemala; independence for Belize from British rule; Belize
would be responsible for internal affairs; the proposal granted vast powers to a Joint Authority
between Belize and Guatemala; it placed Belize defense, foreign affairs, and placed the economy
under the control of Guatemala after Belizean independence; Belize was to accept a customs
union with Guatemala to allow Guatemalan access to the Caribbean Sea; and, lastly, Guatemala
would sponsor Belizes applications to join the Central American Community and the Inter-
American Community (Young and Young, 1988). While this proposal would have established
greater independence for Belize by way of sovereignty of internal affairs, Guatemala was to
assume control of the Belizean defense, foreign affairs, and economy. Since this proposal
granted Belize limited sovereignty, it was rejected by Belizean leadership (Bell et all, 1988).
Britain agreed and refused this proposal as well. Guatemala, on the other hand, supported the
proposal and was willing to end the dispute based on the proposed conditions. Unable to resolve
the dispute with U.S. mediation efforts, tensions in this region began to rise.
39


In 1971, Guatemala began building its military presence along the border (Id). Britain
responded by reinforcing troops and, in 1977, held military exercises in the region (Id). By the
mid-seventies, the United Nations (the U.N.) began weighing in on the conflict. On December
5, 1978, the United Nations (the U.N.) passed a resolution that granted Belizean people the
right to self-determination, protection of Belizean territory, called on all states to recognize
Belize, and requested resolution between the British and Guatemalan governments (Id). In fact,
the U.N. passed several more resolutions. Initially, the resolutions were not supported by
mainland Latin American countries; however, the support for Belizean independence grew with
each passing resolution (Id). Essentially, in the 1970s, the U.N. was utilized to gamer almost
unanimous support for Belizean independence throughout Latin America.
The closest this dispute ever was to resolution came in 1981, when these countries put
together a sixteen-point agreement. The leadership of Belize, Britain, and Guatemala accepted
this agreement. In summary, the agreement required all negotiating states to recognize Belize as
an independent state, established economic cooperation regarding access to the Caribbean Sea
and oil pipelines, and provided Guatemalan access to and the use of Belizean ports in the
Caribbean (Id). The Belizean opposition, however, adamantly opposed the agreement because
they thought that it infringed on Belize sovereignty. In fact, the opposition was able to mount
enough support to reverse Belizes initial position of conciliation (Id). As a result, the agreement
failed and the dispute continued.
In response to this latest round of failed attempts to resolve the dispute, Britain
announced that Belize would be granted full independence on September 21, 1981 (Id). On
September 25, 1981, Belize was accepted into the United Nations, with Mexico sponsoring the
Belizean application (Id). Talks between Belize and Guatemala continued over the next several
40


decades. In 1995, tensions escalated over a poorly demarcated border when Belizean troops
entered Guatemalan territory. Troops mobilized on both sides of the border, but nothing besides
minor skirmishes took place (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004). In 2000, Belize and Guatemala
signed an agreement to enhance confidence-building measures. This agreement was temporary
and did not address territorial claims from either country. To date, this dispute has not been
resolved and, while no military action is imminent, it still represents an unresolved territorial
dispute that has led to regional friction and a lack of economic cooperation between these two
countries. This dispute will be further exacerbated with the discovery of oil close to the disputed
border (Reynolds, 2011). As the world becomes smaller and resources become more valuable,
settling disputes similar to the Belize/Guatemala conflict become increasingly important and, at
the same time, more challenging.
41


Figure IV Belizean and Guatemalan leaders meet.
42


Case Study Analysis
From a realist perspective, it is clear why Guatemala would lay claim to the entirety or to
parts of Belize. Including Belizean territory within Guatemala could significantly increase its
power, influence, and military capabilities in the region. The vast timber resources throughout
Belize along with increased access to the Atlantic Ocean provides the rational for Guatemalas
claim. Unfortunately for this perspective, however, was the presence and reality of British
protection over Belizean lands. While British protection existed, the amount of personnel that
was able to hold the Guatemalans at bay was rather insignificant. Generally speaking, the British
would have five hundred to a thousand military personnel in Belize. Occasionally, they would
move an aircraft carrier into the region for extra security. Not only does this demonstrate the
deterrence of a small military presence, but it also negated Guatemalas military strength in the
region.
Realism is easily able to explain some dynamics that led Guatemala to lay claim over
Belizean lands. It was the more powerful British military, however, that presented Guatemala
from acquiring these lands. At the request of the Belize government, it had been agreed that a
British garrison would remain in the country for an appropriate period to assist with external
defense and with the training of the Belize Defense Force (Payne, 1990). The power structure
in this dispute was clear, present, and obvious. Although outmatched by the British, Guatemala
has the advantage of proximity to the disputed lands. The British governments interest may
wean overtime and due to possible costs associated with protecting these lands, there may be
opportunities for Guatemala in the future. With a powerful and adversarial northern neighbor in
Mexico, Guatemala had ample incentive to become stronger and more powerful in this region. It
43


is clear to see how Guatemala may have viewed Belize as an opportunity to increase its relative
gains in comparison to Mexico.
What realism also fails to account for in this dispute, are the domestic undercurrents that
existed. In the case of Guatemala, there was much internal strife including, a civil war that
occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s. While realism views the international arena as being in
a constant state of anarchy, this approach fails to recognize the chaos that can exist within a
states boundaries, as was the case during Guatemalas multi-decade civil war. Additionally, this
civil war severely limited Guatemalas ability to threaten Belize. As a result, realisms absolute
focus on states as the primary actor severely limits this perspectives ability to take into
consideration domestic currents. The oscillation of the Guatemalan approach to Belizean lands
can be witnessed in the types of claims Guatemala made on Belize. At various junctures,
Guatemala claimed all of Belize, the Southern half of Belize, and, lastly, the most southern
portion of Belize. Different claims demonstrate the volatility of domestic views on this issue.
With different Guatemalan leaders or domestic environments came vast shifts in their claims.
Realism, as an approach, is not structured to explore domestic influences that clearly changed the
landscape of this territorial dispute.
Liberalism emphasizes the economic realities between these two countries. This
approach highlights the vast resources and economic incentives present in Belizean lands. Not
only is Belize rich in resources, but acquisition of this land would also significantly increase
access to the Atlantic Ocean. The economic incentives for Guatemala cannot be denied and
certainly present plausible rational for Guatemalas pursuit of this dispute. Liberals may also
utilize the lack of institutions to explain this conflict. Because Belize and Guatemala were
culturally divided, institutions were more necessary to bridge any gaps and since no substantial
44


institutional framework existed, hostilities were allowed to fester and ultimately encouraged this
dispute. Liberals would focus on the benefits of cooperation between these countries.
Institutions would be able to facilitate growth and create benefits for both countries. This
transformative view, however, did not materialize and became impossible due to the reaction of
Belize regarding Guatemalan claims on its territory. In fact, the Guatemalan claims made
economic cooperation less of a reality due to the sensitive nature of attacking a state territorial
presence and existence, as was the case in this territorial dispute. Due to Guatemalan claims,
Belize had, for a vast majority of the conflict, no desire to aid Guatemala economically or in
other manner.
From a constructivist perspective, it is easy to discern Guatemalas claim on this territory.
Their claim is directly linked to their experience and identity that evolved from Spanish
occupation in 1524 (Young and Young, 1988, pg. 10). The people and territory of Guatemala
were subjected to colonial overtures for close to three hundred years. As Guatemala gained
independence in 1821, their identity and the shared experience with other newly independent
states in the region began to blossom. Accordingly, their identity was shaped by the experiences
associated with a post-colonized Spanish colony that had struggled and fought for independence.
This experience resulted in their eventual claim to Belize. Since the Spanish had historically
viewed Belizean lands as their own, Guatemala naturally viewed Belize as their territory as well.
The struggle for independence created an entitlement perspective on the part of the Guatemalans.
From Guatemalas perspective this territory was stolen by British timber workers who essentially
commandeered this land. These timber workers brought in Jamaican slaves who populated this
region. Such a perspective led them to believe that whatever the Spanish had abandoned was
theirs due to their subjection and defeat of colonialism. This Guatemalan identity was not unique
45


to the region. In fact, it was experienced in many countries throughout Latin America.
Specifically, Mexico shared this same identity and, thus, initially claimed Belizean territory as
well (Bell et al 1987, pg. 398).
The British government had a much different experience and perspective regarding
Belize. From the British perspective, Spain initially had sovereignty and ownership over these
lands. The lack of Spanish presence, however, created an avenue for English settlers to move
into this area to exploit the logging resources that existed. The lack of Spanish interest in this
area allowed British settlers to have free reign in this area for close to 130 years, allowing them
to expand their settlements to areas outside the territory authorized for logging use by the
Spanish government. Eventually tensions increased and led to the Battle of the St. Georges
Cays. This marked the entrenchment of the English settlers, but also demonstrated a lack of
interest by the Spanish government. The Spanish government could have sent reinforcements
and, most likely, could have easily crushed the under matched British settlers. However, they
continued to show disinterest in this region as they had done for over a century. Due to this
battle, the British government essentially believed that Spain had been defeated and these lands
now belonged to them.
Moreover, the shared experiences of the British and Spanish government created a view
that Belizean lands were only a matter for the two colonizing countries and, therefore, did not
involve the inhabitants of the Spanish colonies. As a result, when Guatemala gained
independence in 1821, the British government did not believe the Guatemalans or the Mexicans
had any natural or legal rights to lands of the Spanish government. In 1828, Britain claimed
Belize under the auspices of conquest, long-term use, and custom (Young and Young 1988, pg.
10). Regarding their to their claim to Belize under the guise of custom, this was due to the
46


experiences involving English settlement of these lands for close to two hundred years before
Guatemala gained independence. As a result, Britain had developed strong norms that led them
to believe Belizean territory belonged to them.
Similar in nature to the British perspective, the experience of the Belizean people and
leadership was that of a British colony. Furthermore, the majority of the inhabitants of these
lands were slaves that had been brought in from Jamaica, another British colony. Accordingly,
many of the Belizean people identified themselves more with Caribbean nations than with Latin
American heritage and culture. Belize had also become accustomed to British law, standards,
and protection from Guatemalan aggression. As a colonized territory, the Belizean peoples were
influenced by British identities and perspective from the middle of the 17th century until 1981
when they finally gained independence.
The struggle for independence also shaped the Belizean perspective. From their
perspective, they were never colonized by Spain. Rather, in their struggle for independence,
Spain was wholly out of the equation. For the Belizean peoples, independence was directly
linked to the British government. But, when they did achieve independence, there was still
present the Guatemalan claim to their lands. The experience of this aggression shaped Belizean
norms. In fact, in 1968, Belize sought and gained acceptance into the Caribbean Area Free
Trade Association (the CARIFTA). Further, in 1978, after British interest appeared to be
waning, Belize sought security agreements with the United States, the Bahamas, Barbados,
Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Accordingly, the Guatemalan claim to
Belizean lands shaped norms and beliefs of the Belizean peoples that led them to align with what
they viewed as more similar countries from a shared history, cultural, and identity perspective.
Additionally, by the time Belize achieved independence, it had cultivated norms and
47


beliefs based in self-determination. The Belizean peoples did not struggle in their quest for
independence to simply be colonized by Guatemala. Belize, after being accepted into the United
Nations, pushed for and was successful in passing resolutions that recognized their
independence, sovereignty, and right to self-determination.
48


Figure V Map of Laos and Thailand
49


CHAPTER IV
LAOTIAN AND THAI CASE STUDY
History and Background
The history of what is now called South East Asia was, until colonialist overtures,
defined by empires and kingdoms (Battersby, 1999). Borders were porous, ill defined, and were
considered pliable. In this sparsely populated region, control of manpower and allegiance from
vassal provinces vastly outweighed any emphasis placed on specific territorial delimitation and
control (Id). As a result, power among kings was consolidated at the various capital cities,
resulting in weaker controls farther away from kingdom centers. Only with the advent of
colonialism and the European export of the nation-state did concepts such as political space and
territorial sovereignty begin to take root in South East Asia. Such a philosophical shift in regard
to territory created tensions and disputes between new states in this region. This pattern is
certainly true in the territorial dispute between Laos and Thailand.
Up until the 18th century, relations between the kingdoms of Laos and Thailand (called
Siam until 1939) were relatively friendly (Ngaosyvathn, 1985). Good relations were codified
when Thai and Lao kings together built the That Si Song Hak stupa in 1555 (Id). This stupa
symbolized affection and good relations between the two capitals of Si Sat Ta Nak (the ancient
name of Vientiane) and Si Ayuthaya, the capital of Thailand at the time. These friendly relations
witnessed a shift when King Taksinh was crowned King of Thailand in 1768. King Taksinh
unleashed Thai military might on Laos. By 1791, the three provinces of Vientiane, Luang
Prabang, and Champassak, were under Thai control (Id). In doing so, he took valuable religious
Laotian artifacts, including the Emerald Buddha, and enslaved the Laotian people to build his
palaces and cities. Between 1826 andl828, Thai armies worked to crush Laotian independence
50


movements that were heading for the capital of Thailand. Thailand put down this rebellion and
dominated Laos until Laos was ceded to France in 1893 (Bell et al, 1987). This included Lao
populated territory East of the Mekong, which included islands within the river, and essentially
consolidating French control of South East Asia. Thailand and France signed a series of treaties
and conventions in 1902, 1904, and 1907 (Id). These agreements extended the French border to
the West of the Mekong River to include the Sayaboury province.
In 1939, Siam changed the countrys name to Thailand and embarked on a policy of
Panthaism that sought to reassert Siamese historical dominance over the region (Ngaosyvathn,
1985). Under the leadership of Phibul Songkram, Thailand sought to regroup all the various
sectors of the Thai race, which included the Lao, the Shans of Burma, ten million people in
Asam in the southeastern state of India, and several million ethnic Thai in the Sipsong Phanna
autonomous region in China (Id). Panthaism was codified in the Tokyo Franco-Siamese
Treaty of May 9, 1941 when France, under pressure from Japan, ceded to Bangkok two Lao
provinces on the right bank of the Mekong and three Cambodian provinces (Id). This expansion
of Thai territory was temporary and after being defeated in WWII, Bangkok was required, under
the Washington Franco-Siamese Settlement Agreement of November 17, 1946, to return to Laos
and Cambodia the territories ceded to Thailand in the 1941 treaty (Id). Although Thailand
returned these lands, they did not end their territorial claims. Territorial boundaries for Thailand
were to be decided in a Franco-Siamese Conciliation Commission, set up in 1947, (Id). Thailand
sought to reclaim all of Laos and parts of Cambodia, which would have expanded Thai territory
all the way to Vietnam (Id). This commission held meetings in Washington D.C. from May 5
through June 26 of 1947 and ultimately rejected all Thai territorial claims (Id). As a result,
Thailands future policy attempted to convince and coerce Laos to revise the agreements.
51


Thailand utilized the border and their economic superiority as influential tools. In doing so,
Thailand enacted embargos on Laoss products, engaged in military skirmishes along the
Mekong River, unilaterally closed the Thai-Laos border, and trained elite forces for subversive
operations within Lao territory (Id).
The 1960s and 1970s in South East Asia is characterized by movements for
independence, warfare, and internal strife (Bell et all, 1987). Internal Cold War related interests,
between the countries in this region were on the forefront (Bell et all, 1987; Conboy, 1992).
Both Thailand, by way of the Communist Party of Thailand (the CPT), and Laos, through the
Pathet Lao, focused primarily on internal philosophical challenges that eventually pushed Laos
towards communism and Thailand away from communist influence (Bell et all, 1987).
Relations between these countries were further strained by insurgent movements in their
respective countries that supported their worldviews (Conboy, 1992). Furthermore, after the
communist Pathet Lao gained control of Laos in 1975, Thailand witnessed an influx of anti-
Pathet Lao immigrants, often settling and living in the border region (Bell et all, 1987). As a
result, there were regular clashes along the Mekong and accusations by Laos that Thailand was
harboring its enemies. Eventually, in December of 1975, Thailand closed the border with Laos
and banned all Laoss exports and imports (Battersby, 1999). This led to a severe food shortage
in Laos and to supplies having to be flown in from Vietnam (Id).
In October of 1976 because of a military coup, a staunchly anti-communist regime under
Thanin Kraivichien came to power in Thailand, which continued the economic blockade of Laos
(Id). In April of 1977, Thailand attacked three Laotian islands in the Mekong; Sang Khi, Con
Tam, and Singsou (Battersby, 1999; Ngaosyvathn, 1985). In 1977, Thailand changed leadership
again with General Kriangsak Chamanan as the Prime Minister. General Kriangsak Chamanan
52


lifted the economic blockade on Laos and sought to improve relations between the two countries.
In March of 1978, Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoune Sipaseuth visited Bangkok
(Battersby, 1999). Both governments appeared on a path of conciliation as they sought peaceful
co-existence and non-interference in each others internal affairs. While border incidents
immediately decreased, in December of 1978, a significant skirmish occurred on the Mekong.
This event resulted in deaths of a number of Thai and Lao military personnel, along with the
sinking of several military boats. As a result, General Chamanan visited Vientiane Laos from
January 4 through the 6th of 1979. This visit was reciprocated by a visit from Kaysone
Phomvihane, the General Secretary of the ruling the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party and
Chairman of the Council of Ministers, in April of 1979. Both Thai and Laoss leadership
reaffirmed their desires for peace, friendship, and mutual benefit regarding their countries and
the Mekong River specifically (Id). In August of 1979, Thai and Lao signed an agreement that
resulted in the following: a signed memorandum of understanding, measures to limit terrorist use
of the border region, a border committee, reduction of the amount of armed border patrols along
the Mekong, and the opening of an official passage between the two countries along the Mekong.
However, due to yet another change in Thai leadership, with the succession of General
Chamanan with General Prem Tinsulanond in March of 1980, Thai and Lao relations reverted to
increased tensions and skirmishes (Bell et al, 1987). One June 15, 1980, Lao troops fired on a
Thai patrol boat that was operating on the Lao side of the Mekong (Id). This resulted in the
death of a Thai naval officer and, once again, led to the closing of border for most of July,
resulting in a food shortage in Vientiane. On January 20, 1981, Thai troops fired on a Lao
civilian boat on the Mekong, which killed one crewmember. On January 27, 1981, another Lao
boat was attacked, killing two of its crew. As tensions rose, several more clashes took place
53


towards the end of January and during the first few weeks of February. Such clashes were
followed by several ministerial visits in 1981 and 1982, which helped to de-escalate tension
along the border (Bell et al, 1987). Although relations were improving, there were two shooting
incidents each in October and November of 1981, and in April and June of 1982. The June 1982
incident was the most severe as it appears that Lao troops fired on a Thai village and shelled a
Thai patrol boat near the Lao island of Don Sangkhi (Id).
The most significant conflict, however, began to occur in March of 1984. This dispute
was in regard to controversial Lao sovereignty over three villages, Ban Mai, Ban Klang, and Ban
Sawang that are on the border of the Western Lao province of Sayaboury, and close to the
northern Thai province of Uttaradit (Bervovitch and Fretter, 2004; Ngaosyvathn, 1985, Bell et
All, 1987, Battersby, 1999). These villages cover approximately 19 square kilometers and
include some 1,800 Laotians. Tensions rose in this border region as Thailand began to build a
controversial road that Lao claimed crossed into its territory. As a result, Lao troops moved into
the three villages in April of 1984 (Bell et al, 1987). Thailand alleged that Lao troops had
crossed into Thai territory in an attempt to disrupt construction of the road. On April 15 and in
May of 1984, Lao and Thai forces clashed. Thai leadership denounced the clashes as acts of
aggression by Laos. On June 6, 1984, Thai military forces took control of the three villages.
This event led to diplomatic warfare with both countries accusing the other of links to internal
opposition groups and competing states in the region, with Thailand claiming Vietnamese
involvement and Laos claiming Chinese influence. Lao delegations visited Bangkok from June
21-24 and August 7-15, 1984 (Ngaosyvathn, 1985). No agreement was reached on the disputed
villages and Thailand continued to control these villages as it had since June 6, 1984. Each
country presented maps that supported their claims to the three villages. Laos used maps traced
54


back to Franco-Siamese treaties signed in 1902, 1904, and 1907. Laos also cited a ruling of the
International Court of Justice, specific to Cambodian claims of the Preah Vihear temple, stating
that the 1907 Franco-Siamese border treaty was valid and enforceable. Thailand, on the other
hand, produced a 1978 map that was produced through United States aerial photographs and
claimed that this map demarcated the three villages as part of Thailand. On June 15, Thailand
ended the talks because Laos had refused to agree to a joint technical team to visit the disputed
area in order to determine the border. From the Lao perspective, historical agreements had
already placed the three villages in Lao territory and the matter should not be subject to re-
evaluation. In September of 1984, Lao troops shot and killed two Thai border police officers and
a mechanic in the disputed area. At first, Thailand threatened to lodge a complaint with the
U.N., but consequently announced on October 2 the withdrawal of Thai troops from the disputed
three villages. By October 15, the withdrawal was complete, albeit Thailand still controlled
strategically high ground in disputed lands (Bell et al, 1987). Laos sought to resolve this matter
by seeking compensation for the loss of human and material losses from the villagers. It also
wanted to address the missing villagers that were captured by Thai soldiers, and asked for talks.
Thailand refused stating the withdrawal of troops was sufficient.
The three villages conflict was followed by diplomatic visits by each country in 1985.
Most of these visits sought to address the three villages conflict, but they all ended in
disagreement (Id). Furthermore, on August 10, 1985, a skirmish resulted in the death of a Thai
border police officer. On July 14, 1986, Thai officials announced that approximately 40 Lao
soldiers had crossed into Thai territory and had launched an attack on a makeshift encampment
of Lao immigrants, killing 35 and wounding many more (Id). After these incidents, the leaders
of both countries once again sought reconciliation. On September 24, 1986, Laos presented a
55


memorandum to the Thai ambassador stating that both countries should appoint high-level
working groups in preparation of future ministerial talks (Id). In November of the same year,
both countries agreed to stop the propaganda-laden attacks against each country. Ministerial
visits began again in March of 1987. Despite these visits, border skirmishes continued and by
1988, the skirmishes threatened to devolve into all out war, due to the use of air assaults and
heavy machinery (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004). However, negotiations held in February of
1988 resulted in a cease-fire and the conflict was over by December. In all, over 700 military
personnel died on both sides. In the battles that occurred in 1987 and 1988, Laoss troops held
the advantage from a territorial perspective and inflicted humiliating defeats on Thai troops
(Conboy, 1992).
Relations between the countries improved after a coup detat in Bangkok in 1991. They
remained calm until violence again erupted in 2000. While relations between these countries
have continually improved, including economic trade and political cooperation, this matter is still
unresolved.
56


V
Figure VI Lao and Thailand leaders meet.
Case Study Analysis
Territorial claims and military actions from Thailand regarding Laos could make sense
from a realist perspective. The Mekong River Basin represents vast resources for any
government that controls this area. Thailand was one of the more powerful states in the region,
certainly more powerful than Laos at the time. According to realist principles, Thailand should
pursue its own relative gains in the region in order to counter balance the uncertainties that exist
in this region, especially with the growing presence and influence of China and Vietnam As a
result, it would be extremely rational to seek relative gains by way of territorial expansion to
ensure Thai self-interests are fulfilled. Why didnt Thailand simply take any land it wanted at
the time? Why would Thailand seek only to aggressively pursue the three villages? Why
wouldnt Thailand seek to control all of the Mekong River that it could in the region? Thailand
had dominated the Lao people for hundreds of years. Why wouldnt they simply embark on the
same strategy that had worked for them in the past? With the ease at which Thailand was able to
take Lao territory, realists would view this as a rational strategy. Thailand certainly pursued
57


territory they determined was in question when they took control over the tree villages of Ban
Mai, Ban Klang, and Ban Sawang. Ultimately, however, the lands gained in this pursuit were
insignificant and Thailand only held them for approximately seven months.
Thailand did invade Laos for a variety of reasons. First, the Lao government was
supported by Vietnam and China as friendly communist countries. These countries shared and
supported the communist ideology. Realism would not account for this type of support from
other states as they see each state as representing only its self-interests in this anarchic world.
This is a significant weakness of the realist argument as it discounts realities that shape behavior
and action. Furthermore, while Thailand was militarily dominant, this does not always lead to a
clear military victory. Due to the mountainous and tough terrain, winners of a protracted war in
this region are not determined by how many bombs a country may have, as was clearly evident
in other struggles in the region including Vietnam. There are numerous other determiners that
factor into warfare in this region. Secondly, the Lao had demonstrated resolve and persistence.
After being colonized by the Thai, subsequently by the French, and then waging a civil war that
witnessed the communist Pathet Lao take control, the Lao populous and government was not
about to become subservient to Thai overtures.
A liberal perspective would highlight the vast resources offered by the Mekong River as
a centerpiece for this dispute. The Mekong provides a natural setting for economic benefits to
both countries. Not only is this river the lifeline for many communities along it, it provides a
natural transit system for local communities seeking to sell or trade their goods to Laotian or
Thai populations. With Lao being one of the poorest states in the region, there were great
advantages in Lao communities having access to Thai markets. As seen with other case studies,
liberalism is an approach that seeks to establish and entrench cooperation. This approach is
58


unable to explore the underlying causes for why conflict occurred in the first place. While an
economic approach to growth and cooperation is transformative in nature, it does not address the
conflict itself. In this case, Thailands economic might was used as a weapon against Lao in an
effort to punish Lao communities and the government in regards to this dispute. It is
unreasonable to believe that countries that are in a state of militarized conflict would seek
harmony with each other through cooperative measures that would bolster each side. In these
states of high tension, cooperation becomes a decreasing option. Accordingly, gaps are present
in the liberal explanation.
In reviewing this conflict, one must certainly understand the history and
experiences that have shaped this region. It would be absurd to attempt to understand this
conflict without exploring the recent history. This is why constructivism is becoming one of the
more influential approaches in the international arena. One cannot discount the fact that
Thailand colonized Lao territory for over a hundred years, enslaving the Laotian population to
build its cities, monuments, and historical treasures. Discounting this history appears
irresponsible. Thai colonization was followed by French colonialism in the early 1900s, only to
be reverted back to Thai control during World War II. After the defeat of Thailand in this war,
France tried to regain control, but was rebuffed by Pathet Lao pursuits of independence from the
French and Lao royalty. The Pathet Lao struggled for 30 years to gain independence, which
came in 1975. This history directly shaped and molded the norms and beliefs of Laos during this
conflict. As a largely agrarian and poor country, Laos shifted towards communism following the
end of WWII due to the presence and persistence of the Pathet Lao. The territorial conflict with
Thailand represented yet another attack on Lao sovereignty, freedom, and integrity. The battle
for Lao independence quickly became an ideological war in the Cold War era. Since the Laotian
59


populace had suffered for hundreds of years under Thai and French rule, the norms and values
shaped from this history created a populace and government that was willing to sacrifice for their
independence and territorial rights granted by statehood.
From the Thai perspective, the history in the region appears to have shaped the idea that
they had a right to any Laotian territories they sought. Siam ruled much of this region for
hundreds of years. This created a right to ownership that Thailand has exerted whenever
possible, as was the case during WWII. As soon as an opportunity presented itself, the Thai
government took back what was thought to have been taken away by the more powerful French.
Thailand simply pursued its interest in this region due to a history of exploitation and gains made
in this territory. Why should today be any different than it was hundreds of years ago? This
became part of Panthaism that was initiated in the early 1940s. Under the guise of reunited the
Thai culture, Thailand embarked on reclaiming territories they felt were wrongfully taken from
them. This theme did not end when Thailand was forced to give up Laotian territory after
WWII. In fact, the territorial dispute between Thailand and Laos was a direct result of this Thai
belief.
While military might and economic forces were certainly present in the Lao/Thai
territorial dispute, the history and shared experiences that shaped this conflict appear to be more
enduring. The three villages taken over by Thailand were not geostrategic and did not, unto
themselves, contain significant economic resources. The small and unimportant geographic area
that encompasses these villages does not lend itself to addressing relative or absolute gains, as
emphasized by realism and liberalism. Rather this act appears to be based on a Thai norm that
they are able to take and treat Laos as they wish. This specific conflict appears more ideological
in nature than its geographic importance. Moreover, it is important to note the hundreds of years
60


of experiences that shaped Thailands approach towards Laos. They had successfully dominated
Laos and viewed them as subservient. Failing to take these realities into account, as is the case
with the realist and liberal perspectives, leads to insufficient and unrealistic understanding of this
dispute.
61


62


CHAPTER V
INDONESIAN AND MALAYSIAN CASE STUDY
History and Background
The confrontation over the shared border between Indonesia and Malaysia on the
island of Borneo began with the creation of Malaysia as its own free and independent state (van
der Kroef, 1963). On September 16, 1963, Malaysia was created out of what were previous
British colonies, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei, and Sabah (Jones, 1980). The
consolidation of these British colonies resulted in a country of some 330,252 square km
consisting of two landmasses (Salleh, Razali, Jusoff, 2009). The first land mass is referred to as
West Malaysia, which was previously called Malaya and the second East Malaysia, is located
on the Island of Borneo. East Malaysia entails what was at dispute between Indonesia and
Malaysia. The combination of these territories was thought to be important by the British for
several reasons. First, communist in-roads were being made in Singapore and this threatened
Western control of the straits of Malacca. (Jones, 1980; Leifer, 1966). The British thought that
by including Singapore into the Malaysian federation, it would address this ideological shift.
Second, Malaya, which had gained independence in 1957, was economically weak. The addition
of these new lands would boost resources and provide for a larger economic base to compete
internationally (Id). Finally, cultural concerns were thought to be mitigated by the creation of
Malaysia. If only Singapore would have been added to Malaya, then Malaysia would have
essentially become a Chinese state, which was greatly opposed by ethnic Malays (Butwell,
1964). Only by adding the territories on Borneo, Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei, did the cultural
make-up work for Malays and the British Crown. By adding lands on Borneo, Malaysia became
48% Malay, 36% Chinese, 9% Indian or Pakistani, and 7% aboriginal (Jones, 1980). With
63


Communist China in the backyard of both Indonesia and Malaysia, avoiding a Chinese state was
paramount to British geo-political concerns and cultural concerns on the part of ethnic Malays
(Jones, pg. 265).
Discussions regarding a merger of these British territories began in 1961. Both British
and Malay leadership viewed it necessary to understand the perspectives of the people located on
Borneo. On August 1, 1962, it was decided between British and Malaya leadership that
Malaysia would be formed on August 31, 1963 (Jones, 1980). This measure was endorsed by
the Malaysian Parliament on August 15, 1962, by the Legislative Council of Sabah on September
12, 1962, by the Council Negri of Sarawak on September 26, 1962, and by 63% of the voters in
Singapore (Id).
When discussion regarding Malaysia was initially presented to Indonesian leadership,
they did not object as long as the territories had agreed to join Malaysia. While Indonesian
leadership voiced no objections, a powerful communist party within Indonesia, the PKI, ardently
opposed the formation and billed such an event as a neo-colonial attempt to suppress the peoples
of these territories (Jones, 266; van der Kroef, 1963). This affected the leadership in the country
and led to a cautious approach by Indonesia. Indonesia became leery for two reasons. First, they
had hoped to extend their influence in the region by establishing an increased role in Sarawak,
Sabah, and Brunei. Secondly, Indonesia was concerned that a strong Malaysia might result in a
cultural magnet for the ethnically related Sumatra (van der Kroef, 1963).
Even though Indonesia appeared unsure of this new arrangement called Malaysia,
everything else seemed to be on track for it to occur. However, on December 8, 1962, a revolt
broke out in Brunei lead by Azahari, who at the time was the President of Bruneis Peoples
Party (Jones, 1980). Azhari had previously fought alongside Sukarno in Indonesias quest for
64


independence. He attempted to form an independent state, the Unitary State of Kalimantan, and
proclaimed himself as the President of that country. Indonesias PKI immediately announced
their support for the revolt. Two days later, Sukarno followed suit. It appeared that the Brunei
revolt allowed Sukarno the opportunity to renounce his previous tacit acceptance of Malaysia
(Jones, 1980). Brunei, mostly due to its vast oil resources, was too valuable to the British to
allow this revolt to occur. Accordingly, the revolt was put down several days later. This was an
important event from the Indonesian perspective because it supported its suspicions of
neocolonialism (Id). This was a message that Indonesian leaders could use to rally their
populace in opposition to Malaysia.
On January 20, 1963, Foreign Minister Subandrio, after returning from Peking China
where he received support for the Brunei revolt, declared Indonesias formal opposition and
initiated a policy of confrontation (van der Kroef, 1963). Subandrio stated that due to the shared
border between Indonesia and Malaysia, Indonesia could not remain passive. Tunku Abdul
Rahman, the President of Malaya, denounced these statements as a declaration of cold war. The
statements were ratcheted up when Sukarno countered by stating that a military conflict might be
unavoidable if Malaysia was to be created. Sukarno stated, We do not want to have neo-
colonialism in our vicinity. We consider Malaysia an encirclement of the Indonesian Republic
(Jones, 1980). Furthermore, Sukarno began to openly support the people of Borneo and raised
the rallying cry of self-determination.
On April 9 1963, representatives from Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines gathered in
Manila to attempt to resolve the controversy of Northern Borneo (Leifer, 1966). On April 12,
1963, Indonesia launched its first attacks (Jones, 1980). This was designed as a show of force to
Britain and Malay so they would better understand the ramifications of the creation of Malaysia.
65


Another attempt to settle matters occurred in May and June of 1963, when Sukarno invited the
Malaya President for talks in Tokyo. Sukarno and Rahman agreed to resolve their differences
peacefully and even discussed the creation of a greater Malay confederation to be called
Maphilindo (Butwell, 1964). More importantly, Indonesia and the Philippines, both whom had
claims to Northern Borneo, agreed to formally welcome the creation of Malaysia as long as the
willingness of the Borneo territories to join Malaysia was determined by the United Nations
(Jones, 1980). Of course, both the British and Malaya representatives claimed the people of
Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei wanted to join Malaysia. All parties agreed to a U.N. administered
an official inquiry into the opinions and perspectives of affected Borneo populations. All
stakeholders, with the exception of Indonesias communist PKI party, China, and Vietnam, were
elated about this solution as they believed they would be vindicated by the results of the U.N.
official inquiry (Id). The U.N. inquiry mission began on August 26, 1963 (Id). U.N. teams
met with officials, political leaders, and representatives from religious, tribal, ethnic, labor, and
business groups. There was, however, some controversy between Britain, Indonesia, and
Philippines regarding how many observers from each country should be allowed to participate.
Ultimately, Britain allowed eight observers from Indonesia and the Philippines (Id).
Additionally, there were other technical squabbles between Britain and Indonesia, which would
be used later by Indonesia, regarding the U.N. inquiry into the self-determination of the people in
territories of Borneo that were to be included in Malaysia. Furthermore, two (2) days before the
results of the inquiry were announced, the Government of Malaysia issued a proclamation that
Malaysia would be created regardless of the results. President Tunku had selected September 13
as the inauguration date of Malaysia. The results of the U.N. inquiry, once released on
September 14, showed that a majority of people in the disputed Borneo territories did indeed
66


wish to join Malaysia (Id). U.N. leader of the inquiry, U Thant, stated the following: I believe
that the majority of them have concluded that they wish to bring their independent states to an
end and to realize their independence through freely chosen association with other peoples in
their region whom they feel ties of ethnic association, heritage, language, religion, culture,
economic relationship, and ideals and objectives (Jones, 1980). This was a tremendous blow
to Sukarno. He was unable to maintain his promise of acceptance if these were the results.
Rather, Sukarno questioned the validity and quality of the U.N. inquiry. Sukarno then decided to
request an additional survey. Subandrino announced that Indonesia would not recognize
Malaysia until another inquiry was completed.
The day before Malaysia was created; Indonesia denounced the formation of the new
country as a neocolonialist creation and refused to recognize Malaysia (Id). In fact, Sukarno
viewed the British as a threat to Indonesian sovereignty and independence. As a response to the
creation of Malaysia, he immediately initiated a policy of confrontation (Konfrontasi) (van der
Kroef, 1963). On September 21, 1963, Indonesia established an economic blockade on Malaysia
(Jones, 1980). The formation of Malaysia commenced on September 16, 1963 and tensions in the
region began to increase. By December of 1963, Indonesia had approximately 10,000 troops
along the border (Id). Furthermore, the Indonesian Army began training and arming dissenting
groups in the area that also opposed Malaysia (Id). The United States worked to arrange a
meeting between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Malaysia and the Philippines both
agreed that a precursor to any meeting must include the end of Indonesian military activity in the
disputed area. Sukarno agreed and on January 23, 1964, a cease-fire was announced. All
parties met in Tokyo on June 18, 1964 (Butwell, 1964). However, this meeting, ended abruptly
on June 20 when Sukarno claimed that the U.N. survey was a farce and that Indonesia was under
67


severe pressure from Britain at the time to agree to the Manila Accords. As a result, Indonesia
encouraged and actively participated in guerilla warfare with the new Malaysian state. Sukarno
rallied support domestically around his Crush Malaysia campaign, but by 1965, such support
appeared to be weaning (Jones, 1980). On the other hand, Malaysian leadership benefited from
Sukarnos campaign as this united the population of the newly formed country (Id). Due to the
strong perspectives about this conflict, resolution became increasingly more difficult.
Further exacerbating any hope for resolution was Sukarnos ideological shift towards
aligning with the communist regimes of Russia and China (Jones, 1980). He had also aligned
himself domestically with the PKI, the strongest communist party in Indonesia (Id). Indonesian
relations had deteriorated to the point where the United States had reached an agreement to begin
training Malaysian forces and agreed to sell Malaysia $5,000,000 in military equipment (Id).
This was a major blow to Sukarno whose guerilla campaign was ineffective, especially with
British troops on the ground and logistical support from the U.S. Given the lack of Indonesian
success in this military campaign, it became increasingly clear that resolution was not possible as
long as Sukarno was in control.
In 1965, Indonesian moderates began to organize, forming the Badan Pendukun
Sukarnoisme (the BPS) and exerting their influence. Consisting of Christian and Muslim
leaders, the army, newspaper editors and publishers, the goal of the BPS was to rescue the
positive traits of Sukarnos ideology from the perils of communist influences that had been
increasing over the past few years (Id). Furthermore, members of the BPS felt that the PKI had
no real political opposition domestically. Sukarno, at this time, was also slowing down
physically and was preparing to limit his political activity. The BPS gained momentum, but in
68


December of 1965, Sukarno banned the BPS from political participation. Although banned, the
goals and agendas of the BPS would soon resurface.
In September of 1965, a dramatic event occurred that changed the course of Indonesia.
On September 30, 1965, an abortive coup detat was initiated by domestic communists and
disenchanted army personnel (Id). Their goal was to eliminate top army leadership, change the
composition of the Indonesian cabinet, and establish a government that was more pro-communist
(Jones, 1980). In doing so, death squads roamed Indonesia seeking to execute leaders, generals,
and anyone else identified by the communists as a threat.
By October 1, 1965, coup forces were in control of Radio Indonesia and stated their
objectives (Id). They claimed that their actions had prevented a coup detat that had been
planned by military personnel and that their objective was to remove the subversive elements of
the armed forces. On October 5, Sukarno was announced to be safe and was under the protection
of coup forces. General Suharto, on the other hand, did not acquiesce to the current rebel control
of Indonesia. Suharto began to organize all people and groups that were loyal to him. Within
hours he had gathered around him elements of his own division and loyal units of other
commands and set out to neutralize the rebels, who had taken over the palace and radio stations
(Id). Suharto planned to try to convince the rebels to surrender. At 6:00 p.m., Suharto issued
an ultimatum to the 454th battalion: either they evacuate their positions by 10:00 p.m. or he
would blast them out (Id). As the battalion withdrew, the PKI and their armed bands of thugs
were planning an attack. Suharto quickly arrested these potential attackers and by 8:00 p.m.,
Suharto was in full control of Jakarta. Suharto then began to learn about Sukarnos whereabouts.
It became clear that Sukarno was not a prisoner. In fact, it was determined that he had given his
blessing for the coup (Id). The failed coup attempt ended up being the demise of Sukarno and to
69


the benefit of Suharto. Suharto began to consolidate his own power in Indonesia (van der Kroef,
1966). On October 14, Sukarno announced that Suharto would be the Minister/Commander of
the Indonesian Army (Jones, 1980). Additionally, as the Indonesian population began to learn
more about the failed coup, public opinion did not favor Sukarno. It became clear that there
were two primary powers in control that were vying for full Indonesian control. Suharto enjoyed
the support of the army, the navy, and political moderates throughout the country. Sukarno was
supported by the PKI and air force leadership (Id). This dual power led to internal strife and a
virtual civil war during October. On November 3, about 100,000 Muslim and other anti-
communist groups attacked the Chinese consulate. On April 15, the Chinese embassy was
stormed and ransacked (Id). In October of 1965, Suhartos government banned the PKI and
arrested thousands of its members. This pressure weighed heavily on Sukarno who in November
described the communists as rats that have eaten the big part of the cake and tried to eat the
pillars of our house.. .now lets catch these rats and I will punish them (Id). Anti-communist
demonstrations continued throughout the spring of 1966. Also during this time was a showdown
of power between Sukarno and Suharto. Sukarno delivered his last Independence Day speech on
August 17, 1966 and claimed to still be running the country. The reality of the circumstances
was that Suharto had been granted full power under the authority of the Parliament. Two days
before the beginning of the 1966-1967 parliament, Suharto described his three (3)-part plan,
which included the following: addressing Indonesias economic woes, ending the conflict with
Malaysia, and increasing cooperation throughout Southeast Asia (Id). Within a week of
Suhartos speech, Malaysias Deputy Prime Minister Razak visited Jakarta and Foreign Minister
Adam Malik traveled with a 52 person Indonesian delegation to Kuala Lumpur (Id). At noon on
August 11, 1966, after three (3) years of confrontation, the dispute between Indonesia and
70


Malaysia ended (Salleh, Razali, and Jusoff, 2009). Both countries immediately ceased military
action and established diplomatic partnerships and recognition. It was clear that this conflict was
resolved swiftly through the change of leadership in Indonesia. Had Suharto not wrestled control
away from Sukarno, the conflict would have persisted.
71


Figure Vin Indonesian and Malaysian leaders meet.
72


Case Study Analysis
Prior to the legal formation of Malaysia, Sukarno expressed his frustration with this
newly created country. Almost immediately, he initiated his policy of Konfrontasi. Included in
this approach was military confrontation. Indonesia began training opposition groups on the
island of Borneo that were Indonesian leaning in nature. Additionally, Sukarno actively engaged
Malaysian and British military along-side the guerilla groups. Furthermore, within weeks of the
formation of Malaysia, he initiated an economic blockade. Realists would view these actions as
a way to expand Indonesian influence in the region. By taking up the cause of independence for
the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, he would gain influence in the region and might actually
increase Indonesian territory if it had been determined that they did not wish to join Malaysia,
pursuant to the U.N. study. Unfortunately, however, for Sukarno there was active support of
Malaysia by Britain and the United States. Britain fought alongside the Malaysian troops and
ultimately changed the balance of this conflict to the benefit of Malaysia. Due to external
military and logistical support, Indonesias military campaign proved fruitless. In fact, when
Sukarno agreed to withdraw Indonesian troops from the disputed territory it was speculated that
he delayed the withdrawal date because Indonesia had to actually insert troops prior to being able
to withdraw them. Indonesias policy of military confrontation was not successful and
ultimately contributed to Indonesias economic demise.
Realists would explain Sukarnos action as a way to increase his power-base, military
capabilities and influence in Southeast Asia. If this pursuit was solely about increasing ones
power, why did Sukarno frame this confrontation with overtones of neocolonialism and
independence? In fact, Sukarno rallied his domestic support by emphasizing the role of
colonialism in the dispute. As a benefactor of Indonesias armed struggle against the Dutch for
73


independence, this was a natural rallying cry for Sukarno. He claimed that the formation of
Malaysia was merely a clever way for Britain to retain control over its colonial territories.
Furthermore, Sukarno believed that Malaysia was itself colonizing other smaller territories that
were to be deprived of their independence. In addition to the rallying cry of colonialism,
Sukarno drifted more toward communism as his rule extended. As a result, this ideological shift
naturally made him more of an enemy of the West and anti-communist states during the Cold
War. His allegiance shifted from the United States to Russia and China. How would realists
explain these realities? Unfortunately, realists would not put much emphasis on these
circumstances. This is one of the primary deficiencies of applying this approach to the
Indonesian/Malaysian territorial dispute. The dispute was far more complicated than realism
excels at explaining. While gaps due exist, the relevance of power and the use of such power
was clearly evident in this dispute.
Liberals, as is the case with the previous case studies, fall into some of the trappings of
realism and have significant deficiencies in explaining this conflict. Liberals would focus on
economic development of this region. With the use of institutions, Indonesia and Malaysia could
learn to cooperate with each other. Institutions are powerful in that they are able to define the
rules of the playing field and can facilitate member buy-in. Indonesia and Malaysia would both
benefit from a cooperative economic environment. With fledgling economies at the time, this
would hopefully prove to be the most rational approach to their differences. While noble in its
pursuit, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to engage in cooperative efforts between these
countries when one country, in this case Indonesia, has openly declared a policy of
confrontation. This policy witnessed active military support and use of Indonesias economic
might as tools against Malaysia. Simply put, due to the actions of Indonesia, these countries
74


were unable to embark on positive dialogue through institutions. Rather, military resources and
desires for defending Malaysias territory created a tenuous and non-conciliatory atmosphere.
As is the case with the other case studies in this report, Liberalism fails miserably in explaining
and understanding this conflict.
From a constructivist perspective, Sukarno clearly outlined his beliefs towards the
creation of Malaysia. His experiences participating in the guerilla campaign against the Dutch
not only shaped his view toward Western Colonialists, but also resulted in his rise to power. The
nation and Sukarnos anti-colonialist perspective became stronger as Indonesia fought for
independence. The beliefs were so powerful that his policy of confrontation was not one of
discretion. Rather, he felt it was his duty to free the disputed territories from the grips of
colonialism. He used this approach to gamer the domestic support of his like-minded populace.
In addition to freeing the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, Sukarno felt uncomfortable
having a colonial presence in the region. Due to the long Indonesian struggle for independence,
the mere presence of colonialism led to inherent skepticism. Sukarnos own experiences created
the need for him to respond to the creation of Malaysia with force. Over time, his beliefs became
more aligned with communist Russia and China, which resulted in a strain on any Western
countries, the United States included.
Indonesias approach to this conflict ended once Sukarno was essentially removed from
power. The domestic coup attempt by Sukarno and his communist supporters gave Suharto and
other domestic influences the authority and legitimacy to remove Sukarno from power. The
removal of Sukarno was the most significant factor in resolving this dispute. Sukarno and the
PKI were in such opposition to Malaysia that nothing else seem to matter. More moderates
throughout the country saw the conflict with Malaysia as empty and pointless. For them,
75


Sukarnos rallying cries against colonialism and the West became out of touch with the
mainstream. Once Suharto had fully consolidated power, he ended the Indonesian policy of
Konfrontasi with Malaysia within a week. Within that very week, the confrontation was over, an
agreement had been reached, Indonesia had recognized Malaysia, and full diplomatic ties were
established. Once the norms and values of Sukarno were removed, the conflict was over.
This conflict represents a powerful lesson in regard to solving these types of disputes.
Indonesias military might was no match for Malaysias Western backed military. Economic
cooperation was not plausible in the existing state of conflict. The most enduring factor to this
resolution was the removal of an authoritarian leader who drove the country down the perilous
road of confrontation based solely on his disgust for colonialism and Western influence in the
region. Sukarnos beliefs radicalized over time and, in the end, the removal of his beliefs
resulted in the resolution of the conflict. This clearly demonstrates how powerful, enduring, and
destructive norms and beliefs can be in the international arena and why changing such norms
should be the focus of conflict resolution.
76


CHAPTER VI
CASE STUDY REVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS
The purpose of this research was to apply the three most prominent theories in the
international relations field to these four case studies in order to determine the strengths and
weaknesses of each theory through empirical application. The goal of this research is to see how
these theories may be applied to real world events. Insights were gained in regards to the
strengths and weaknesses of each theory. In political science in general, scholars often jockey to
determine which theory is best. It is not uncommon for a political scientists career to be linked
to one theoretical perspective. The purpose of understanding territorial disputes should be to
gain greater insights into the process of resolving these types of conflicts. Furthermore, this
research also seeks to determine if a dominant theory exists. The purpose is not to understand
which theory can predict future disputes, hot spots for disputes, how to prevent disputes, or
which theory is best to resolve disputes in the short and long term. As is often the case with
conflict management study, it is easy for students and scholars to jump to resolution before
establishing a true understanding. That is why it was important to apply these theories in this
manner. The other topics, while vital to conflict management study, are best reserved for future
research. We have seen over time how a lack of understanding of the history and circumstances
has led to deleterious policy decisions. Often policy makers prescribe actions that clearly
demonstrate a lack of understanding or knowledge of the region. These policy prescriptions lead
to failure, short term resolutions, and other instances where disastrous consequences are left to be
dealt with in another administration or by a future generation. Military action has been utilized
in many instances as a solution for resolution. Peru and Ecuador, for instance, engaged in many
military confrontations, but they never ended the dispute. The results of similar military
77


campaigns are suspect at best. One can bomb bridges, infrastructure, and buildings, but there are
very few examples where bombs succeeded in eliminating or significantly curtailing an ideology.
In fact, what we have seen over the last twenty years is that bombs often coalesce and strengthen
support for specific ideologies. Our experiences have demonstrated that a thorough
understanding of any international circumstance requires a deep understanding of all that has
shaped the current state of events.
How did the various theories perform in their application to these four case studies? The
most prominent theory, realism, has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War
II. Due to the Cold-War that emerged from WWII, this approach seemed appropriate and was
very attractive to policy makers in a bi-polar world. Background, history, culture, religion, and
perspectives were not a primary concern in a world that pitted the United States and capitalism
against the U.S.S.R. and its brand of communism. The primary aspect of action and policy in
this period was in regard to which ideology a state adopted. As was the case with all theories,
realist explanations contained gaps as it was applied to these territorial disputes. One of the
primary deficiencies of this theory is that it focuses squarely on the state as the primary actor. In
this research, the focus was on territorial disputes between states. Accordingly, one could argue
that realism had an advantage in this arena since the state being the primary actor is one of its
fundamental assumptions. Unfortunately, though, realism fails to offer, seek, or be interested in
what past events and experiences have shaped these states world view. Rather, their dependence
on an anarchic world stage fails to stoke an interest in looking into the history that has shaped
present day. Realism believes that friends yesterday can become foes today and friendly states
tomorrow may be foes the following day. This perspective keeps realism in an unhealthy present
state that finds the past useless and the future frightening. Lastly, this theory is insufficient in
78


being able to explore or apply domestic influences. In many of our case studies, domestic
politics and opinion determined if a dispute was resolved. Dismissing the past prevents realism
from being able to explain the complicated circumstances that have shaped the four disputes
outline in this paper. In regard to the Ecuador/Peru dispute, the history that shaped this matter
was vast. This dispute was directly reliant upon geographical colonial ambiguity that left these
new states vying for territorial integrity. In the case of Indonesia and Malaysia, the conflict was
clearly impacted by Suhartos experience and fight for Indonesian independence. These
experiences shaped his approach to Malaysia as just another colonial incursion into this region.
In the case of Belize and Guatemala, the Guatemalans were adamant that these lands had been
stolen from Spain by the British and were populated by outsiders who were not indigenous to the
region. In the case of Thailand and Laos, colonial influence and legacy shaped the lack of clear
boundary in the Mekong River Basin. To discount these historical influences does an injustice to
those involved. Dismissing hundreds of years of experiences demonstrates a fundamental flaw
of realism.
Realism is also focused on power relations between states. Power is supreme in the
realist perspective and it is utilized to pursue ones self-interests. While power is present in all of
the case studies, how does it help to explain these disputes? Peru, Guatemala, Indonesia, and
Thailand were much more powerful militarily and economically than their counterparts, but this
power does not explain why the disputed lands were so important and contested for hundreds of
years in some cases. Ultimately, power denotes capabilities and capabilities do not provide any
adequate reasoning for why the disputes arose, persisted, and provide so much fervor in these
disputes. Rather, power and capabilities are more indicative of which state should win a conflict
and not why a dispute exists in the first place.
79


Another vital assumption of realism is its reliance on rational behavior. Realism holds
that states act rationally in their pursuit of self-interested goals in the international arena. In
these conflicts, there was much irrational behavior. In the case of Indonesia, the country was
economically bankrupt as Sukarno waged his war with Malaysia and her Western parents.
Rationally speaking, Sukarno was not doing what was arguably in his countrys best interest.
Rather, his irrational nationalistic perspective drove him to go on the attack in a war that cost his
country much economically and politically. Ultimately, this irrational behavior was his downfall
and one of the primary reasons he lost power. Due to the military power of Peru, it was not
rational for Ecuador to engage in any type of military confrontation with Peru. On the contrary,
however, Ecuador did not back down in their pursuit of these disputed lands. They sought
conflict with Peru even though they had lost every military confrontation. Similarly, in the
Laos/Thailand dispute Laos was outmatched, yet they often acted as the provocateur in this
dispute. The same type of irrational behavior was seen in the Belize/Guatemalan dispute.
Guatemalas army was immense compared to the capabilities of Belize. The U.K.s presence was
certainly a deterrent, but they often had no more than 1,000 or so military personnel in Belize in
the second half of the 20th Century. Accordingly, there was much opportunity for Guatemala to
seize the tiny country of Belize when the U.K. had much more pressing matters on the world
stage, including WWII, Vietnam, and the Korean War. It is doubtful that Belize was a high
priority for the U.K. during these wars and in other periods when the cost of defending Belize
was outweighed by more pressing matters. Given these facts, in each of these case studies,
territorial disputes are not rooted or acted upon by strict rational behavior.
Due the many similarities between realism and liberalism, liberalism shares many
of realisms fundamental flaws. These shared assumptions include the state as the primary actor,
80


an anarchic worldview, and rational behavior and actions. Where liberalism begins to distance
itself from realism is in regard to its emphasis on economics and its transformative prescriptions
for cooperation. It would be duplicative to explore the failures of liberalism that it shares with
realism. Accordingly, its differences on economics and cooperation will be explored.
Liberals view these disputes as resulting from economic pursuits or inequities.
Economic characteristics in all four of the case studies are present. Ecuador had much to gain in
regard to access to the Amazon River. Borneo offered vast resources that could have greatly
benefited Indonesias struggling economy. Guatemalas access to additional logging lands and
increased access to the Atlantic is a compelling economic argument. Lastly, the Mekong River
basin is a major economic engine throughout Southeast Asia. Not only does this river provide
for livelihoods for those that live along its banks, but it is also a significant economic engine due
to transport of goods from the various states that encompass parts of this river or that border it.
Economic advantages are certainly present for those disputing borders. Such is the case with any
land that exists. Essentially all land acquired, gained or within states borders inherently offers
economic benefits. This is a generic quality to all land. Gaining such attributes can certainly be
an aspect to increase desire for acquiring territory, but at what cost? Guatemala greatly dwarfs
the size of Belize. Due to its proximity, it already controls and has within its borders resources,
logging, etc... similar to what is offered on Belizean lands. Accordingly, does this small country
represent sizable economic incentives? It appears not. Another economic factor in this dispute
that was highlighted in the research was increased access to the Atlantic. Acquiring Belizean
lands would certainly increase access to the Atlantic, but this ocean was already accessible. Do
these nominal economic incentives for Guatemala amount to the primary reason for the dispute,
or are they add-ons to the real reasons for Guatemalas quest for Belize? In the case of the
81


Mekong River, Laos already has vast access to this river and all of its tributaries. In this conflict,
the three villages were a primary source for conflict at issue. These villages were small and
poor. Did these three villages represent such economic gains that Thailand sought their
control? In relation to the rest of Thailands resources, these three villages pale in comparison
and are unlikely to represent a compelling economic argument for action. A similar argument
can be made for Indonesia on Borneo. The Malaysian section of this island is very small. In
fact, Indonesia controlled nearly 75% of this island. The Malaysian territory represented about
23 percent. With such a vast stake Indonesia already had on Borneo, did the 23% represent such
significant economic incentive that it warranted this dispute and a military conflict? At this
point, Indonesia hadnt even adequately been able to take advantage of the lands already under
its control. The country did not have the capacity to manage, oversee, and profit from these
additional lands. With such vast resources at its disposal, it is highly unlikely that economic
reasons were the catalyst for this dispute.
Finally, in regard to Ecuador and Peru, it is clear that access to the Amazon River
provides economic benefits. This river not only provides access to the rest of South America,
but also to the Atlantic Ocean. Does this economic incentive, however, explain how territory in
a post Spanish South America was divided up? Such economic incentive certainly is not
included in Ecuadors historical claims on these lands. It certainly doesnt explain national
sentiments that this land was stolen. Such sentiments evoked and stoked emotions for over 160
years until this dispute was settled. Was accessing a primary reason for the dispute when it was
initiated in 1821? At this point, the economic advantages of the Amazon were not as realistic as
in modem times. Was the national support indicative of this land solely vested in economic
benefits? It is doubtful that such emotions, sentiments, and support could have been sustained
82


over such a long period of time. While economic incentives are woven into the fabric of
disputes, it does not appear they are the fundamental reason for these issues.
Another focus for the liberal perspective is a reliance on institutions. It relies heavily on
the use of institutions between states to foster a cooperative environment. Liberals utilize
varying types of institutions that contain formal agreements and structures to less formal
arrangements. This characteristic of liberalism makes it a transformative theory. It seeks to
change world views by the using regional and international intuitions to address and bridge
issues inherent with what they believe to be an anarchic international society. While admirable
indeed, the deployment and use of institutions between states does little to help us understand the
case studies utilized in this paper. One could argue the lack of institutions after the Spanish
pulled out of South America was a contributor to the many territorial disputes that arose during
this period of flux, Ecuador and Peru included. Furthermore, had the Spanish and the colonized
regions set up territorial institutions to determine borders and to provide a resource and forum for
resolving disputes, this dispute may not have occurred. It is possible that institutions could have
aided this transition, but it is also true that this concept was not prevalent in this time period. The
concept of the state was new to Western powers. As they colonized lands throughout the world,
they were more interested in added to their wealth than exporting the concept of statehood to
conquered lands. Furthermore, when colonist left countries, these countries had not developed
civil societies that are part of the development of any state. Additionally, are we to assume that
the best way to understand these case studies is through a lack of institutions? Does a lack of
institutions properly explain why the dispute between Ecuador and Peru existed at all or why it
lasted 168 years? This is also the case for our other case studies. Rather, the use of institutions
appears to be more of conflict management tool than an avenue of explanation and
83


understanding. Liberalisms reliance on institutions are better served to other specific topics
within the field of conflict management, but their use in developing a keen and true
understanding is certainly not one.
Since realism and liberalism contain such significant gaps, is constructivism a better
theory? The most important theoretical characteristic of constructivism is its emphasis on norms
and beliefs. This approach seeks to understand norms in beliefs and how they have been shaped
over time. Inherent within norms and beliefs are all of the life experiences, history, and events
that have shaped these views. While certain events can radically change existing perspectives,
they are generally shaped over a long period. This allows researchers to include history, wars,
political events, relationships and all other influences that have shaped the norms and beliefs.
This approach is certainly helpful when reviewing the various these case studies. The approach
is able to explore how experiences and events shaped the disputes between these states.
In the dispute between Ecuador and Peru, constructivisms theoretical foundation is able
to incorporate all of the historical events that molded this conflict. The manner in which this
area was managed by Spanish colonists led to differing views in regard to who should hold these
lands. Such beliefs were codified throughout this 168 year conflict. Often, these strong beliefs
were used as rallying cries and mobilized citizenry in each country, often being exploited for the
benefit of presidential campaigns. Such was also the case in the dispute between Belize and
Guatemala. Norms and beliefs were not only demonstrated in elections of elected officials, but
also in public outcries that led to policy changes and the reversal of agreements to resolve the
dispute. Furthermore, the cultural difference between these two countries, Guatemala identified
with Latin America and Belize aligned with the Caribbean, further demonstrated how immersed
norms and beliefs were in this dispute. In both of the Latin American case studies, norms and
84


beliefs shaped over time and through a variety of events, shaped strong views that surpassed any
importance of military might and economic advantages offered by the disputed lands.
Constructivism was equally important in understanding the case studies in Southeast
Asia. As is the case with the Latin American case studies, constructivism is the only theoretical
approach that incorporates the totality of events and history that shaped these disputes.
Sukarnos hatred towards colonialism and his quest for Indonesian independence did not allow
him to accept what he viewed as colonial overtures in the creation of Malaysia. Furthermore, he
had built strong nationalist tendencies based on past Indonesia empires. These traits of his rule
led him down a path of resistance to Malaysia. While outmatched militarily, his refusal to retreat
characterizes his perspective and beliefs towards this conflict. The only reason this conflict
ended was because a new leader, Suharto, did not share the same norms and beliefs as Sukarno.
Constructivism continues its strong explanatory ability in the Laos and Thailand conflict.
Thailands historical views towards Laos and historical regional dominance committed this
country to a path of confrontation with Laos. Thailand believed strongly that the disputed lands
rightly belonged to this country and not to Laos. Furthermore, ideological differences between
Thailand and communist Laos led to a distancing of perspectives and strengthened the desire for
acquiring these disputed lands, so much so that this dispute is not yet resolved.
It is undeniably true that the perspectives defined by these theories offer different
explanations of these cases studies. Realisms use of power is certainly present when these
disputes result in armed conflicts. However, having a bigger, faster, and stronger military does
not necessarily lead to an adequate understanding of the events. It is also true that liberalist
perspectives can be explained in all of these case studies. Economic forces do play a role in all
of the disputes highlighted these case studies. Additionally, institutions are also present and have
85


aided in effectuating change. The United Nations was pivotal in recognizing and legitimizing
Belize, and guarantor state of the U.S., Argentina, Chile, and Brazil played a vital role in the Rio
Protocol and eventually ending the Ecuador/Peru conflict. The presence of realist and liberal
assumptions in these case studies should not come as a surprise. The theoretical underpinnings
of these theories are both relevant and important. These theories, however, contain more
substantive gaps than their counterpart of constructivism.
Constructivism is the broadest approach and appears to be best able to incorporate more
events and experiences that have shaped these disputes. Through the study of norms and beliefs,
this approach allows researchers more of a blank canvas that allows them to incorporate history,
any world event, or any part of a countries experience that has shaped its world view. As such,
one can denote that in regards to explaining these four case studies, constructivism is able to
include a wider variety of events than are realism and liberalism. Constructivism can utilize
power structures to determine how such influences have shaped public opinion. In regards to
economic resources, it is able to demonstrate how important economic resources may heighten a
dispute. Is constructivism a perfect theory? Although not perfect, constructivisms primary flaw
of not being able to proactively change norms and beliefs is more of a liability when seeking to
resolve disputes than when explaining or increasing our understanding of them.
After applying these three theories to the case studies, it is clear that significant
gaps exist in all of them. No one theory is able to perfectly explain any of these case studies.
All theories have valid viewpoints and significant weaknesses. It is extremely difficult for any
theory to be able to address the complexities that exist in these case studies. At first glance,
these territorial disputes appear to be between two countries, those who share the border. Upon
closer inspection, there are tremendous external influences that complicate this field of study. In
86


the dispute between Belize and Guatemala, the role of the British government complicates this
dispute greatly. Similarly, the role of China, the United States, the Dutch, and Great Britain had
significant impacts on the dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia. The vast number of actors
involved in these disputes, their varying levels of interest, and the importance of these territories
to them provided for complex disputes that are difficult for any one theory to be able to
incorporate all events and circumstances into its general assumptions and theoretical foundation.
The vast nature of territorial disputes makes if difficult at best for any one theory to explain all of
these events from its perspective.
Ultimately, do we live in a world where one theory has to prevail? While many political
scientists and policy makers would like us to believe so, this is certainly not the case. In fact the
consequences of war trump academic pursuits of establishing a theoretical winner. Theoretical
warfare is irresponsible when stakes are so high. Political science has failed to create a flawless
theory that explains all aspects of territorial disputes. This discipline, however, has established a
wide array of differing points of view. We have the moral responsibility and luxury to
incorporate all of these perspectives to increase our understanding. When human life, ecological
destruction, and catastrophes are at play, all valid viewpoints at our disposal must be utilized.
The stakes are simply too great to do otherwise.
87


REFERENCES
Amer, Ramses and Thao, Nguyen Hong. Regional Conflict Management: Challenges of the
Border Disputes of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Current Research on South-East Asia. 1992:
53-79.
Amery, Hussein A. "Water Wars in the Middle East: A Looming Threat." The Geographical
Journal, Vol. 168, No. 4, December 2002: 313-323.
Battersby, Paul. "Border Politics and the Broader Politics of Thailand's International Relations in
the 1990s: From Communism to Capitalism." Pacific Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 4, Winter 1998-1999:
473-488.
Bell, Judith, et al. Border Disputes and Territorial Disputes. Essex: Longman Group UK
Limited, 1987.
Bercovitch, Jacob, and Judith Fretter. Regional Guide to International Conflict and Management
from 1945-2003. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2004.
Bowman, Issaiah. "The Ecuador-Peru Boundary Dispute." Foreign Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1942:
757-761.
Burchill, Scott, et al. Theories of International Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
Butler, Michael J. International Conflict Management. New York: Routledge, 2009.
Checkel, Jeffrey T. "Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change."
International Organization, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2001: 553-588.
Checkel, Jeffrey T. "Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change."
International Organization, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2001: 553-588.
Chiozza, Giacomo, and Ajin Choi. "Guess Who Did What: Political Leaders and Management of
Territorial Disputes, 1950-1990." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 47, No. 3, June, 2003:
251-278.
Clegem, Wayne M. "New Light on the Belize Dispute." The American Journal of International
Law, Vol. 52, No. 2, 1958: 280-297.
Conboy, Kenneth J. "Conflict Potential in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea." The
Heritage Lectures, the Heritage Foundation: 1-9.
Dominguez, Jorge I. Boundary Disputes in Latin America." Peaceworks, No. 50, August, 2003:
5-45.
88


Elbow, Gary S. "Territorial Loss and National Image: The Case of Ecuador." Conference of
Latin American Geographers, Vol. 22, 1996: 93-105.
Forsberg, Tuomas. "Explaining Territorial Disputes: From Power Politics to Normative
Reasons." Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 33, No. 4, November, 1996: 433-449.
Fravel, M. Taylor. "Regime Insecurity and International Cooperation: Explaining China's
Compromises in Territorial Disputes." International Security, Vol. 30, No. 2, Autumn, 2005: 46-
83.
Giacomo, Chiozza, and Ajin Choi. "Guess Who Did What: Political Leaders and Management of
Territorial Disputes." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vo. 47, No. 3, June, 2003: 251-278.
Gorina-Ysern, Montserrat. AS 11. Insights OAS Mediates in Belize-Guatemala Border Dispute.
December 2000. http://www.asil.org/insigh59.cfm (accessed December 4, 2011).
Hensel, Paul R. "Contentious Issues and World Politics: The Management of Territorial Claims
in the Americas, 1816-1992." International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 1, March, 2001: 81-
109.
Hewitt, J. Joseph. "Dyadic Processes and International Crisis." The Journal of Conflict
Resolution, Vol. 47, No. 5, October, 2003: 669-692.
Hey, Jeanne A. K. "Ecuador and Peru: Peacemaking Amid Rivalry." Latin American Politics and
Society, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2003: 166-170.
Jones, Howard Palfrey. Indonesia: The Possible Dream. Jakarta: Gunung Agung Ltd., 1980.
Keohane, Robert O. "International Institutions: Two Approaches." International Studies
Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4, 1988: 379-396.
Keohane, Robert O., and Joseph S Nye. "Power and Interdependence Revisited." International
Organization, Vol. 41, No. 4, 1987: 725-753.
Kocs, Stephen A. "Territorial Disputes and Interstate War, 1945-1987." The Journal of Politics,
Vol. 57, No. 1, February, 1995: 159-175.
Kunz, Josef L. "Guatemala vs. Great Britain: In RE Belice." The American Journal of
International Law, Vol. 40, No. 2, 1946: 383-390.
Lagerberg, Kees. West Irian and Jakarta Imperialism. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 1979.
Leifer, Michael. "Anglo-American Differences over Malaysia". The World Today, Vol. 20, No.4,
April 1964: 156-167
89


Liefer, Michael. "Indonesia and Malaysia, the Changing Face of Confrontation." The World
Today, Vol. 22, No. 9, Sept. 1966: 395-405.
Maier, Georg. "The Boundary Dispute Between Ecuador and Peru." The American Journal of
International Law, Vol. 63, No. 1 (American Society of International Law) 63, no. 1 (January
1969): 28-46.
Ngaosyvathn, Pheuiphanh. "Thai-Lao Relations: A Law View." Asian Survey, Vol. 25, No. 12,
December 1985: 1242-1259.
Palmer, David Scott. "Peru-Ecuador Border Conflict: Missed Opportunities, Misplaced
Nationalism, and Multilateral Peacekeeping." Journal of Interamerican Studies and World
Affairs, Vol. 39, No. 3, 1994: 109-148.
Payne, Anthony J. "The Belize Triangle: Relations with Britain, Guatemala, and the United
StatesJournal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 32, No. 7, 1990: 119-135.
Reynolds, Louisa. Notien Belize's Oil Boom Threatens to Escalate Border Dispute. June 17,
2011. http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12222 (accessed December 4, 2011).
Ruggie, John Gerarg. "What Makes the World Hang Together? Neo-Utilitarianism and the
Social Constructivist Challenge." International Organization, Vol. 52, No. 4, 1998: 855-885.
Salleh, Asri; Hamdan, Che; Razali, Che Modd; and Jusoff, Kamaruzaman. "Malaysia's Policy
Towards its 1963-2008 Territorial Disputes. Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution, Vol. 1,
October 2009: 107-116.
Simmons, Beth A. "Territorial Disputes and Their Resolution: The Case of Ecuador and Peru."
Peaceworks, The United States Institute of Peace, 1999: 1-27.
Simmons, Beth A. "Capacity, Commitment, and Compliance: International Institutions and
Territorial Disputes." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 46, No. 6, December, 2002: 829-
856.
Simmons, Beth A. "Rules Over Real Estate: Trade, Territorial Conflict, and International
Borders as Institution." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2005: 823-848.
. Territorial Disputes and Their Resolution: The case of Ecuador and Peru. Lexington:
Reprints from the collection fo the University of Michigan Library, 2011.
Thorndike, Tony. "The Conundrum of Belize: An Anatomy of a Dispute." Social and Economic
Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1983: 65-102.
Tillema, Herbert K. International Armed Conflict Since 1945. Boulder: Westview Press, 1991.
90


Tir, Jaroslav. "Keeping the Peace after Secession: Territorial Conflicts between Rump and
Secessionist States." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 49, No. 5, October, 2005: 713-741.
Ulbico, Jorge and the Belice Boundary Dispute. "Kenneth J. Grieb." The Americas, Vol. 30, No.
4, 1974: 448-474.
van der Kroef, Justus M. "Indonesia, Malaya, and the North Borneo Crisis". Asian Survey, Vol.
3, No. 4, April 1963: 173-181.
Vasquez, John, and Marie T. Henehan. "Territorial Disputes and the Probability of War, 1816-
1992." Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, No. 2, March, 2001: 123-138.
Waddell, D.A.G. "Developments in the Belize Question: 1946-1960." The American Journal of
International Law, Vol. 55, No. 2, 1961: 459-469.
Waltz, Kenneth N. Theory of International Politics. New York City: McGraw-Hill, 1979.
Young, Alma H., and Dennis H. Young. "The Impact of the Anglo-Guatemalan Dispute on the
Internal Politics ofBelizq." Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1988: 6-30.
91


Full Text

PAGE 1

UNDERSTANDING TERRITORIAL DISPUTES: CASE STUDIES REGARDING THE DISPUTES BETWEEN ECUADOR AND PERU, BELIZE AND GUATEMALA, INDONESIA AND MALAYSIA, AND LAOS AND THAILAND By CARY PENDLETON WHITAKER B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 2000 A the sis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science 2013

PAGE 2

This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Cary Pendleton Whitaker has been approved for the Political Science Program by Jana Everett Chair Thaddeus J. Tecza Thorsten Spehn May 15, 2013 i i

PAGE 3

Whitaker, Cary, Pendleton ( M.A., Political Science ) Understanding Territorial Disputes: Case Studies Regarding the Di sputes Between Ecuador and Peru, Belize and Guatemala, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Laos and Thailand Thesis directed by Associate Professor Jana Everett ABSTRACT Of all the social processes, conflict is perhaps the most universal and potentially the mo st dangerous. A feature of every society and every form of relationship, conflict can be found at all levels of human interaction, from sibli ng rivalry to genocidal warfare (Bercovit c h and Fretter, 2004). The purpose of conflict management study is to determine how to manage and resolve these destructive events. Due to the pervasiveness of conflict, the stakes for success are extremely high. Failure results in catastrophic results that can plague the world system over time. I nternational actors must b ecome better at resolving disputes. Resolution is certainly an extremely important aspect to conflict management. Unfortunately, many policy makers have treated resolution as a first step to conflict management. While it is easy to w 2ant to work immedia tely towards resolution, a lack of understanding can undermine efforts. In fact, without an adequate understanding of the history and events that shaped the dispute, how can we sustain resolution? The first step to appropriate conflict management is to thoroughly understand the attitudes that shape the dispute. Additionally, it is important to understand if resolution is even possible. B y taking a more thoughtful and balanced approach, resolution will become more realistic and sustainable. Th e form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Jana Everett i ii

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First, I would like to thank my father, Mark Whitaker, for supporting me through my undergraduate degree and through some very challenging times in my life. H is own regret of never completing a Master of Business Administration degree served as inspiration and a constant reminder when I struggled at times to balance my personal life, work, and academic pursuits. Unfortunately, due to my fathers recent passing (August 28, 2012) he was unable to witness two very important events in my life, my wedding and graduating with a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Denver. I would also like to thank my mother, Dianne Whitaker, for all her support and emphasis on education during my upbringing As difficult as it was at times, she always sought to improve my writing and was relentless in her review and proof reading of many of my papers growing up. Furthermore, she proof read and provided valuable insight on many of my papers required for this Masters of Arts degree. This degree brought us together in a manner that wasnt possible in recent times. Next, I would like to thank my wife, Christine Whitaker. Due to a busy work schedule, she was often neglected as I worked over weekends to read, research, or write the numerous assignments and papers required for this degree and, more specifically, this thesis. She understood the importance of this deg ree and was gracious in my neglect of her at times. While she would have preferred to of been camping, hiking, running, or doing anything outside, my academic pursuits limited our time together and our time outside. Lastly, I would like to thank all of the professors in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado, Denver. Thes e individuals renewed my passion in political science that had faded. They allowed me the opportunity to be wrong, argue my perspective, and demonstrated the value of knowledge, research, and understanding all sides of an argument. The value gained in my critical thinking skills will serve me well regardless of h ow this degree is applied in my professional career. Graduating with this degree brings a sens e of accomplishment, but also great sorrow as I know the discussions Ive had with these professors over the past few years will be less frequent i v

PAGE 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING TERRIT ORIAL DISPUTES Background on Territorial Disputes.....2 Literature Review. ....4 Theoretical Perspectives and Framework..10 Methodology..14 II. ECUADORIAN AND PERUVIAN CASE STUDY 21 History and Ba ckground Case Study Analysis......29 III. BELIZEA N AND GUATEMALAN CASE STUDY... 37 History and Background37 Case Stu dy Analysis..43 IV. LAOTIAN AND THAI CASE STUDY....50 History and Background Case Study Analysis..57 V. INDONE SIAN AND MALAYSIAN CASE STUDY..63 History and Backgr ound....63 Case Study Analysis..72 VI. CASE STUDY REVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS...............................................77 VII. REFERENCES.. 88 v

PAGE 6

LIST OF TABLES Table I Latin America n Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and reasons for the Ecuador/Peru and the Belize/Guatemala disputes.. II Southeast Asian Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and reasons for the Lao/ Th ai and the Indonesi a/Malaysia disputes...17 III Regional Territorial Dispute C ase Study Summary vi

PAGE 7

LIST OF FIGURES Figure I Map of disputed lands between Ecuador and Peru......20 I I Ecu adorian and Peruvian join in a display of cooperation.....28 III Map of Guatemala and Belize.......36 IV Belizean and Guatemalan leaders meet ........42 V Map of Laos and Thailand..... VI Lao and Thailand leaders meet ..... VII Map of Borneo....62 VIII Indonesian and Malaysian leaders meet .... vi i

PAGE 8

1 CHAPTER I INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TERRITORIAL DISPUTES Conflict management is a growing field within political science discourse and may be one of the more applicable subfields. Due to shared borders and history, regional conflicts between states represent a significant portion of issue s facing the international community. Jacob Bercovitch and Judith Fretter (2004) document ed some 343 regional conflicts between 1945 and 2004. The most prominent catalysts for these conflicts were security (27.7% of all conflicts), territorial (22.7%), a nd ethni city (21.9%) (Id). T erritorial catalysts represent a significant portion of these conflicts and are, therefore, an i mportant are of study. 66.5% of the conflicts discovered by Bercovitch and Fretter were interstate conflicts. 33.5% of such confli cts were civil conflicts. Not only are territorial conflicts salient, but interstate conflicts represent a majority of the issues that have arisen. This thesis focuses on interstate territorial disputes in order to better understand why they arose, what sustained the dispute, and how the dispute was resolved, if applicable. The most common approaches to examining past conflicts has relied heavily on the theoretical underpinning of realism, which studies the us e of force, power and relative gains Unfortunately, military force and warfare have only produced a small percentage of clear victors, 15% to be precise, in the disputes highlighted by Bercovitch and Fretter (Id) As such, this approach to managing conflict has not achieved an acceptable level of success. Accordingly, this is an important issue for political scie ntist to investigate and seek to better understand. Territorial integrity is a highly salient matter between nationstates. One of the most influential world events that have resulted in increased territorial conflicts has been the Western

PAGE 9

2 export of the nationstate thr ough colonialism This has certainly been the case in disputes and territorial claims between Ecuador and Peru, Belize and Guatemala, Laos and Thailand, and Indonesia a nd Malaysia on the Island of Borneo. It is important to explore these case studies with these three different theories to ensure a well rounded analysis. The differences of each case study will help showcase the strengths and weaknesses of each theory an d will help in determining if any theory is dominant. All of these disputes evolved due to the presence, influence and the political vacuum left by c olonial powers. The colonial legacies were often defined by porous and undefined borders withi n previous c olonial economic regions, which often created instability as post colonial countries became independent and developed into nationstates. These realities created circumstances ripe for diplomatic rifts and military conflict. Background on Territorial Disputes Due to the enormous consequences of regional conf licts, conflict management and resolution perspectives must be further explored in order to better predic t and address potential dispute s in the future. Some of the costs associated with conflict include but are not limited to the loss of li fe swells of refugee populations, ecological destruction, loss of economic trade between countries, and the continued investment in military capabilities rather than investment in infrastructure or other dome stic needs ( Id ) The sizable amount of resources spent on conflict, can often be spent more productively and without the significant human costs. Bercovitch and Fretter estimate that in the conflicts they reviewed 2530 millions lives were lost from 19452003 ( Id ). In 2004, the United Nations estimated there were 21 million refugees worldwide (Id). Refugee populations generally create significant costs to any host nation and often result in these groups living on the periphery of society. Additionally armed conflicts cost state economies vast sums of resources that may be better allocated to domestic or regional projects that possibly

PAGE 10

3 have more positive and long las ting effects (Id) As the global arena grows increasingly smaller and as resources con tinue to dwindle, territorial disputes may increase, while existing disputes may become more intense as states seek to diversify expanding economies and satisfy the needs of growing populations. In much of the past research on this topic, there has not been sufficient use of qualitative studies In the literature reviewed, quantitative approaches dominated the landscape. Due to this void, it is important to take a qualitative casestudy approach to the specific conflicts listed above. This approach allow s each theory to be applied to a variety of real world circumstances, hopefully resulting in a more thorough understanding of each theory. A better understanding of these disputes may lead to better management and quicker resolution moving forward. This thesis will also use a comparative case study approach to examine the Ecuadorian/Peruvian, Belizean/Guatemalan, Laotian/Thai, and Indonesian/Malay conflicts The field of conflict management can be categorized into the following areas: understanding dis putes and conflicts; identifying future disputes ; prevention; managing active conflicts; immediate or short term resolution; and sustainable resolution. Among the topics just delineated, this thesis will focus solely on understanding territorial disputes As noted earlier, this includes exploring what caused the dispute, what factors sustained the dispute, and if the dispute was resolved, what events contributed to the resolution. T he three most prominent theories in international relations discourse wil l be applied in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses Each theory will be applied to these case studies in order to determine their contributions to this field. The three most prominent theories include realism, liberalism, and constructivis m In doing so, we will be able to examine how practitioners of these theories may approach these cases studies and how they might explain the events that occurred. Due to the

PAGE 11

4 significant consequences involved with these types of disputes, i t is vital th at political science attains a firm understanding of these circumstances in order to provide solutions and relevant policy recommendations in the future. Literature Review Th e literature review included herein explore s many of the important facets of the complicated realm of territorial conflict management. First, the context of conflict management study in the discourse of international relations is presented Next, the methods of study will be highlighted in order to understand various research approa ches. The infusion of theory into the articles highlights trends common to conflict management study but also to the more general field of international relations Furthermore, the importance of this discourse will be demonstrated by the various studies conducted in this genre Additionally, we will review various tools utilized in pursuing conflict resolution. Lastly, gaps in this discourse will be highlighted in order to determine valuable areas of study moving forward. The articles reviewed high light two significant events in recent history that have witnessed substantial spikes in conflict during the wake they produced. These include glo bal decolonization and the Cold War (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004). Only one author, Beth A. Simmons (2003), briefly researched territorial disputes in the preWWII era. Furthermore, a ll of the literature reviewed described territory as one of the most salient characteristic of statehood and as a significant indicator of where military confrontations and war might occur (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004; Kocs, 1995; Tir, 2003; Simmons, 2002; Chiozza and Choi, 2003). All the authors included in this review believe that territory defines the very essence of nation states. Land mass is valuable for both tangible and intangible reasons. Tangible value may be defined by economic resources and commodities, the strat egic interests of land, and as ethnic and cultural

PAGE 12

5 similarities and differences often define natural boundaries (Chiozza and Choi, 2003). Intangible aspect s of territories may include areas that are significant for religious or historical reasons. Examples include landmarks, religious monuments, or other significant areas that are regarded as sacred or spiritually important. Regardless of how tangible th e value may be, territorial disputes have resulted in deleterious impacts on numerous actors on the international stage. After reviewing the value of territory, it is also important to explore the research design of past works In most of the articles r eviewed, the unit of analysis focused squarely on the state. Only Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi (2003) explored a different unit of analysis that being the role of state leaders. In doing so, they explored how the psychological approach to decision maki ng of an individual leader may be affected by how recently s/he took office, the length of his or her tenure, and how past experience affects the likelihood for peaceful resolution or military conflict (Chiozza and Choi, 2003). Accordingly, they were a ble to provide a more detailed analysis of the circumstances, rather than being more limited in focusing squarely on the state as the sole unitary actor. Quantitative research was the primary method of all material reviewed. The primary difference was t hat most sought to define correlation between events with different types of statistics and data, while only one article relied on an explanatory perspective. Stephen A. Kocs (1995) sought to demonstrate that contiguous states were far more likely to expe rience military conflict than noncontiguous states. His statistical findings demonstrated that conflict is 300 times more likely with contiguou s states. Beth A. Simmons (2005) focused on third party arbitration and adjudication. Specifically, she exami ned what circumstances may influence a state to seek third party resolution, thus voluntarily subjugating its sovereignty. She determined that states might utilize third part ies when there is significant value for resolution and when

PAGE 13

6 unilateral and bilateral attempts have failed. Jarosla v Tir (2003) focused on the impacts of territorial transfers regarding peaceful outcomes between territorial winners and losers. He found that only 50% of territorial transfers result in peaceful relationships in the lo ng term Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi (2003) utilized quantitative processes to analyze the decision making of recently elected officials versus tenured one s They also sought to understand the decision making of leaders who had experience with conflict or military experience. They defined multiple variables including the type of government of challenger nations balance of military power between disputants prior military conflicts the relevance of common security ties political unification and the economic value of the land. Such variabl es were utilized to test how lea ders made decisions with different circumstances in play The result of their study showed that leaders are more likely to pursue peaceful paths for resolution the longer they are in office. Their findings stated that pas t military experience does not affect decision making regarding either conflict or peace. The only research that was not restricted to correlational analysis was the work of Jacob Bercovitch and Judith Fretter (2004). This material appeared to be a mix of qualitative and quantitative research approaches. It appears such because, while they did count all conflicts from 1945 2003 and did utilize percentages to categorize various types of conflict, their perspective was explanatory and descriptive. Their project provided the best backdrop for understanding this field in general terms, not just focusing on a specific aspect of conflict management in order to determine a causal relationship. As noted above, there ar e numerous aspects to conflict management. While all authors mentioned in this review believe strongly that conflict management study is severely neglected, they all highlight the complexities of this field. One of the most significant contradictions fou nd

PAGE 14

7 within the literature involves determining territorial value As previously mentioned, tangible and nontangible land value plays a pivotal role in whether countries seek peac eful solutions or conflict Jaroslav Tir (2003) believes economically valuab le lands are a direct determiner of adversarial and violent outcomes. Tir reached this conclusion by defining a variable he labeled Power Value Transform (the PVT) and using measures that influence this variable. PVT is utilized as a control to demo nstrate a countr ys willingness to relinquish territory or seek to reclaim territory based on the countr ys perceived value of the land. His causal analysis demonstrates the greater the PVT, the greater the likelihood for future conflict. He reached this conclusion by developing and comparing both ethnic and economic PVT values, with only economic PVTs resulting in a positive coefficient. Beth A. Simmons supported these conclusions. Her research demonstrated that states are far less likely to comply w ith the results of third party arbitration or adjudication when the land in question contains substantial natural resources Acco rdingly, the economic value of land appears to trump nontangible values. In their study of conflicts from 19501990, Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi (2003), on the other hand, believe that if the disputed land would divide peoples with ethnic ties, relinquishment of such lands is far less likely than lands that contain economic resources. They stated natural resources and econom ic assets can more easily be divided a nd managed through partnerships, cooperatives or other arrangements between disputants. According to Chiozza and Choi, intangible value trumps tangible attributes in the specific instances they studied. All authors a gree, however, that geostrategic lands, tangible in nature, represent the most salient of issues t o any state. As a result the understanding and use of conflict manag ement tools may be most crucial regarding geostrategic lands.

PAGE 15

8 Conflict management tools were discussed in three of the articles reviewed. Only the material authored by Jacob Bercovitch and Judith Fretter (2004) explored all of the applicable types of tools at the state s disposal. Beth A. Simmons (2002) and Jaroslav Tir (2003), on the other hand, explored the use of specific conflict management tools. The three primary types of conflict management tools include diplomatic, legal, and political methods (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004) Diplomatic methods include traditional diplomacy barga ining and negotiation, mediation observer fact finding missions peacekeeping good offices and shuttle diplomacy and the use of international organizations as a tool to air grievances. Legal methods attempt to establish international norms and laws thr ough the use of arbitration and adjudication. These methods have legally binding results, but are limited in the enforcement of the outcomes. Legal methods are often seen as a tertiary tool once diplomatic channels have failed (Simmons, 2002). Beth A. S immons (2002) focused exclusively on legal conflict management tools as she sought to determine what would influence a country to temporarily relinquish sovereignty regarding territorial disputes under the guise of resolution. The final broad category of conflict management tools includes political methods (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004). This approach seeks to create and use organizations and institutions to incorporate state cooperation and to settle disputes when they arise. Tirs (2003) research of t erritorial transfers transcends both diplomatic and political conflict management tools since territorial transfers are often negotiated bilaterally or with the assistance of international institutions. While several authors emphasize the causes o f confli ct, notably Stephen A. K ocs, Giacomo Chiozza and Ajin Choi, only a fe w of the authors focused on how to manage territorial disputes. This appears to be an important area that is understudied in conflict management study.

PAGE 16

9 The most glaring deficiency with the articles reviewed is the lack of the qualitative research method. Without discounting the value of quantitative analysis, many of the topics discussed are left void of answers to questions that can not be gained through ratios, statistical analysis, or algorithmic e quations. All of these studies present large amounts of data that are manipulated through quantitative experiments and tests. But there is no detailed analysis of specific territorial disputes. Examples of disputes are sprinkled throughout these articles, but they are not subjected to in depth analysis. Accordingly, it appears that a qualitative perspective, specifically one involving case studies, could provide value to this discourse. The articles explored in this review have provided substantial insights that have been useful in framing the issues surrounding territorial conflict management. Although insightful, more study must take place in order to thoroughly understand territorial disputes and when they are likely to result in con flict. Through this review, it has been demonstrated the re are many factors that lead to territorial disputes Whether the value of the land is tangible or not plays an important role in the parties willingness to negotiate and resolve disputes. It is certainly clear that territory is a highly salient matter in the realm of conflict management. With the advent of the state, territory provides economic resources, provides geostrategic protection and aids in the development of national identities. The a rticles reviewed demonstrate there are many unresolved territorial disputes that exist today. This genre has witnessed many mistakes and successes for researchers to utilize moving forward. One would hope that further research will result in a better gras p of the various perspectives at hand, help develop new and possibly more effective approaches, and create new avenues for avoiding the travesties witnessed in the past.

PAGE 17

10 Theoret ical Perspectives and Framework After reviewing much literature, it became cl ear the field of conflict management is rooted in realism. Realists interpret international politics as a never ending struggle among states for power and security, and they regard war as an unavoidable facet of that struggle (Kocs, 1995). Bercovitch a nd Fretter (2004) assume the world is anarchic in nature, but demonstrate that most of the conflicts they r esearched are solved peacefully through channels of diplomacy and international institutions. Beth A. Simmons (2002) emphasis is specific to regional and international institutions that engage in legal arbitration and adjudication. In doing so, she focuses on the value of institutions to resolve territorial disputes, which is an attribute of liberalism. Furthermore, she directly challenges realism Realist theory does not offer a good explanation for the decision of states to turn to authoritative third parties to render an arbitral award regarding territory ( Id ). She surmises that realists believe states utilize third party intervention only fo r non substantive issues. Since territorial integrity is vital to defining a state, states should be unwilling to cede control to a third party arbitrator who is able to make legally binding decisions. But, a states willingness to comply with arbitration or adjudicated decisions is not impacted by the military capabilities of a nation. While not all authors agree with realist perspectives, realism is, at a minimum, a reference point throughout all of the literature reviewed. In order to unde rstand confl ict from a realist perspective, one must first understand the assumptions of this perspective. R ealists have established two important characteristics that sculpt their worldview. First, the international arena is a static world of anarchy that is void o f any semblance of central governance or perceived order ( Reus Smit, 2009). Second, states, the primary unit of analysis under realism, are rational self interested entities that seek to ensure

PAGE 18

11 their own survival (Id). Accordingly, states focus on maximi zing their relative power, which is generally to the detriment of subservient states. The relativity of power requires states to be more concerned with relative strength than with absolute advantage (Waltz, 1979). This approach could lead a state to en gaging in conflicts that leave it worse off, as long as the opposing state is left relatively worse off as well. The assumptions and approach of realists have gained much traction over time, especially during the Cold War when conflict abounded. One of the basic assumptions of realism is that states act in a rational manner. This assumption can become a liability as states do not always appear to be acting rationally Since realism focuses squarely on the state as the primary actor, this theory strugg les to explain domestic influences that are often prevalent in territorial dispute s Due to the assumption of an anarchic world, t he realist approach is also relatively weak at explain ing social aspects of state relations including long lasting riva lry an d friendships between states. This approach views every other state as a threat to its own self interests and is very weary of cooperation and allies of a state. Another flaw of realism is the assumption of perfect information. In order to truly make a rational choice, it is assumed that all information is known and clear. As a result, this often creates credibility issues in the international arena since many actions of state actors are not public and open. Rather states often employ subversive and deceptive tactics to help keep their perceived enemies in balance. Accordingly, how can a state truly behave rationally if it does not know everything about the other various actors that exist on the world stage? Since liberal ism has adopted many of th e f undamental principles inherent in neo realism, this approach falls into many of the same theoretical traps described above. Similarities include the international arena as anarchic and a reliance on states as rational and the primary actors. Differences between these two ideologies emerge due to liberalisms emphasis on

PAGE 19

12 economic forc es and the need for cooperation (Burchill, 2004). As a result, many liberal s place great importance on economic markets trade and resources These economic resources p lay heavily on territorial disputes.Another difference between realism and liberalism is states perceptions of the utility of relative versus absolute gains. In regards to cooperation, liberals believe that states need to cooperate in their pursuit of a bsolute gains, regardless of any gains of their foes or friends (Keohane, 1988). Since the world arena is premised in anarchy, there are perceived risks associated with cooperation (Id). Institutions both formal and informal, are vital to initiate and s ustain cooperation because they are able to limit risk and ensure that benefits of cooperati on outweigh the costs (Id). Examples of formal institutions include international organizations such as the United Nations. Informal institutions are not as struc tured, but do facilitate cooperation. Institutions are considered highly valuable because they are able to develop and enforce rules that otherwise do not exist in an anarchic world order (Id). Due to the influence of institutions, states often become in terdependent and are therefore more aligned with partnership and peace rather than with adversarial pursuits Accordingly, liberalists would most likely view conflict as a result of a lack of shared economic integration and a void of formal institutions that could define appropriate behavior for states. They would first seek to work through existing institutions to resolve existing disputes. If no qualified formal institution s existed, liberals would seek to begin development of such organizations. The y would state that without the use of this type of cooperation and agreement, conflict in general continues to persist. Finally, they would argue for a strong institutional presence able to oversee the peace and stability that was fomented between disputi ng states Since liberalism focuses on institutions and ways to cooperative, it appears more transformative in nature than realism.

PAGE 20

13 A critique of the liberal approach is that this perspective struggles to explain what events resulted in a dispute. L iber alists would attempt to indirectly explain conflict as resulting from a lack of institutionalization Thus in an anarchic world, conflict naturally occurs due to difference of interests The only way to prevent such conflict is by establishing the rules to the world order through institutional framework. While this approach is helpful in explaining how states may co operate, its assumptions limit this theorys ability to explain what shaped a dispute in the first place. Due to its focus on economics, l iber alism often ignores many of the other types of events or undercurrents of disputes While more tr ansformative in nature than realism, a lack of understanding regarding t he history and norms that shape conflict is a significant weakness of this theory Constructivism is an approach that directly evolved from traditional liberalism. Specifically, Keohane, a founding father of liberalism, describes two types of institutions, formal a nd informal. L iberal focus has primarily been on formal or specific inst itutions (Keohane, 1988). Such institutions are organized into institutions that contain binding agreements, rules for participation, and consequences for states that behave improperly ( Id ). Informal institutions have become the primary unit of analysis for constructivists. Informal institutions include norms, beliefs, ideas, and values. Constructivists believe that norms, beliefs, ideas, and values define the building blocks for how various actors behave on t he world stage (Ruggie, 1998 ). An area wher e constructivism breaks away from the liberal approach is in regard to the debate between rational and interpretive perspectives. Both realism and liberalism rely solely on rational models and logic to define and understand behavior. Constructivism, on t he other hand, assumes that socially acceptable ideas predate and structure the formation of rational preferences by agents. Because preferences are endogenous, the social world needs to be interpreted. This does not

PAGE 21

14 mean that rational choice does not ex ist, but it is generally thought to be less of an emphasis. In fact, some constructivists believe that it is the understanding of experiences and social patterns that actually explain rational behavior (Checkel 2001). Ultimately, constructivism seeks to understand the foundation of behaviors that result in realist and liberal assumptions. Accordingly, constructivism seeks a much deeper understanding of world events. Constructivism is also the most transformative approach of the three theories discussed in this paper. This approach envisions embarking on the development of a more sustainable world visa vie a more thorough understanding of norms and ideas and subsequent applications. While constructivism utilizes norms and beliefs to explain world happenings, this approach has struggled to define exactly how to change norms and beliefs (Wendt, 1999) Additionally, due to this approaches reliance on history and past events, it would appear that norms and beliefs take decades to shape or change. Now whi le there can be significant events that quickly change norms and believes, this is rare and often unpredictable as this theoretical perspective relies more on the establishment of norms and believes occurring over time. This weakness creates challenges as it relates to disputes and conflict. If a dispute exists, resolution is often time sensitive. It is irresponsible for states to simply wait for norms and beliefs to organically change since the stakes are simply too high. Until constructivism resolves this issue, this approach is severely limited in resolving disputes or conflicts. Methodology While it is important to establish a clear theoretical perspective, it is equally important to define a clear research design. Aspects of research design include, but are not limited to the unit of analysis, selection of case studies, methods of collecting data and data analysis. The units of analysis for this research include the actual disputes between these countries. Selection of

PAGE 22

15 adequate and like case stud ies was important to the validity of this research. Due to the literature reviewed, certain characteristics of the selected disputes defined their relevance. Researchers have demonstrated there have been two major waves of conflict in the past century re sulting from c olonization and the Cold War era. All of the cases selected are post colonial states that have dealt with the impacts of their own colonial legacies. In most of the cases studied, conflicts arose immediately after states were granted indepe ndence. In all cases, territorial conflicts were a result of conflicting and fluid territorial boundaries often mismanaged or deemed unimportant to the agendas of colonial powers. Another important criterion for case selection was the geographic nature of the conflicts. Past scholars have demonstrated states are more likely to have con flict if the land is contiguous Accordingly, it was important to ensure that all cas es contained contiguous borders All of the selected disputes contain land considere d part of the home territory of the countries The Indonesian/Malay conflict could be viewed as the most controversial selection in light of the criterion described above, as these states are essentially archipelagos. They do, however, share contiguous lands on the Island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. Encompassing some 287,000 square miles, almost three times the size of Great Britain, and housing three sovereign nationstates, this island is substantial and similar in nature to the other continentally oriented territorial disputes selected for this research. It also was important to address power relations between the countries to ensure that disputes were not wholly dominated by the sheer strength of one country Accordingly, it would have been inappropriate to select countries involved in territorial disputes directly with world powers, especially so if the dispute involved an existing hegemonic power All of the countries selected were relatively equal from a military standpoint. This was clearly demonstrated in the

PAGE 23

16 Ecuador/Peru conflict that lasted over 150 years. This conflict would not have lasted as long without the balance in power. In selecting these case studies, it was also important for the underlying causes of these disputes to be similar. The case between Ecuador and Peru is specific to the lack of sovereign territorial access to the Amazon River and the Maranon waterway. Without such access, Ecuador cannot easily access trade or the economic benefits that exist am ongst countries from the Eastern portion of South America or by having access to the Atlantic Ocean. Accordingly, this conflict is primarily a resourcebased conflict. The Belize/Guatemalan dispute is also centered on resources. Guatemala has made claim s to disputed lands in Belize, in some instances to the entire country of Belize, in order to gain increased access to the Atlantic Ocean, which includes mineral deposits and the presence of oil, for economic activities. Unlike the Ecuador/Peru conflict, the Guatemalans claim the lands of Belize are historically and culturally linked to Guatemala. Additionally, Belizean worldview is more Caribbean oriented than it is with Latin American culture. Therefore, the conflicts primary agendas include both economic and cultural disparities that arose from nation state building and British colonization of these lands. Moreover, both of these conflicts arose in Latin America. Table I Latin American Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute t ypes and re asons for the Ecuador/Peru and the Belize/Guatemala dispute s Type of Conflict: Reason for Conflict: Ecuador and Peru: Resource Access to the Amazon River Belize and Guatemala: Resource and Culturally Access to ancestral lands and the Caribbean Sea T he case studies chosen from Southeast Asia include conflicts between Laos/Thailand and Indonesia/Malaysia. As is the case with the Latin American cases these conflicts contain

PAGE 24

17 similar characteristics. The territorial dispute between Laos and Thailand in volved disputed watershed areas located between the Mae Nam Nan and the Mekong Rivers. The geographi c ruggedness of these lands resulted in poorly demarcated borders developed under Colonial rule. Similar to Ecuadoran access to the Amazon River, the wate rshed represented valuable lands for the economic value associated with access and production. The dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia also included economic res ources. Such resources included the minerals, gold and other commodities ready for explor ation on Borneo. In addition to the influence of the islands resources, this dispute also involved cultural realities. Indonesia, on one hand, viewed the Island of Borneo as historically important lands under the control of the Sriwidjaya and Madjapahit Empires (Jones, pp. 1920). The geographic areas on the northern side of Borneo contained heavy Chinese influences and the population culturally assimilated with Malaysia. Similar to the Guatemalan/Belize dispute, the conflict on Borneo contained econom ic and cultural influences. Table II Southeast Asian Regional Territorial Dispute Case Studies. Dispute types and reasons for the Lao/Thai and the Indonesia/Malaysia disputes. Type of Conflict: Reason for Conflict: Lao and Thailand: Resource Access to the Mekong River Basin Indonesia and Malaysia: Resource and Cultural Access to Borneo resources and Ethnic Divisions Lastly, it was important to select disputes that contain different outcomes. In order to appropriately understand varying results, it was important that two of the four cases include disputes that were actually resolved and two which remain unresolved. T he Ecuadorian and the Peruvian territorial dispute was resolved, albeit after a 150 period of conflict. Likewise, Indonesia and Malay sia have settled their territorial differences on the island of Borneo. After loss of life and years of tension, Thailand and Laos have failed to officially resolve their

PAGE 25

18 territorial disputes. Guatemalas claim to Belize, while effectively dorman t, has not been resolved either The difference in outcomes is also an important aspect to understanding disputes in general. Table III Regional Territorial Dispute Case Study Summary. Resolved Conflicts: Unresolved Conflicts: Resource Based Conflict: Ecuador and Peru Laos and Thailand Resource and Culturally Based Conflict: Indonesia and Malaysia Belize and Guatemala In researching the selected case studies, the primary source of information will be the use of secondary literature describing the events, act ors, and various stages of conflict management. Additionally legal agreements and treaties represent a valuable resource in determining what various agreements described. Many scholars have researched these case studies and their works will be utilized extensively. The role of the researcher will involve objective research and explanations of the many events and characteristics for the disputes. Since the researcher is primarily learning about these disputes through th is research, no bias exists regard ing the actors involved. One hopes that this will allow for honest exploration of the topics and the ability to rely on the merits of the data co llected to better understand the underlying causes and reasons for different outcomes. The above research design was selected in order to provide detailed insight s into specific c onflicts that have occurred, that continue today and for similar conflicts of which we are not yet aware in the international arena. The research design was a result of the findings in the literature reviewed. In approaching a thesis, it is important to ensure such work addresses existing gaps and creates value for political science. Accordingly, this research design seeks to address some of the gaps highlighted in the literature r eview, which include evoking the

PAGE 26

19 qualitative r esearch method, utilizing similar case studies and an explanatory approach to the research. The limitations to this style of research are indicative of qualitative research. The resulting thesis will not pro vide detailed analysis of a broad spectrum of conflicts. While utilizing quantitative statistics, the research conducted will be limited to providing detailed insights about the four conflicts selected. Furthermore, the cases selected have specific chara cteristics that are difficult to compare to disputes that lack similar characteristics or histories Conflicts between noncontiguous states, for example, may not resemble the conflicts studied in this paper While there are limitations to this approach as is the case with any research, the qualitative approach and overall research design will hopefully provide valuable insights to the study of territorial disputes

PAGE 27

20 Figure I Map of disputed lands between Ecuador and Peru.

PAGE 28

21 CHAPT ER II ECUADORIAN AND PERUVIAN CASE STUDY History and Background The territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru is focused on an area that now makes up northern Peru, called the Loreto area in the Condor Mountain range (Bercovitch & Fretter 2004; Simmons, 2005). The disputed border stretches some 883 miles and initially became a source of conflict in 1830 when under Spanish colonial rule Ecuador was annexed from the Greater Colombia (Id). While at one time or another many territorial boundaries have been disputed throughout Latin America, the territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru has been the most enduring and spanned some 168 years. This conflict has witnessed 34 documented military confrontations over this period (Simmons, 2005). In this region of South America, Spanish colonizers were directly responsible for the territorial ambiguities that provoked this dispute. Under Spanish rule, political authority was granted to three separate bodies: the Viceroy or captain general; the Audiencia, which was the administrator of colonies; and the church ( Bowman, 1942; Maier, 1969). T he roles and powers of these three separate bodies were not clearly defined (Id). As a result, it was unclear how the different ad ministrations and oversight was geogra phically divided. Furthermore, due to the terrain of South America and the technologies of the time access and exact mapping of remote areas, especially within the Amazonian jungle, was extremely difficult, if not impo ssible (Bowman, 1942) Spanish la nds in Latin America were essentially divided into two administrative areas, the Viceroyalty of New Spain established in 1535, and the Viceroyalty of Peru established in 1542 (Id). New Spain spanned what is modern day Mexico and most of Central America. The Viceroyalty of Peru consisted of all of South America, with the exclusion the

PAGE 29

22 Comandancia of Caracas and Portuguese territories, which is primarily modern day Brazil. These two administrative areas were divided into 11 audiencias, with four in New S pain and 7 in Peru. The Audiencia of Quito was initially under the aut hority of the Viceroy of Peru, but later was integrated into the Viceroyalty of New Granad a when this administrative area was created by the King o f Spain in 1717 ( Maier, 1969). This Vi ceroyalty was later abolished in 1722, resulting in the Audiencia of Quito falling under the jurisdiction of the Viceroy of Lima, only to change authority in 1739 back to the Viceroyalty of New Granada when this audiencia was re established (Id) In 1740, the territories of the Viceroyalty of New Granada and Lima were loosely established (Id) These boundaries continued until July 15, 1802, when the Catholic Majesty Charles IV separated the provinces of Mainas and Quijos from the Viceroyalty of New Granada for what was expressed as ecclesiastical purposes that sought to increase Spanish missions in the Upper Amazon Basin (Id) This decision, referenced as the Cedula of 1802, was a pivotal and controversial point in the dispute between Ecuador and Peru. Peru often pointed to the Cedula of 1802 in regard to their claims on disputed lands. Ecuador, on the other hand, claims that the Cedula of 1802 was only specific to the administrator of this area and this cedula did not involve changes to any existing geographic territory. Ecuadors claim is supported by events that began in 1799. In 1799, a report by the Minister Requena requested the territory and the government be separated. In the 1802 Cedula, the King of Spain only separated the government. T o further complicate matters, all of the c olonized territories were considered the personal estate of the King of Sp ain. As a result, the various a udiencias regularly contained poorly demarcated boundaries (Bowman, 1942) This complicated matters as thes e audiencias and Spanish rule began to erode in the early 1800s. To avoid conflict, the doctrine of Uti Possidetis Juris or the possessory of the status quo, was established in 1810 ( Maier, 1969) This

PAGE 30

23 doctrine allowed the various provinces to align wi th whichever new republic they chose. As a result, the province of Guayaquil became part of Colombia and Jaen was assumed into Peru. In 1823, Colombia and Peru signed the Mosquera Galdeano Treaty, which codified uti possidetis juris in regards to the se emerging countries. From 1822 to 1829, both Colombia and Peru embarked on independence movements, which resulted in their emancipation from Spanish rule. During the course of independence, these two countries engaged in a border dispute, which resulte d in a full scale war in 1829. Colombia was victorious in this war and the Treaty of Guayaquil was signed. T he Treaty of Guayaquil established a border commission to address the demarcation of the border (Maier, 1969; Elbow, 1996) While both Colombia and Peru proposed differing borders for resolution, Colombia ultimately accepted Perus proposal to draw a border along the Tumbez Chinchipe Maranon Line. This agreement was approved by the Peruvian Congress on October 16, 1829. Ecuador has historically opposed the legal foundation of the Treaty of Guayaquil based on three premises. First, Ecuador believes the treaty was no t enforceable as it only established a border commission and did not define exact boundaries (Id) Secondly, in 1830, Colombia was divided into 3 republics, consisting of Venezuela, New Granada (now modern day Colombia), and Ecuador (Id) A s a result, one of the primary parties to this treaty Columbia, was essen tially abolished shortly after signing the treaty. Lastly, Ecuador beli eved that the Treaty of Guayaquil was superseded by the Treaty of July 12, 1832 between Ecuador and Peru (Id) The Treaty of July 12, 1832 provided a status quo understanding of the boundaries between these two countries, while a definitive settlement was reached. While the Treaty of July 12, 1832 was signed by both Ecuador and Peru, no definitive border was established for the next 8 years. As a result, in 1840 both countries renewed their claims In 1853, the Peruvians set up a political and mili tary government in Loreto (Maynas)

PAGE 31

24 under the guise of the Cedula of 1802 (Maier, 1969) Ecuador objected through a declaration of its congress in Quito on November 26, 1853. While both countries protested, the issue became dormant until 1857, when Ecuador attempted to deal with foreign debt issues by attempting to sell some of the disputed area to British bondholders. Peru immediately objected and the sale of the land was cancelled. Due to this attempted sale of disputed land by Ecuador, tensions rose and on October 26, 1858, Peru responded with a full naval blockade along the entire coast of Ecuador (Maier, 1969) This blockade initiated a war that lasted until January 25, 1860, when the Treaty of Mapacinque was signed (Id) This treaty was ratified by Peruvian President Castillo and Ecuadorian General Franco. The Peruvian Congress rejected this treaty, as did their counterparts in Ecuador. Ecuadorian General Franco was soon removed from his position due to the strong opposition to the treaty Su bsequently for 26 years this dispute was dormant until the Conference of Espinosa Bonifaz occurred in 1887. This conference established that both countries sought to resolve their dispute by enlisting the King of Spain as the arbitrator. Even though bot h countries had agreed to have the King of Spain resolve the dispute, Ecuador and Peru continued to pursue bi lateral resolution by agreeing to and signing the GarciaHerrera Treaty in May, 1890 (Id) In this treaty, Peru was to receive Tumbez, Jaen, and the parts of the Maynas where Peru had a presence. Ecuador was to receive the zones of the Maynas, which included Macas, Quijos, and the northern strip of frontier along the Colombian border. The treaty was ratified by Peru, but with noted reservations. Ecuador insisted on ratification without exception and withdrew its own ratification due to Perus tepid acceptance. Due to this failed treaty, th e dispute stayed on course for the King of Spain to resolve it. In 1904, Ecuador and Peru pursued Spanish arbitration. In 1908, the King of Spain sent Menendez Pidal to South America. He presented his findings, to

PAGE 32

25 the King on January 22, 1908. They significantly favored Peru. In 1909, the findings were leaked to Ecuador, which became aware that the impending outcome was unlikely to be in their favor As a result, Ecuador backed out of the arbitration. Such a decision almost led to immediate warfare. From 1910 to 1924, there were no further attempts to resolve the dispute. In 1924, however, both countries asked for direct negotiations to be held by the United States pursuant to the Ponce Castro Oyanguren Protocol (Bowman, 1942) Negotiations began in Lima in 1929. They were soon derailed by domestic tensions and strife in Ecuador. In 1933, Peru proposed a resumption of the negotiations. Negotiations occurred for over 2 years with no resolution and finally were abandoned in October of 1938. T he end of the negotiations was followed by small scale fighting in the disputed areas. On July 15, 1942, the skirmishes mounted to a full scale, but undeclared, war (Elbow, 1996) Ecuador was no match for Peru and was easily beaten (Id) As a result, at a conference in Rio de Janeiro on January 29, 1942, Ecuador and Peru signed the Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries between Ecuador an d Peru, often referred to as the Rio Protocol (Simmons, 1999) The Rio Protocol was not only an agreement that ended the military conflict, but also provided a framework that would hopefully lead to sustained resolution. Th e agreement contained the following six provisions : 1. Peru was to withdraw its military within 15 days; 2. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and the United States agreed to send military observers to oversee the withdrawal of Peruvian forces and agreed to s tay involve in this dispute until it was resolved; 3. T hese four countries signed on as guarantors; 4. It granted Ecuador navigation rights to the Amazon from the northern tributaries; 5. T echnical experts were to be responsible for demarcating the borde r; and

PAGE 33

26 6. Ecuador and Peru agreed to submit the Rio Protocol to their respective congresses for approval within thirty days of signing the agreement. Close to 95% of th e shared bor der between Ecuador and Peru wa s demarcated in 1942 (Simmons, 1999; Bell 1987) A small and less accessible portion of this border became the only area in dispute. Eventually, due to the work of Brazil, the countries resolved this matter as well, at least until 1946. In 1946, the territorial dispute was resurrected due to new aerial photography by U.S. aerial photographers that displayed a Cenepa River watershed that was far more extensive than either party had realized (Id). Ecuador quickly challenged the validity of the Rio Protocol on two bases. First, the Rio Protocol was not valid because they signed this agreement under duress. Specifically, Ecuador stated that they experienced undue pressure from the United States to resolve this dispute (Elbow, 1996). Furthermore, Peru had not fully ceased military action and had threatened to capture Guayaquil if Ecuador refused to sign the agreement ( Id). Second, Ecuador claimed the Rio Protocol was null and void since it was based on an incorrect under standing regarding the topography of the area (Id) Rendering the Rio Protoc ol null and void became a national rallying point in Ecuador, so much so that in 1953, Ecuador ian President Emilio Murillo Ordonez announced the Rio Protocol as unenforceable. Shortly thereafter, Peru began to mass troops in the disputed areas. This r esulted in violent conflicts from June 1977 to January of 1978, in January of 1981 and in January of 1984. It appeared in 1988, that resolution was possible Ecuadors President Borja sought to resolve the dispute. Borja and his Peruvian counterpart, Al an Garcia, exchanged visits to their respective countries. Ecuado rians cheered these exchanges and held hope that a face saving compromise might be possible (Elbow 1996). However, t he progress made between Borja and Garcia was soon challenged as each co untry ushered in new leadership in the early 1990s. When new

PAGE 34

27 Ecuadorian president Sixto Duran Ballen took office in 1992, newly elected Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori attended the inauguration, renewing hope of an eventual solution. U nfortunately, i n 1994 and 1995, Ballen faced significant economic issues domestically, which diverted his attention away from resolution. And, i n order to increase his chances of winning a Presidential election Fujimori hardene d his position on this dispute in 1995 (El bow, 1996) Unfortunately, any hopes for resolution eroded when in January of 1995, fighting between these countries reignited. With military bases only 50 meters from each other, conflict was inevitable. The conflict in January of 1995 was the most violent and serious since the conflict in 1942. With an average cost of 10 million U.S. dollars per day for each country, the conflict became deleterious and unsustainable for both economies Ecuador lost an estimated 50100 military personnel and Peru lost close to 100 within the first two weeks of the fighting ( Id ). Additionally, Indian communities were heavily impacted as their farms were invaded by military units which resulted in loss of crops and livestock. Peru and Ecuador signed the Montevideo De claration on February 28th and later signed the Itamaraty Peace Declaration that provided supervision by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the U.S. These agreements ended the month long conflict. Tensions between these two countries ebbed and flowed over the next several years, but without any significant events. Eventually, on October 25, 1998, the Mission of Militar y Observers Ecuador Peru (the MOMEP) was established, implemented and, ultimately, it managed the withdrawal of forces in the area and the demilitarization of th e region (Bercovitch and Fretter 2004). Subsequently, th e conflict was finally ended through the signing of a peace treaty. In this treaty, Peru was awarded the disputed area, while Ecuador was granted access through commercial and maritime use rights to the Amazon River (Id).

PAGE 35

28 Figure II Ecuadorian and Peruvian join in a display of cooperation.

PAGE 36

29 Case Study Analysis Realists would initiate their explanation of the various conflicts between these two states primarily as an opportunity for Ecuador the claimant, to maximize its utility as a state. In maximizing utility, Ecuador needed to increase its material capabilities and, thus, increase its relative power in relation to Peru. In order to increase Ecuadors material capabilities, it was necessary to gain control and access to the Cenepa River watershed and the Amazon in general. This was primarily due to the rubber boom, timber, the discovery of oil and the ability to access the other parts of South America and the At lantic Ocean In doing so, Ecuador would be able to increase its material capabilities through increased economic resources. This would help to build Ecuadors military should future conflicts with any other nation states specifically Peru, arise in the future. Geo politically speaking, this would be an extremely rational approach for Ecuador since this may be the most efficient way to increase its capabilities and thus guarantee its survival. Ultimately, it is a rational approach since Ecuador would not need to conquer an entire country in order to gain access to these valuable resources. Rather, Ecuador only needed to gain enough land, about 20 square kilometers, to provide Ecuadoran access to the Amazonian basin. In regard to the final s ettlement, realists would argue that the final agreement between Ecuador and Peru was in the best interests of Ecuador, since it provided for an outcome that allowed Ecuadoran access to the Amazonian river basin, providing substantial relative gains that should have been their primary goal from the beginning. The strengths to the realist argument present a straightforward explanation of the events. This is one of realisms greatest strengths. It is easy to catalog the significant power difference between Peru and Ecuador. Over history Peru maintained significance dominance over the much weaker Ecuador (Maier, 1969; Simmons, 2005). When referring to a 1995 confrontation

PAGE 37

30 Simmons states: by most accounts, the Ecuadoran military had dealt a tactical blow to Peruvia n forces, in sharp contrast to their engagements in 1941 and 1981. It is widely recognized, however, that the longterm balance of forces is and will remain in Perus favor (Id). Militarily, economically, and in virtually every facet, Peru was superior. Accordingly, this power structure created a need for Ecuador to increase its capabilities in relation to Peru. Would Ecuador be doing itself any favors in the long term if it merely accepted this relationship? Was Ecuador supposed to be satisfied w ith being the inferior neighbor? Realisms approach is able to explain the reasons behind Ecuadors actions. Furthermore, this theory, through relative gains, is able to demonstrate how Ecuador acted in a rational manner to defend and improve its own self interests. This realist approach is also very convincing because the power relationship and access to Amazonian resources provides for an extremely tangible and easy to understand explanation One of the basic tenants of realism is that nationst ates act in a rational manner. Alternatively, some may interpret Ecuadors actions as irrational. Due to the size and might of the Peruvian military, pursing a conflict with this country can also be ea sily interpreted as nonsensical. This was demonstrated in military conflicts in 1941and smaller scale skirmishes throughout the 1970s and 1980s. T he realist approach is also squarely focused on the stat e as the primary and sole actor. Because of this, this theory does not explore or seek to explain domestic inf luences that escalated violence or helped resolve the matter. In the decade following the 1941 war, public opinion in Ecuador was staunchly anti Peruvian and highly supportive of a confrontational approach to territorial issues (Simmons, 2005 ). This opinion was present through the 1960s as Ecuadorian President Galo Plaza used public sentiments to win popularity and staying power for his government ( Id ). Additionally, in 1995, just three years before these countries reached a final settlement, 58% of Pe ruvians and 79% of Ecuadorans were amendable

PAGE 38

31 to resolving this longstanding territorial dispute with mutual concessions ( Id ). This demonstrates that public opinion supported resolution more so than it had at any time in the past. A final weakness to the realist explanation is that this approach is unable to explain the long lasting riv alry between these states. R ealists prefer to live in the present and speculate about future instability due to the inherent nature of our chaotic and anarchic world. As a result, realists are unable to theoretically explore enduring foes and friendships or any relational matters that exist between countries over time. In the case of Ecuador and Peru, this territorial conflict lasted 168 years. The continued state of anim osity is unexplainable through neorealist lenses. Moreover, realists would be unable to explain how populous animosity evolved into a conciliatory approach. Although realisms straightforward and easy to understand approach is appealing, there are signif icant weaknesses to this approach that must be considered. L iberal s unlike realists, would not focus on military might and maximizing relative power. Liberalisms explanation of the conflict between Ecuador and Peru would view it as resulting from a la ck of s hared economic integration and resulting from a lack of institutional strength that would otherwise define how states should behave They would first seek to work through existing regional institutions that might resolve this matter. In South Amer ica, examples may include the Mecosur, the Andean Community of Nations or the Organization of American States. If no qualified formal institutions existed, liberals would seek the developme nt of such organizations. Furthermore, liberals would highlight t he economic forces at play. Access to the Amazon represented significant economic resources for Ecuador. Accordingly, Ecuador sought rational absolute gains by pursuing this dispute. The risk of pursuing this would have clearly been worth the risks involved. L iberal s would also highlight the cooperation among guarantor states that helped facilitate the Rio Protocol (Simmons, 1999). They would point to

PAGE 39

32 this agreement as an initial step and would encourage continued cooperation. Since Ecuador failed to comply with th e agreement, they would argue that there was inadequate institutionalism in order to enforce the rules of th e agreement. A sign of weak institutions is that they are unable to enforce the rules they have defined. Nevertheless, because of differences between the parties have continued to remain almost 50 years later the guarantors find themselves still trying to ensure faithful execution of that Protocol (Palmer, 1997). Accordingly, only with more time, experience, and participation would an institution be strong enough to manage this conflict. An example of this strengthened institutionalism is the multilateral mediation process that eventually resolved this dispute in 1998 (Herz, 2003). Furthermore, liberals would champion the eventua l success of the military observer mission in Ecuador and Peru (the MOMEP ) which managed the withdrawal of forces and the demilitarization of the area. They believe that without the use of this type of cooperation and agreement, this conflict would have continued to persist. Finally, they would argue for the continued development of strong institutions as a means to oversee the peace and stability that was ultimately fomented between Ecuador and Peru. In the end, the liberal perspective would most li kely argue that regional cooperation through the guarantor states resulted in the resolution of this conflict. All of the forces highlighted by the liberal perspective were present in this dispute. Economics played an important role in Ecuadors desire f or access to the Amazon. The livestock industry is important, and charcoal, fruits, vegetables and gold are also exported (Bowman, 1942). This did create incentive and reason for Ecuadors desire to include these lands within its territory. Another via ble aspect to the liberal explanation is the use of formal and informal institutions over time. Various levels and types of institutions existed prior to Spain leaving South America. The various audiencias and how they were managed established the

PAGE 40

33 framew ork for this dispute. These aud i encias had overlapping borders between different administrative and economic zones. In fact, the failure of Spain to clearly demarcate the borders opened the possibility for this conflict. One cannot deny the role of colonial, regional, and international institutions in this conflict. While in various forms and including a variety of participants, they were present and were actively involved in shaping this issue. As such, the economic and institutional influences to thi s conflict are explained easily via liberalism. The first critique of the liberal approach to explaining this territorial dispute is that this perspective is simply unable to identify the reasons conflict occurred L iberal s would attempt to indirectly ex plain this conflict as resulting from a lack of institutionalism. While this may be helpful in explaining how states may cooperate or resolve the dispute it is void of any real account of why conflict this existed in the first place. Additionally, throu ghout the 168 years of conflict, there were systemic institutional failures along the way. Cooperative states and agreements were made but were unable to be enforced. Such failures included the adoption of uti possidetis juris, the Treaty of Bogata in 1810, the Mosquera Galdeano Treaty, the Treaty of Giron, and the numerous other failed treaties and agreements (Maeir 1969). In fact, the Rio Protocol occurred at a time when populous sentiments in Ecuador created an environment for noncompliance. Neo liberalism would further be unable to explain why such sentiments existed or how they were important. As a result, neo liberalism fails to adequately explain this territorial dispute. Rather, neoliberalism appears to look past the undercurrents of confl ict and appears too focused on forging ahead with institutional cooperation and interdependence. A constructivist would first look to the annexation of Ecuador through Spanish colonial policy in 1830. A constructivist could argue that the arbitrary bor ders created through colonial policy removed access to lands used and envisione d by Ecuadorans. Furthermore, after

PAGE 41

34 achieving Ecuadoran independence, the country could then concentrate time, energy and general efforts to lands that were perceived to have b een taken from Ecuadorans. Massive public demonstrations erupted in favor of this position to regain sovereign a ccess to the Amazon (Simmons, 2005). S uch sentiments shaped public opinions and norms regarding the importance of these lands and the feeling that such lands had been taken from Ecuador, further fomenting the rivalry between these two states This was a factor in Ecuadors mission to take back these lands at all costs even though they were clearly outmat ched over the years It would also he lp to explain why Ecuador continued to irrationally engage in military confrontations, thirty four in total, with a country that had a substantial military advantage and won every conflict Populous norms and beliefs could also explain the continued adver sarial relationship with Peru and the eventual reversal of the Rio Protocol in 1946. In the decade following the 1941 war, public opinion in Ecuador was staunchly anti Peruvian and highly supportive of a confrontational approach to territorial issues (Id). Understanding norms and beliefs can also explain why this confrontation eventually ended. First, the success of Ecuador in the conflicts of the 1990s may have changed the Peruvian perspective on continued warfare. While Peru remained dominant, Ecuador had proven that it could inflict serious injury and that it may be a force to be reckoned with moving forward (Id). While this most certainly affected Peruvian perspectives, it also affected Ecuadoran leadership. This may have provided a window of opportunity for Ecuadors leaders to make principled rather than coerced concessionsthe respectable military showing in 1995 gave them an opportunity to make the concession wit h their dignity intact (Id ). It appears the 1995 war may have also changed E cuadoran public opinion regarding resolving this confrontation, at least more so than in years past. As noted earlier in this paper, in 1995 public support for resolution was at

PAGE 42

35 an all time high (71%) ( Id ) Leadership capitalized on this and, for the fir st time, began speaking openly about conciliation. Ecuadoran President Bucaram stated, Bullets cost the same as Books, a rifle costs the same as a school, and a war tank costs the same as a universitythe concept of a nation is increasingly defined by th e citizens power of determination and attitudes ( Id ). T he change in perspectives within both of these countries created a path for resolution. One of the primary shortcomings of the constructivist perspective is that it struggles to pinpoint what eve nt (s) or happening shaped public opinion. Was the populous tired of this struggle after 168 years? Was the change in beliefs generational? Was it indeed the 1995 war that influenced stakeholders? Was it the fact that Ecuador had an impressive showing a t the 1995 war that allowed public opinion to change? While constructivists are able to study and demonstrate that public opinion did indeed change, it can only explain causation of change through logical assumptions. It may very well be that no one event changed public opinion so drastically and that it was a series of influences over time that gradually forced per spectives to change. T his is the certainly the weakest component of a constructivis t explanation

PAGE 43

36 Figure III Map of Guat emala and Belize.

PAGE 44

37 CHAPTER III BELIZEAN AND GUATEMALA CASE STUDY History and Background The first settlers of the lands that now encompass Belize, an area consisting of 8,860 square miles, were English loggers and their slaves, primarily from the British colony of Jamaica (Bell, 1987). They arrived in the middle of the 17th Century (I d). At this point in time, Spain had colonized all of what is now Mexico, Central America, and much of South America. Spains conquest of Guatemala occurred in 1524 (Young and Young, 1988). Spain, however, never maintained a colonial presence in modern day Belize (I d). Rather, i n 1670, Spain granted logging concessions to English timber cutters in t he Treaty of Madrid (Bell et al, 1987). While concessions were only granted in northern Belize, English settlers expanded south to take advantage of the vast resources of mahogany (Bell et al, 1987). Over the next 130 years, however, Spain asserted sovereignty over the area of Belize and regularly attacked logg ers that wer e violating their concessions (I d). Eventually, tensions between the English settlers and Spain led to the Battle of St. Georges Cay on September 10, 1798 (I d). In this battle, a small boat fleet of settlers defe ated a Spanish naval flotilla (I d). Shortly after this battle, in 1821, all of the Spanish colonies had achieved independence, leaving Spain with no physical presence in the Americas (Gorina Ysern, 2000). In 1828, Britain claimed Belize based on conquest, use, and custom. In 1835, Britain asked Spain to formally cede Belize and, thus, recognize British sovereignty over these lands (I d). Spain was silent on the issue. Due to Spains lack of response, the British government looked to resolve this issue with newly independent Guatem ala, which along with other Latin American countries had claimed successor and inheritance rights regarding all

PAGE 45

38 Spanish property and land (Bell et al, 1987). Such claims led both Mexico and Guatemala to claim Belizean lands, claims that Britain rejected ( Id ). With hopes to resolve this dispute, the British government began to consult with regional actors. In 1850, the United States recognized Belize. This emboldened Britain to seek resolution with Guatemala and Mexico. In 1859, the British and Guatema lan governments signed a treaty that contained seven articl es (Young and Young, 1988 ). The first six articles demarc ated the boundaries of Belize (I d). The seventh article required that a road be mutually built from Guatemala City to the Caribbean Sea (I d). Guatemala viewed the seventh article as compensation for abandoning its rights to Belizean lands. Moreover, Guatemala assumed that the British government was responsible for building the road. Due to the language in the seventh article that stated a road would be mutually built there was disagreement between the two countries over which country was ultimately responsible. This disagreement resulted in a convention in 1863to resolve the matter (I d). Unfortunately, at this time, Guatemala was eng aged in a civil war and was unable to ratify the 1863 convention treaty (I d). Due to Guatemalas failure to ratify the treaty, Britain claimed they were released from any obligation possibly created by the seven th article of the 1859 treaty (I d). The di sagreement regarding the seventh article continued into the 1930s. H owever, Mexico renounced all claims to Belizean territory in 1893 (Bell et al, 1988). While Mexican recognition was an important victory for the British government, Guatemalas position on Belizean territory became more fervent with time. In 1945, Guatemala claimed the Treaty of 1859 had not been fulfilled and that it now had the right to take back lands given to the British government for compensation outlined in the contentious seventh article. Furthermore, Guatemala adopted a new constitution that, in A rticle 1, stated: any efforts taken towards obtaining Belize reinstatement to the Republic are of national interes t (Young and Young, 1987). The British

PAGE 46

39 government flatly refused the se claims and encouraged Guatemala to take their territorial claim to the International Court of J ustice (Bell et al, 1988 ). At this point, Britain had been in control of Belizean lands for 150 years and was unwilling to entertain secession of any lands Britain further ratcheted up this issue when they granted the British Honduras the right to self govern ment on January 1, 1964 (I d). Guatemala followed this action by breaking all diplomatic ties with the British government. In 1965, however, both Gua temala and the British government asked for the United States to me diate the dispute (Id). Bethuel M. Webster became the mediator of this dispute and in 1968, proposed a solution, known as the Webster Proposal, (I d). This proposal suggested the follow ing: cooperation between Belize and Guatemala; independence for Belize from British rule; Belize would be r esponsible for internal affairs; the proposal granted vast powers to a Joint Authority between Belize and Guatemala; it placed Belize defense, foreign affairs, and placed the economy under the control of Guatemala after Belizean independence; Belize was to accept a customs union with Guatemala to allow Guatemalan access to the Caribbean Sea; and, lastly, Guatemala would sponsor Belizes applications to join the Central American Community and the Inter American Community (Young and Young, 1988). While this proposal would have established greater independence for Belize by way of sovereignty of internal affairs, Guatemala was to assume control of the B elizean defense, foreign affairs, and economy. Since this proposal granted Belize limited sovereignty, it was rejected by Belizean leader ship (Bell et all, 1988). Britain agreed and refused this proposal as well. Guatemala, on the other hand, supported t he proposal and was willing to end the dispute based on the proposed conditions. Unable to resolve th e dispute with U.S. mediation efforts, tensions in this region began to rise.

PAGE 47

40 In 1971, Guatemala began building its milit ary presence along the border (I d). Britain responded by reinforcing troops and, in 1977, held military exercises in the region (Id). By the mid seventies, the United Nations (the U.N.) began weighing in on the conflict. On December 5, 1978, the United Nations (the U.N.) passed a resolution that granted Belizean people the right to self determination, protection of Belizean territory, called on all states to recognize Belize, and requested resolution between the British and Guatem alan governments (I d). In fact, the U.N. passe d several more resolutions. Initially, the resolutions were not supported by mainland Latin American countries; however, the support for Belizean independence grew with each passing resolution (Id ). Essentially, in the 1970s, the U.N. was utilized to gar ner almost unanimous support for Belizean independence throughout Latin America. The closest this dispute ever was to resolution came in 1981, when these countries put together a sixteen point agreement. The leadership of Belize, Britain, and Guatemala accepted this agreement. In summary, the agreement required all negotiating states to recognize Belize as an independent state, established economic cooperation regarding access to the Caribbean Sea and oil pipelines, and provided Guatemalan access to and the use of Belizean ports in the Caribbean (Id ). The Belizean opposition, however, adamantly opposed the agreement because they thought that it infringed on Belize sovereignty. In fact, the opposition was able to mount enough support to reverse Belizes initial position of conciliation (Id ). As a result, the agreement failed and th e dispute continued. In response to this latest round of failed attempts to resolve the dispute, Britain announced that Belize would be granted full independence on September 21, 1981 (Id). On September 25, 1981, Belize was accepted into the United Nations, with Mexico sponsoring the Bel izean application (Id). Talks between Belize and Guatemala continued over the next several

PAGE 48

41 decades. In 1995, tensions escalated over a poor ly demarcated border when Belizean troops entered Guatemalan territory. Troops mobilized on both sides of the border, but nothing besides minor skirmishes took place (Berc ovitch and Fretter, 2004). In 2000, Belize and Guatemala signed an agreement to enh ance confidence building measures. This agreement was temporary and did not address territorial claims from either country. To date, this dispute has not been resolved and, while no military action is imminent, it still represents an unresolved territorial dispute that has led to regional friction and a lack of economic cooperation between these two countries. This dispute will be further exacerbated with the discovery of oil close to the disputed border (Reynolds, 2011). As the world becomes smaller an d resources become more valuable, settling disputes similar to the Belize/Guatemala conflict become increasingly important and, at the same time, more challenging.

PAGE 49

42 Figure IV Belizean and Guatemalan leaders meet.

PAGE 50

43 Case Study Analysis From a realist perspective, it is clear why Guatemala would lay claim to the entirety or to parts of Belize. Including Belizean territory within Guatemala could significantly increase its power, influence, and military capabilities in the region. The vast timber resources throughout Belize along with increased access to the Atlantic Ocean provides the rational for Guatemalas claim Unfortunately for this perspective, however, was the presence and reality of British protection over Belizean lands. While British protection existed, the amount of personnel that was able to hold the Guatemalans at bay was rather insignificant. Generally speaking, the British would have five hundred to a thousand military personnel in Belize. Occasionally, they would move an air craft carrier in to the region for extra security. Not only does this demonstrate the deterrence of a small military presence, but it also negate d Guatemalas military strength in the region Realism is easily able to explain some dynamics that led Guate mala to lay claim over Belizean lands. It was the more powerful British military, however, that presented Guatemala from acquiring these lands. At the request of the Belize government, it had been agreed that a British garrison would remain in the count ry for an appropriate period to assist with external defense and with the training of the Belize Defense Force (Payne, 1990). The power structure in this dispute was clear, present, and obvious. Although outmatched by the British, Guatemala has the adv antage of proximity to the disputed lands. The British governments interest may wean overtime and due to possible costs associated with protecting these lands there may be opportunities for Guatemala in the future With a powerful and adversarial northern neighbor in Mexico, Guatemala had ample incentive to become stronger and more powerful in this region. It

PAGE 51

44 is clear to see how Guatemala may have viewed Belize as an opportunity to increase its relative gains in comparison to Mexico. What realism al so fails to account for in this dispute, are the domestic undercurrents that existed. In the case of Guatemala, there was much internal strife including, a civil war that occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s. While realis m view s the international arena as being in a constant state of anarchy this approach fails to recognize the chaos that can exist within a state s boundaries, as was the case during Guatemalas multi decade civil war. Additionally, t his civil war severely li mited Guatemalas ability to threat en Belize. As a result, realism s absolute focus on states as the primary actor severely limits this perspective s ability to take into consideration domestic currents The oscillation of the Guatemalan approach to Belizean lands can be witness ed in the types of claims Guatemala made on Belize. At various junctures, Guatemala claimed all of Belize, the Southern half of Belize, and, lastly, the most southern portion of Belize. Different claims demonstrate the volatility of domestic views on this issue. With different Guatemalan leaders or domestic environments came vast shift s in their claims Realism, as an approach, is not structured to explore domestic influences that clearly changed the landscape of this territorial dispute. Liberalism emphasize s the economic realities between these two countries. This approach highlight s the vast resources and economic incentives present in Belizean lands. Not only is Belize rich in resources, but acquisition of this land would also significantly increa se access to the Atlantic Ocean. The economic incentives for Guatemala cannot be denied and certainly present plausible rational for Guatemalas pursuit of this dispute. Liberals may also utilize the lack of institutions to explain this conflict. Becaus e Belize and Guatemala were culturally divided, institutions were more necessary to bridge any gaps and since no substantial

PAGE 52

45 institutional framework existed, hostilities were allowed to fester and ultimately encouraged this dispute. Liberals would focus on the benefits of cooperation between these countries. I nstitutions would be able to facilitate growth and create benefits for both countries. This transformative view, however, did not materialize and became impossib le due to the reaction of Belize regar ding Guatemalan claims on its territory. In fact, the Guatemalan claims made economic cooperation less of a reality due to the sensitive nature of attacking a state territorial presence and existence, as was the case in this territorial dispute. Due to Guatemalan claims, Belize had, for a vast majority of the conflict, no desire to aid Guatemala economically or in other manner. From a constructivist perspective, it is easy to discern Guatemalas claim on this territory. Their claim is directly link ed to their experience and identity that evolved from Spanish occupation in 1524 (Young and Young, 1988, pg. 10). The people and territory of Guatemala were subjected to colonial overtures for close to three hundred years. As Guatemala gained independenc e in 1821, their identity and the shared experience with other newly independent states in the region began to blossom. Accordingly, their identity was shaped by the experiences associated with a post colonized Spanish colony that had struggled and fought for independence. This experience resulted in their eventual claim to Belize. Since the Spanish had historically viewed Belizean lands as their own, Guatemala naturally viewed Belize as their territory as well. The struggle for independence created an entitlement perspective on the part of the Guatemalans. From Guatemalas perspective this territory was stolen by British timber workers who essentially commandeered this land. These timber workers brought in Jamaican slaves who populated this region. S uch a perspective led them to believe that whatever the Spanish had abandoned was theirs due to their subjection and defeat of colonialism. This Guatemalan identity was not unique

PAGE 53

46 to the region. In fact, it was experienced in many countries throughout La tin America. Specifically, Mexico shared this same identity and, thus, initially claimed Belizean territory as well (Bell et al 1987, pg. 398). The British government had a much different experience and perspective regarding Belize. From the British p erspective, Spain initially had sovereignty and ownership over these lands. The lack of Spanish presence, however, created an avenue for English settlers to move into this area to exploit the logging resources that existed. The lack of Spanish interest i n this area allowed British settlers to have free reign in this area for close to 130 years, allowing them to expand their settlements to areas outside the territory authorized for logging use by the Spanish government. Eventually tensions increased and l ed to the Battle of the St. Georges Cays. This marked the entrenchment of the English settlers, but also demonstrated a lack of interest by the Spanish government. The Spanish government could have sent reinforcements and, most likely, could have easil y crushed the under matched British settlers H owever, they continued to show disinterest in this region as they had done for over a century. Due to this battle, the British government essentially believed that Spain had been defeated and these lands now belonged to them. Moreover, the shared experiences of the British and Spanish government created a view that Belizean lands were only a matter for the two colonizing countries and, therefore, did not involve the inhabitants of the Spanish colonies. As a result, when Guatemala gained independence in 1821, the British government did not believe the Guatemalans or the Mexicans had any natural or legal rights to lands of the Spanish government. In 1828, Britain claimed Belize under the auspices of conques t, long term use, and custom (Young and Young 1988, pg. 10). Regarding their to their claim to Belize under the guise of custom, this was due to the

PAGE 54

47 experiences involving English settlement of these lands for close to two hundred years before Guatemala gained independence. As a result, Britain had developed strong norms that led them to believe Belizean territory belonged to them. Similar in nature to the British perspective, the experience of the Belizean people and leadership was that of a British co lony. Furthermore, the majority of the inhabitants of these lands were slaves that had been brought in from Jamaica, another British colony. Accordingly, many of the Belizean people identified themselves more with Caribbean nations than with Latin Americ an heritage and culture. Belize had also become accustomed to British law, standards, and protection from Guatemalan aggression. As a colonized territory, the Belizean peoples were influenced by British identities and perspective from the middle of the 1 7th century until 1981 when they finally gained independence. The struggle for independence also shaped the Belizean perspective. From their perspective, they were never colonized by Spain. Rather, in their struggle for independence, Spain was wholly out of the equation. For the Belizean peoples, independence was directly linked to the British government. But when they did achieve independence, there was still present the Guatemalan claim to their lands. The experience of this aggression shaped Be lizean norms In fact, in 1968, Belize sought and gained acceptance into the Caribbean Area Free Trade Association (the CARIFTA). Further, i n 1978, after British interest appeared to be waning Belize sought security agreements with the United States, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Accordingly, the Guatemalan claim to Belizean lands shaped norms and beliefs of the Belizean peoples that led them to align with what they viewed as more similar countries from a sh ared history, cultural, and identity perspective. Additionally, by the time Belize achieved independence, it had cultivated norms and

PAGE 55

48 beliefs based in self determination. The Belizean peoples did not struggle in their quest for independence to simply be colonized by Guatemala. Belize, after being accepted into the United Nations, pushed for and was successful in passing resolutions that recognized their independence, sovereignty, and right to self determination.

PAGE 56

49 Figure V Map o f Laos and Thailand

PAGE 57

50 CHAPTER IV LAOTIAN AND THAI CASE STUDY History and Background The history of wha t is now called South East Asia was, until colonialist overtures, defined by empires and kingdoms (Battersby, 1999). Borders were porous, ill defined and were considered pliable. In this sparsely populated region, control of manpower and allegiance from vassal provinces vastly outweighed any emphasis placed on specific territorial delimitation and control ( Id ). As a result, power among kings was consolidated at the various capital cities, resulting in weaker controls farther away from kingdom centers. Only with the advent of colonialism and the European export of the nation state did concepts such as political space and territorial sovereign ty begin to take root in South East As ia. Such a philosophical shift in regard to territory created tensions and disputes between new states in this region. This pattern is certainly true in the territorial dispute between Laos and Thailand. Up until the 18th century, relations between the kingdoms of Laos and Thailand (called Siam until 1939) were relatively friendly (Ngaosyvathn, 1985). Good relations were codified when Thai and Lao kings together built the That Si Song Hak stupa in 1555 (Id) This stupa symbolized affection and good relations between the two capitals of Si Sat Ta Nak (the ancient name of Vientiane ) and Si Ayuthaya, the capital of Thailand at the time. These friendly relations witnessed a shift when King Taksinh was crowned K ing of Thailand in 1768. King Taksinh unleashed Thai military might on Laos. By 1791, the three provinces of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Champassak, were under Thai control (Id) In doing so, he took valuable religious Laotian artifacts, including the Emera ld Buddha, and enslaved the Laotian people to build his palaces and cities. Between 1826 and 1828, Thai armies worked to crush Laotian independence

PAGE 58

51 movements that were heading for the capital of Thailand Thailand put down this rebellion and dominated Laos until Laos was ceded to France in 1893 (Bell et al, 1987). This included Lao populated territory East of the Mekong, which included islands within the river, and essentially consolidating French control of South East Asia. Thailand and France signed a series of treaties and conventions in 1902, 1904, and 1907 (Id) These agreements extended the French border to the West of the Mekong River to include the Sayaboury province. In 1939, Siam changed the countr ys name to Thailand and embarked on a policy of Panthaism that sought to reassert Siamese historical dominance over the region (Ngaosyvathn, 1985) Under the leadership of Phibul Songkram, Thailand sought to regroup all the various sectors of the Thai race, which included the Lao, the Shans of Burma ten million people in Asam in the southeastern state of India, and several million ethnic Thai in the Sipsong Phanna autonomous region in China ( Id ) Panthaism was codified in the Tokyo FrancoSiamese Treaty of May 9, 1941 when France, under pressure from Japan, ceded to Bangkok two Lao provinces on the right bank of the Mekong and three Cambodian provinces ( Id ) This expansion of Thai territory was temporary and after being defeated in WWII, Bangkok was required, under the Washington FrancoSiamese Settlement Agreement of November 17, 1946, to return to Laos and Cambodia the territories ceded to Thailand in the 1941 treaty ( Id ) Although Thailand returned these lands, they did not end their territorial claims. Territorial boundaries for Thailand we re to be decided i n a Franco Siamese Conciliation Commission, set up in 1947, ( Id ) Thailand sought to reclaim all of Laos and parts of Cambodia, which would have expanded Thai territory all the way to Vietnam ( Id ). This commission held meetings in Washington D.C. from May 5 through June 26 of 1947 and ultimately rejected all Thai territorial claims ( Id ) As a result, Thailands future policy attempted to convince and coerce Laos to revise the agreements

PAGE 59

52 Thailand utilized the border and their economic superiority as influential tools. In doing so, Thailand e nacted embargos on Laoss products, engaged in military skirmishes along the Mekong River, unilaterally closed the Thai Laos border, and trained elite forces for subversive operations within Lao ter ritory ( Id ). The 1960s and 1970s in South East Asia is characterized by movements for independence, warfare, and internal strife (Bell et all, 1987) Internal Cold War related interests between the countries in this region were on the forefront (Bell et all, 1987; Conboy, 1992) Both Thailand, by way of the Communist Party of Thailand (the CPT) and Laos, through the Pathet Lao, focused primarily on internal philosophical challenges that eve ntually pushed Laos towards communism and Thailand away from communist influence (Bell et all, 1987). Relations between these countries were furth er strained by insurgent movements in their respective countries that supported their worldviews (Conboy, 1992) Furthermore, after the communist Pathet Lao gained control of Laos in 1975, Thailand witnessed a n influ x of anti Pathet Lao immigrants often settling and living in the border region (Bell et all, 1987) As a result, there were regular clashes along the Mekong and accusations by Laos that Thailand was harbor ing its enemies Eventually, in December of 1975, Thailand closed the border with Laos and banned all Laoss exports and imports (Battersby, 1999) This led to a se vere food shortage in Laos and to supplies having to be flown in from Vietnam ( Id ) In Oc tober of 1976 because of a military coup, a staunchly anti communist regime under Thanin Kraivichien came to power in Thailand, which continued the economic blockade of Laos ( Id ) In April of 1977, Thailand attacked three Laotian islands in the Mekong ; Sa ng Khi, Con Tam, and Singsou ( Battersby, 1999; Ngaosyvathn, 1985). In 1977, Thailand changed leadership again with General Kriangsak Chamanan as the Prime Minister. General Kriangsak Chamanan

PAGE 60

53 lifted the economic blockade on Laos and sought to improve rel ations between the two countries. In March of 1978, Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoune Sipaseuth visited Bangkok (Battersby, 1999). Both governments appeared on a path of conciliation as they sought peaceful co existence and non interference in ea ch others internal affairs. While border incidents immediately decreased, in December of 1978, a significant skirmish occurred on the Mekong. This event resulted in deaths of a number of Thai and Lao military personnel, along with the sinking of several military boats. As a result, General Chamanan visited Vientiane Laos from January 4 through the 6th of 1979. This visit was reciprocated by a visit from Kaysone Phomvihane, the General Secretary of the ruling the Lao Peoples Revolutionary Party and Chai rman of the Council of Ministers, in April of 1979. Both Thai and Laoss leadership reaffirmed their desires for peace, friendship, and mutual benefit regarding their countries and the Mekong River specifically (Id) In August of 1979, Thai and Lao signe d an agreement that resulted in the following: a signed memorandum of understanding, measures to limit terro rist use of the border region, a border committee, reduction of the amount of armed border patrols along the Mekong, and the opening of an official passage between the two countries along the Mekong. However, due to yet another change in Thai leadership, with the succession of General Chamanan with General Prem Tinsulanond in March of 1980, Thai and Lao relations reverted to increased tensions and sk irmishes (Bell et al, 1987) One June 15, 1980, Lao troops fired on a Thai patrol boat that was operating on the Lao side of the Mekong (Id) This resulted in the death of a Thai naval officer and, once again, led to the closing of border for most of Jul y, resulting in a food shortage in Vientiane. On January 20, 1981, Thai troops fired on a Lao civilian boat on the Mekong, which killed one crewmember. On January 27, 1981, another Lao boat was attacked killing two of its crew. As tensions rose, severa l more clashes took place

PAGE 61

54 towards the end of January and during the first few weeks of February. Such clashes were followed by several ministerial visits in 1981 and 1982, which helped to de escalate tension along the border (Bell et al, 1987) Although relations were improving, there were two shooting incidents each in October and November of 1981, and in April and June of 1982. The June 1982 incident was the most severe as it appears that Lao troops fired on a Thai village and shelled a Thai patrol boa t near the Lao island of Don Sangkhi (Id) The most significant conflict, however, began to occur in March of 1984. This dispute was in regard to controversial Lao sovereignty over three villages, Ban Mai, Ban Klang, and Ban Sawang that are on the border of the Western Lao province of Sayaboury, and close to the northern Thai province of Uttaradit (Bervovitch and Fretter, 2004; Ngaosyvathn, 1985, Bell et All, 1987, Battersby, 1999) These villages cover approximately 19 square kilometers and include some 1,800 Laotians. Tensions rose in this border region as Thailand began to build a controversial road that Lao claimed crossed into its territory. As a result, Lao troops moved into the three villages in April of 1984 (Bell et al, 1987) Thailand alleged that Lao troops had crossed into Thai territory in an attempt to disrupt construction of the road. On April 15 and in May of 1984, Lao and Thai forces clashed. Thai leadership denounced the clashes as acts of aggression by Laos O n June 6, 1984, Thai mi litary forces took control of the three villages. This event led to diplomatic warfare with both countries accusing the other of links to internal opposition groups and competing states in the region, with Thailand claiming Vietnamese involvement and Laos claiming Chinese influence. Lao delegations visited Bangkok from June 2124 and August 715, 1984 (Ngaosyvathn, 1985) No agreement was reached on the disputed villages and Thailand continued to control these villages as it had since June 6, 1984. E ach country presented maps that supported their claims to the three villages. Laos used maps traced

PAGE 62

55 back to Franco Siamese treaties signed in 1902, 1904, and 1907. Laos also cited a ruling of the International Court of Justice, specific to Cambodian clai ms of the Preah Vihear temple, stating that the 1907 FrancoSiamese border treaty was valid and enforceable. Thailand, on the other hand, produced a 1978 map that was produced through United States aerial photographs and claimed that this map demarcated t he three villages as part of Thailand. On June 15, Thailand ended the talks because Laos had refused to agree to a joint technical team to visit the disputed area in order to determine the border. From the Lao perspective, historical agreements had already placed the three villages in Lao territory and the matter should not be subject to re evaluation. In September of 1984, Lao troops shot and killed two Thai border police officer s and a mechanic in the disputed area. At first, Thailand threatened to l odge a complaint with the U.N., but consequently announced on October 2 the withdrawal of Thai troops from the disputed three villages. By October 15, the withdrawal was complete, albeit Thailand still controlled strategically high ground in disputed lands (Bell et al, 1987) Laos sought to resolve this matter by seeking compensation for the loss of human and material losses from the villagers It also wanted to address the missing villagers that were captured by Thai soldiers, and asked for talks. Thail and refused stating the withdrawal of troops was sufficient. The three villages conflict was followed by diplomatic visits by each country in 1985. Most of these visits sought to address the three villages conflict, but they all ended in disagreement (I d) Furthermore, on August 10, 1985, a skirmish resulted in the death of a Thai border police officer On July 14, 1986, Thai officials announced that approximately 40 Lao sol diers had crossed into Thai territory and had launched an attack on a makeshift encampment of Lao immigrants, killing 35 and wounding many more (Id) After these incidents, the leaders of both countries once again sought reconciliation. On September 24, 1986, Laos presented a

PAGE 63

56 memorandum to the Thai ambassador stating that both countries should appoint highlevel working groups in preparation of future ministerial talks (Id) In November of the same year, both countries agreed to stop the propaganda laden attacks against each country. Ministerial visits began again in March of 1987. Despite these visits, border skirmishes continued and by 1988, the skirmishes threatened to devolve into all out war, due to the use of air assaults and heavy machinery (Bercovitch and Fretter, 2004) However, negotiations held in February of 1988 re sulted in a cease fire and the conflict was over by December. In all, over 700 military personnel died on both sides. In the battles that occurred in 1987 and 1988, Laoss troops held the advantage from a territorial perspective and inflicted humiliating defeats on Thai troops (Conboy 1992). Relations between the countries improved after a coup dtat in Bangkok in 1991. They remained calm until violence again erupted in 2000. While relations between these countries have continually improved, includi ng economic trade and political cooperation, this matter is still unresolved.

PAGE 64

57 Figure VI Lao and Thai land leaders meet. Case Study Analysis Territorial claims and military action s from Thailand regarding Laos c ould make sense from a realist perspective. The Mekong River Basin represents vast resources for any government that controls this area. Thailand was one of the more powerful states in the region, certainly more powerful than Laos at the time. According to realist principles, Thaila nd should pursue its own relative gains in the region in order to counter balance the uncertainties that exist in this region, especially with the growing presence and influence of China and Vietnam As a result, it would be extremely rational to seek relative gains by way of territorial expansion to ensure Thai self interests are fulfilled. Why didnt Thailand simply take any land it wanted at the time? Why would Thailand seek only to aggressively pursue the three villages? Why wouldnt Thailand seek t o control all of the Mekong Rive r that it could in the region? Thailand had dominated the Lao people for hundreds of years. Why wouldnt they simply embark on the same strategy that had worked for them in the past? With the ease at which Thailand was ab le to take Lao territory, realists would view this as a rational strategy Thailand certainly pursued

PAGE 65

58 territory they determined was in question when they took control over the tree villages of Ban Mai, Ban Klang, and Ban Sawang. Ultimately, however, the lands gained in this pursuit were in significant and Thailand only held them for approximately seven months. Thailand did invade Laos for a variety of reasons. First, the Lao government was supported by Vietnam and China as friendly communist countries. These countries shared and supported the communist ideology. Realism would not account for this type of support from other state s as they see each state as representing only its self interests in this anarchic world. This is a significant weakness of th e realist argument as it discounts realities that shape behavior and action. Furthermore, while Thailand was militarily dominant, this does not always lead to a clear military victory. Due to the mountainous and tough terrain, winners of a protracted war in this region are not determined by how many bombs a country may have, as was clearly evident in other struggles in the region including Vietnam. There are numerous other determiners that factor into warfare in this region. Secondly, the Lao had demons trated resolve and persistence. After being colonized by the Thai subsequently by the French, and then waging a civil war that witnessed the communist Pathet Lao take control the Lao populous and government was not about to become subservient to Thai ov ertures. A liberal perspective would highlight the vast resources offered by the Mekong River as a centerpiece for this dispute The Mekong provides a natural setting for economic benefits to both countries. Not only is this river the lifeline for man y communities along it, it provides a natural transit system for local communities seeking to sell or trade their goods to Laotian or Thai populations. With Lao being one of the poorest states in the region, there were great advantages in Lao communities having access to Thai markets. As seen with other case studies, liberalism is an approach that seeks to establish and entrench cooperation. This approach is

PAGE 66

59 unable to explore the underlying causes for why conflict occurred in the first place. While an e conomic approach to growth and cooperation is transformative in nature, it does not address the conflict itself. In this case, Thailands economic might was used as a weapon against Lao in an effort to punish Lao communities and the government in regards to this dispute. It is unreasonable to believe that countries that are in a state of militarized conflict would seek harmony with each other through cooperative measures that would bolster each side. In these states of high tension, cooperation becomes a decreasing option. Accordingly, gaps are present in the liberal explanation. In reviewing this conflict, one must certainly understand the history and experiences that have shaped this region. It would be absurd to attempt to understand this conflict w ithout exploring the recent history. This is why constructivism is becoming one of the more influential approaches in the international arena. One cannot discount the fact that Thailand colonized Lao territory for over a hundred years, enslaving the Laot ian population to build its cities, monuments, and historical treasures. Discounting this histo ry appears irresponsible. Thai colonization was followed by French colonialism in the early 1900s, only to be reverted back to Thai control during World War I I. After the defeat of Thailand in this war, France tried to regain control, but was rebuffed by Pathet Lao pursuits of independence from the French and Lao royalty. The Pathet Lao struggled for 30 years to gain independence, which came in 1975. This history directly shaped and molded the norms and beliefs of Laos during this conflict. As a largely agrarian and poor country, Laos shifted towards comm unism following the end of WWII due to the presence and persistence of the Pathet Lao. The territoria l conflict with Thailand represented yet another attack on Lao sovereignty, freedom, and integrity. The battle for Lao independence quickly became an ideological war in the Cold War era. Since the Laotian

PAGE 67

60 populace had suffered for hundreds of years under Thai and French rule, the norms and values shaped from this history created a populace and government that was willing to sacrifice for their independence and territorial rights granted by statehood. From the Thai perspective, the history in the region appears to have shaped the idea that they had a right to any Laotian territories they sought. Siam ruled much of this region for hundreds of years. This created a right to ownership that Thailand has exerted whenever possible, as was the case during WWI I. As soon as an opportunity presented itself, the Thai government took back what was thought to have been taken away by the more powerful French. Thailand simply pursued its interest in this region due to a history of exploitation and gains made in this territory. Why should today be any different than it was hundreds of years ago? This became part of Panthaism that was initiated in the early 1940s. Under the guise of reunited the Thai culture, Thailand embarked on reclaiming territories they felt wer e wrongfully taken from them. This theme did not end when Thailand was forced to give up Laotian territory after WWII. In fact, the territorial dispute between Thailand and Laos was a direct result of this Thai belief. While military might and economic forces were certainly present in the Lao/Thai territorial dispute, the history and shared experiences that shaped this conflict appear to be more enduring. The three villages taken over by Thailand were not geostrategic and did not, unto themselves, con tain significant economic resources. The small and unimportant geographic area that encompasses these villages does not lend itself to addressing relative or absolute gains, as emphasized by realism and liberalism. Rather this act appears to be based on a Thai norm that they are able to take and treat Laos as they wish. This specific conflict appears more ideological in nature than its geographic importance. Moreover, it is important to note the hundreds of years

PAGE 68

61 of experiences that shaped Thailands ap proach towards Laos. They had successfully dominated Laos and viewed them as subservient Failing to take these realities into account, as is the case with the realist and liberal perspectives, leads to insufficient and unrealistic understanding of this dispute

PAGE 69

62 Figure VII Map of Borneo

PAGE 70

63 CHAPTER V INDONESIAN AND MALAYSIAN CASE STUDY History and Background The confrontation over the shared border between Indonesia and Malaysia on the island of Borneo began with the creation of Malaysia as its own free and independent state (van der Kroef, 1963) On September 16, 1963, Malaysia was created out of what were previous British colonies, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, B runei, and Sabah (Jones, 1980). The consolidation of t hese British colonies resulted in a country of some 330,252 square km consisting of two landmasses (Salleh, Razali, Jusoff, 2009). The first land mass is referred to as West Malaysia, which was previously called Malaya and the second East Malaysia, is l ocated on the Island of Borneo. East Malaysia entails what was at dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia. The combination of these territories was thought to be important by the British for several reasons. First, communist in roads were being made in S ingapore and this threatened Western control of the straits of Malacca. (Jone s, 1980; Leifer, 1966). The British thought that by including Singapore into the Malaysian federation, it would address this ideological shift Second, Malaya, which had gained independence in 1957, was economically weak. The addition of these new lands would boost resources and provide for a larger economic base to compete internationally (Id) Finally cultural concerns were thought to be mitigated by the creation of Malaysia I f only Singapore would have been added to Malaya, then Malaysia would have essentially become a Chinese state, which was greatly opposed by ethnic Malays (Butwell, 1964) Only by adding the territories on Borneo, Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei, did the c ultural makeup work for Malays and the British Crown. By adding lands on Borneo, Malaysia became 48% Malay, 36% Chinese, 9% Indian or Pakistani, and 7% aboriginal (Jones, 1980) With

PAGE 71

64 Communist China in the backyard of both Indonesia and Malaysia, avoidi ng a Chinese state was paramount to British geo political concerns and cultural concerns on the part of ethnic Malays (Jones, pg. 265) D iscussions regarding a merger of these British territories began in 1961. Both British and Malay leadership viewed i t necessary to understand the perspectives of the people located on Borneo. On August 1, 1962, it was decided between British and Malaya leadership that Malaysia would be formed on August 31, 1963 (Jones, 1980) This measure was endorsed by the Malaysian Parliament on August 15, 1962, by the Legislative Council of Sabah on September 12, 1962, by the Council Negri of Sarawak on September 26, 1962, and by 63% of the voters in Singapore (Id) When discussion regarding Malaysia was initially presented to I ndonesian leadership, they did not object as long as the territories had agreed to join Malaysia. While Indonesian leadership voiced no objections, a powerful communist party within Indonesia, the PKI, ardently opposed the formation and billed such an eve nt as a neo colonial attempt to suppress the peoples of these territories (Jones, 266; van der Kroef, 1963). This affected the leadership in th e country and le d to a cautious approach by Indonesia. Indonesia became leery for two reasons. First, they had hoped to extend their influence in the region by establishing an increased role in Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei. Secondly, Indonesia was concerned that a strong Malaysia might result in a cultural magnet for the ethnically related Sumatra (van der Kroef, 1963) Even though Indonesia appeared unsure of this new arrangement called Malaysia, everything else seemed to be on track for it to occur H owever, on December 8, 1962, a revolt broke out in Brunei lead by Azahari, who at the time was the Pr esident of Bruneis Peoples Party (Jones, 1980) Azhari had previously fought alongside Sukarno in Indonesias quest for

PAGE 72

65 independence. He attempted to form an independent state, the Unitary State of Kalimantan, and proclaimed himself as the President of that count ry. Indonesias PKI immediately announced their support for the revolt. Two days later, Sukarno followed suit. It appeared that the Brunei revolt allowed Sukarno the opportunity to renounce his previous tacit acceptance of Malaysia (Jone s, 1980). Brune i, mostly due to its vast oil resources, was too valuable to the British to allow this revolt to occur. Accordingly, the revolt was put down several days later. This was an important event from the Indonesian perspective because it supported its suspicions of neocolonial ism (Id) This was a message that Indonesian leaders could use to rally their populace in opposition to Malaysia. On January 20, 1963, Foreign Minister Subandrio, after returning from Peking China where he received support for the Brunei revolt declared Indonesias formal opposition and initiated a policy of confrontation (van der Kroef, 1963) Subandrio stated that due to the shared border between Indonesia and Malaysia, Indonesia could not remain passive. Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Pres ident of Malaya, denounced these statements as a declaration of cold war. The statements were ratcheted up when Sukarno countered by stating that a military conflict might be unavoidable if Malaysia was to be created. Sukarno stated, We do not want to have neo colonialism in our vicinity. We consider Malaysia an encirclement of the Ind onesian Republic (Jones, 1980). Furthermore, Sukarno began to openly support the people of Borneo and raised the ral lying cry of self determination On April 9 1963, representatives from Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines gathered in Manila to attemp t to resolve the controversy of Northern Borneo (Leifer, 1966) On April 12, 1963, Indonesia launched its first attacks (Jones, 1980) This was designed as a show of force to Britain and Malay so they would better understand the ramifications of the creation of Malaysia.

PAGE 73

66 Another attempt to settle matters occurred in May and June of 1963, when Sukarno invited the Malaya President for talks in Tokyo. Sukarno and Rahman agreed to resolve their differences peacefully and even discussed the creation of a greater Malay confederation to be called Maphilindo ( Butwell, 1964) More importantly, Indonesia and the Philippines, both whom had claims to Northern Borneo, agreed to formally welcome the creation of Malaysia as long as the willingness of the Borneo territories to join Malaysia was determined by the United Nations (Jones, 1980) Of course, both the British and Malaya representatives claimed the people of Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei wanted to join Malaysia. All parties agreed to a U.N. administered an official inquiry into the opinions and perspectives of affected Borneo populations. All stakeholders with the exception of Indonesia s communist PKI party China, and Vietnam were elated about this solution as they believed they would be vindicated by the results of the U.N. official inquiry (Id) The U.N. inquiry mission began on August 26, 1963 ( Id ). U.N. teams met with officials, political leaders, and represen tatives from religious, tribal, ethnic, labor, and business groups. There was, however, some controversy between Britain, Indonesia, and Philippines regarding how many observers from each country should be allowed to participate. Ultimately, Britain allo wed eight observers from Indonesia and the Philippines (Id) Additionally, there were other technical squabbles between Britain and Indonesia, which would be used later by Indonesia, regarding the U.N. inquiry into the self determination of the people in territories of Borneo that were to be included in Malaysia. Furthermore, two (2) days before the results of the inquiry were announced, the Government of Malaysia issued a proclamation that Malaysia would be created regardless of the results. President T unku had selected September 13 as the inauguration date of Malaysia. The results of the U.N. inquiry, once released on September 14, showed that a majority of people in the disputed Borneo territories did indeed

PAGE 74

67 wish to join Malaysia (Id) U.N. leader of the inquiry, U Thant, stated the following: I believe that the majority of them have concluded that they wish to bring their independent states to an end and to realize their independence through freely chosen association with other peoples in their reg ion whom they feel ties of ethnic association, heritage, language, religion, culture, economic relationship, and ideals and objectives (Jones, 1980). This was a tremendous blow to Sukarno. He was unable to maintain his promise of acceptance if these w ere the results. Rather, Sukarno questioned the validity and quality of the U.N. inquiry. Sukarno then decided to request an additional survey. Subandrino announced that Indonesia would not recognize Malaysia until another inquiry was completed. The day before Malaysia was created ; Indonesia denounced the formation of the new country as a neocolonialist creation and refused to recognize Malaysia (Id) In fact, Sukarno viewed the British as a threat to Indonesian sovereignty and independence. As a re sponse to the creation of Malaysia, he immediately initiated a policy of confrontation (Konfrontasi) (van der Kroef, 1963 ) On September 21, 1963, Indonesia established an economic blockade on Malaysia (Jones, 1980) The formation of Malaysia commenced on September 16, 1963 and tensions in the region began to increase. By December of 1963, Indonesia had approximately 10,000 troops along the border (Id) Furthermore, the Indonesian Army began training and arming dissenting groups in the area that also opposed Malaysia ( Id ) The United States worked to arrange a meeting between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Malaysia and the Philippines both agreed that a precursor to any meeting must include the end of Indonesian military activity in the dis puted area. Sukarno agreed and on January 23, 1964, a cease fire was announced. All parties met in Tokyo on June 18, 1964 (Butwell, 1964) However, t his meeting, ended abruptly on June 20 when Sukarno claimed that the U.N. survey was a farce and that Indonesia was under

PAGE 75

68 severe pressure from Britain at the time to agree to the Manila Accords. As a result, Indonesia encouraged and actively participated in guerilla warfare with the new Malaysian state. Sukarno rallied support domestically around his Cr ush Malaysia campaign, but by 1965, such support appeared to be weaning (Jones, 1980) On the other hand, Malaysian leadership benefited from Sukarnos campaign as this united the population of the newly formed country ( Id ). Due to the strong perspectives about this conflict, resolution became increasingly more difficult. Further exacerbating any hope for resolution was Sukarnos ideological shift towards aligning with the communist regimes of Russia and China (Jon es, 1980). He had also aligned himse lf domestically with the PKI, the strongest communist party in Indonesia (Id) Indonesian relations had deteriorated to the point where the United States had reached an agreement to begin training Malaysian forces and agreed to sell Malaysia $5,000,000 in military equipment (Id) This was a major blow to Sukarno whose guerilla campaign was ineffective, especially with British troops on the ground and logistical support from the U.S. Given the lack of Indonesian success in this military campaign, it became increasingly clear that resolution was not possible as long as Sukarno was in control. In 1965, Indonesian moderates began to organize, forming the Badan Pendukun Sukarnoisme (the BPS) and exert ing their influence. Consisting of Christian and Muslim leaders, the army, newspaper editors and publishers, the goal of the BPS was to rescue the positive traits of Sukarnos ideology from the perils of communist influences that had been increasing over the past few years (Id) Furthermore, members of the BPS felt that the PKI had no real political opposition domestically. Sukarno, at this time, was also slowing down physically and was preparing to limit his political activity. The BPS gained momentum, but in

PAGE 76

69 December of 1965, Sukarno banned the BPS from political participation. Although banned, the goals and agendas of the BPS would soon resurface. In September of 1965, a dramatic event occurred that changed the course of Indonesia. On September 30, 1965, an abortive coup dtat was initiated by domestic communists and disenchanted army personnel (Id) Their goal was to eliminate top army leadership, change the composition of the Indonesian cabinet, and establish a government that was mo re pro communist (Jones, 1980). In doing so, death squads roamed Indonesia seeking to execute leaders, generals, and anyone else identified by the communists as a threat. By October 1, 1965, coup forces were in control of Radio Indonesia and stated their objectives (Id) They claimed that their actions had prevente d a coup dtat that had been planned by military personnel and that their objective was to remove the subversive elements of the armed forces. On October 5, Sukarno was announced to be safe and was under the protection of coup forces. General Suharto, on the other hand, did not acquiesce to the current rebel control of Indonesia. Suharto began to organize all people and groups that were loyal to him. Within hours he had gathered around him elements of his own division and loyal units of other commands and set out to neutralize the rebels, who had taken over the palace and radio stations ( Id ). Suharto planned to try to convince the rebels to surrender. At 6:00 p.m., Suharto issued an ultimatum to the 454th battalion: either they evacuate their pos itions by 10:00 p.m. or he would blast them out ( Id ). As the battalion withdrew, the PKI and their armed bands of thugs were planning an attack. Suharto quickly arrested these potential attackers and by 8:00 p.m., Suharto was in full control of Jakarta. Suharto then began to learn about Sukarnos whereabouts It became clear that Sukarno was not a prisoner. In fact, it was determined that he had given his blessing for the coup (Id) The failed coup attempt ended up being the demise of Sukarno and to

PAGE 77

70 the benefit of Suharto. Suharto began to consolidate his own power in Indonesia (van der Kroef, 1966) On October 14, Sukarno announced that Suharto would be the Minister/Commander of the Indonesian Army (Jones, 1980) Additionally, as the Indonesian population began to learn more about the failed coup, public opinion did not favor Sukarno. It became clear that there were two primary power s in control that were vying for full Indonesian control. Suharto enjoyed the support of the army, the navy, and political moderates throughout the country. Sukarno was supported by the PKI and air force leadership (Id) This dual power led to internal strife and a virtual civil war during October. On November 3, about 100,000 Muslim and other anti communist groups attacked the Chinese consulate. On April 15, the Chinese embassy was stormed and ransacked ( Id ). In October of 1965, Suhartos government banned the PKI and arrested thousands of it s members. This pressure weigh ed heavily on Sukarno who in November described the communists as rats that have eaten the big part of the cake and tried to eat the pillars of our housenow lets catch these rats and I will punish them ( Id ). Anti communist demonstrations continued throughout the spring of 1966. Also duri ng this time was a showdown of power between Su karno and Suharto. Sukarno delivered his last Independence Day speech on Au gust 17, 1966 and claimed to still be running the country. The reality of the circumstances was that Suharto had been granted full power under the authority of the Parliament. Two days before the beginning of the 19661967 parliament, Suharto described his three ( 3) part plan, which included the following: addressing Indonesias economic woes, ending the conflict with Malaysia, and in creasing cooperation throughout Southeast Asia (Id) Within a week of Suhartos speech, Malaysias Deputy Prime Minister Razak visited Jakarta and Foreign Minister Adam Malik traveled with a 52 person Indonesian delegation to Kuala Lumpur (Id) At noon on August 11, 1966, after three (3) years of confrontation, the dispute between Indonesia and

PAGE 78

71 Malaysia ended (Salleh, Razali, and Jusoff, 2009) Both countries immediately ceased military action and established diplomatic partnerships and recognition. It was clear that this conflict was resolved swiftly through the change of leadership in Indonesia. Had Suharto not wrestled control away from Sukarno, the conflict would have persisted.

PAGE 79

72 Figure VIII Indonesian and M alaysian leaders meet.

PAGE 80

73 Case Study Analysis Prior to the legal formation of Malaysia, Sukarno expressed his frustration with this newly created country. Almost immediately, he initiated his policy of Konfrontasi. Included in this approach was mil itary confrontation. Indonesia began training opposition groups on the island of Borneo that were Indonesian leaning in nature. Additionally, Sukarno actively engaged Malaysian and British military alon gside the guerilla groups. Furthermore, within wee ks of the formation of Malaysia, he initiated an economic blockade. Realists would view these actions as a way to expand Indonesian influence in the region. By taking up the cause of independence for the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, he would gain influe nce in the region and might actually increase Indonesian territory if it had been determined that they did not wish to join Malaysia, pursuant to the U.N. study. Unfortunately, however, for Sukarno there was active support of Malaysia by Britain and the U nited States. Britain fought alongside the Malaysian troops and ultimately changed the balance of this conflict to the benefit of Malaysia. Due to external military and logistical support, Indonesias military campaign proved fruitless. In fact, when Su karno agreed to withdraw Indonesian troops from the disputed territory it was speculated that he delayed the withdrawal date because Indonesia had to actually insert troops prior to being able to withdraw the m Indonesias policy of military confrontation was not successful and ultimately contributed to Indonesias economic demise. Realists would explain Sukarnos action as a way to increase his power base, military capabilities and influence in Southeast Asia. If this pursuit was solely about increasi ng one s power, why did Sukarno frame this confrontation with overtones of neocolonialism and independence ? In fact, Sukarno rallied his domestic support by emphasizing the role of colonialism in th e dispute. As a benefactor of Indonesias armed struggle against the Dutch for

PAGE 81

74 independence, this was a natural rallying cry for Sukarno. He claimed that the formation of Malaysia was merely a clever way for Britain to retain control over its colonial territories. Furthermore, Sukarno believed that Malaysia w as itself colonizing other smaller territories that were to be deprived of their independence. In addition to the rallying cry of colonialism, Sukarno drifted more toward communism as his rule extended. As a result, this ideological shift naturally mad e him more of an enemy of the West and anti communist states during the Cold War. His allegiance shifted from the United States to Russia and China. How would realists explain these realities ? Unfortunately, realists would not put much emphasis on these circumstances. This is one of the primary deficiencies of applying this approach to the Indonesian/Malaysian territorial dispute. Th e dispute was far more complicated than realism excels at explaining. While gaps due exist, the relevance of power and t he use of such power was clearly evident in this dispute. Liberal s as is the case with the previous case studies fall into some of the trappings of realism and have significant deficiencies in explaining this conflict. Liberals would focus on economic development of this region. With the use of institutions, Indonesia and Malaysia could learn to cooperate with each other. Institutions are powerful in that they are able to define the rules of the playing field and can facilitate member buy in. Indones ia and Malaysia would both benefit from a cooperative economic environment. With fledgling economies at the time, this would hopefully prove to be the most rational approach to their differences. While noble in its pursuit, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to engage in cooperative efforts between these countries when one country, in this case Indonesia has openly declared a policy of confrontation. This policy witnessed active military support and use of Indonesias economic might as tools against Malaysia. Simply put, due to the actions of Indonesia, these countries

PAGE 82

75 were unable to embark on positive dialogue through institutions. Rather, military resources and desires for defending Malaysias territory created a tenuous and nonconciliato ry atmosphere. As is the case with the other case studies in this report, Liberalism fails miserably in explaining and understanding this conflict. From a constructivist perspective, Sukarno clearly outlined his beliefs towards the creation of Malaysia. His experiences participating in the guerilla campaign against the Dutch not only shaped his view toward Western Colonialists, but also resulted in his rise to power. The nati on and Sukarnos anti colonialist perspective became stronger as Indonesia fought for independence. The beliefs were so powerful that his policy of confrontation was not one of discretion. Rather, he felt it was his duty to free the disputed territories from the grips of colonialism. He used this approach to garner the domestic support of his like minded populace. In addition to freeing the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, Sukarno felt uncomfortable having a colonial presence in the region Due to the long Indonesian struggle for independence, the mere presence of colonialism le d to inherent skepticism Sukarnos own experiences created the need for him to respond to the creation of Malaysia with force Over time, his beliefs became more aligned with communist Russia and China, which resulted in a strain on any Western countrie s, the United States included. Indonesias approach to this conflict ended once Sukarno was essentially removed from power. The domestic coup attempt by Sukarno and his communist supporters gave Suharto and other domestic influences the authority a nd le gitimacy to remove Sukarno from power The removal of Sukarno was the most significant factor in resolving this dispute. Sukarno and the PKI were in such opposition to Malaysia that nothing else seem to matter More moderates throughout the country saw the conflict with Malaysia as empty and pointless. For them,

PAGE 83

76 Sukarnos rallying cries against colonialism and the West became out of touch with the mainstream Once Suharto had fully consolidated power, he ended the Indonesian policy of Konfrontasi wit h Malaysia within a week. Within that very week, the confrontation was over, an agreement had been reached, Indonesia had recognized Malaysia, and full diplomatic ties were established. Once the norms and values of Sukarno were removed, the conflict was over. This conflict represents a powerful lesson in regard to solving these types of disputes. Indonesias military might was no match for Malaysias Western backed m ilitary. Economic cooperation was not plausible in the existing state of conflict. T he most enduring factor to this resolution was the removal of an authoritarian leader who drove the country down the perilous road of confrontation based solely on his disgust for colonialism and Western influence in the region. Sukarnos beliefs radicali zed over time and, in the end, the removal of his beliefs resulted in the resolution of the conflict This clearly demonstrates how powerful, enduring, and destructive norms and beliefs can be in the international arena and why changing such norms should be the focus of conflict resolution.

PAGE 84

77 CHAPTER VI CASE STUDY REVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS The purpose of this research wa s to apply the three most prominent theories in the international relations field to these four case studies in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each theory through empirical application. The goal of this research is to see how these theories may be applied to real world events. I nsights were gained in regards to the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. In political science in general, scholars often jockey to determine which theory is best. It is not uncommon for a political scientists career to be linked to one theoretical perspective. T he purpose of understanding territorial disputes should be to gain greater insights into the process of resolving these types of conflicts. Furthermore this research also seeks to determine if a dominant theory exists. The purpose i s not to understand which theory can predict future disputes, hot spots for dispute s, how to prevent disputes, or which theory is best to resolve disputes in the short and long term. As is often the case with conflict management study, it is easy for students and scholars to jump to resolution before establishing a true understanding That is why it was important to apply these theories in this manner. The other topics, while vital to conflict management study, are best reserved for future research. We have seen over time how a lack of understanding of the history and circumstances has led to deleterious policy decisions. Often policy makers prescribe actions that clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding or knowledge of the region. These policy prescriptions lead to failure, short term resolutions, and other instances where disa strous consequences are left to be dealt with in another administration or by a future generation. Military action has been utilized in many instances as a solution for resolution. Peru and Ecuador, for instance, engaged in many military confrontations, b ut they never ended the dispute. The results of similar military

PAGE 85

78 campaigns are suspect at best. One can bomb bridges, infrastructure, and buildings, but there are very few examples where bombs succeeded in eliminating or significantly curtailing an ideol ogy. In fact, w hat we have seen over the last twenty years is that bombs often coalesce and strengthen support for specific ideologies Our experiences have demonstrated that a thorough understanding of any international circumstance requires a deep unde rstanding of all that has s haped the current state of events. How did the various theories perform in their application to these four case studies? The most prominent theory realism has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II. Due to the ColdWar that emerged from WWII, this approach seemed appropriate and was very attractive to policy makers in a bi polar world. Background, history, culture, religion, and perspectives were not a primary concern in a world that pitted the United S tates and capitalism against the U.S.S .R. and its brand of communism. The primary aspect of action and policy in this period was in regard to which ideology a state adopted. As was the case with all theories, realist explanations contained gaps as it wa s applied to these territorial disputes. One of the primary deficiencies of this theory is that it focuses squarely on the state as the primary actor. In this research, the focus was on territorial disputes between states. Accordingly, one could argue t hat realism ha d an advantage in this arena since the state being the primary actor is one of its fundamental assumptions Unfortunately though, realism fails to offer, seek, or be interested in what past events and experiences have shaped these states wo rld view. Rather, their dependence on an anarchic world stage fails to stoke an interest in looking into the history that has shaped present day. Realism believes that friends yesterday can become foes today and friendly states tomorrow may be foes the f ollowing day. This perspective keeps realism in an unhealthy present state that finds the past useless and the future frightening. Lastly, this theory is insufficient in

PAGE 86

79 being able to explore or apply domestic influences. In many of our case studies, domestic politics and opinion determined if a dispute was resolved. Dismissing the past prevents realism from being able to explain the complicated circumstances that have shaped the four disputes outline in this paper. In regard to the Ecuador/Peru dispute, the history that shaped this matter was vast. This dispute was directly reliant upon geographical colonial ambiguity that left these new states vying for territorial integrity. In the case of Indonesia and Malaysia, the conflict was clearly impacted by Suhartos experience and fight for Indonesian independence. These experiences shaped his approach to Malaysia as just another colonial incursion into this region. In the case of Belize and Guatemala, the Guatemalans were adamant that these lands had been stolen from Spain by the British and were populated by outsiders who were not indigenous to the region. In the case of Thailand and Laos, c olonial influence and legacy shaped the lack of clear boundary in the Mekong River Basin. To discount these hi storical influences does an injustice to those involved. Dismissing hundreds of years of experiences demonstrates a fundamental flaw of realism Realism is also focused on power relations between states. Power is supreme in the realist perspective and i t is utilized to pursue one s self interests. While power is present in all of the case studies, how does it help to explain these disputes? Peru, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Thailand were much more powerful militarily and economically than their counterparts, but this power does not explain why the disputed lands were so important and contested for hundreds of years in some cases. Ultimately, p ower denotes capabilities and capabilities do not provide any adequate reasoning for why the disputes aros e, per sisted, and provide so much fervor in these disputes. Rather power and capabilities are more indicative of which state should win a conflict and not why a dispute exists in the first place

PAGE 87

80 Another vital assumption of realism is its reliance on rational behavior. Realism holds that states act rationally in their pursuit of self interested goals in the international arena. In these conflicts, there was much irrational behavior. In the case of Indonesia, the country was economically bankrupt as Sukarno waged his war with Malaysia and her Western parents. Rationally speaking, Sukarno was not doing what was arguably in his countr ys best interest. Rather, his irrational nationalistic perspective drove him to go on the attack in a war that cost his countr y much economically and politically. Ultimately, this irrational behavior was his downfall and one of the primary reasons he lost power D ue to the military power of Peru, it was not rational for Ecuador to engage in any type of military confrontation with Peru. On the contrary however, Ecuador did not back down in their pursuit of these disputed lands. They sought conflict with Peru even though they had lost every military confrontation. Similarly, in the Laos/Thailand dispute Laos was outmatched, yet they often acted as the provocateur in this dispute. The same type of irrational behavior was seen in the Belize/Guatemalan dispute. Guatemalas army was immense compared to the capabilities of Belize. The U.K.s presence was certainly a deterrent, b ut they often had no more than 1,000 or so military personnel in Belize in the second half of the 20th Century. Accordingly, there was much opportunity for Guatemala to seize the tiny country of Belize when the U.K. had much more pressing matters on the w orld stage, including WWII, Vietnam, and the Korean War. I t is doubt ful that Belize was a high priority for the U.K. during these wars and in other periods when the cost of defending Belize was outweighed by more pressing matters. Given these facts, in e ach of the s e case studies, territorial disputes a re not rooted or acted upon by strict rational behavior Due the many similarities between realism and liberalism, liberalism shares many of realisms fundamental flaws. These shared assumptions include th e state as the primary actor,

PAGE 88

81 an anarchic worldview, and rational behavior and actions. Where liberalism begins to distance itself from realism is in regard to its emphasis on economics and its transformative prescriptions for cooperation. It would be duplicative to explore the failures of liberalism that it shares with realism. Accordingly, its differences on economics and cooperation will be explored. Liberal s view these disputes as resulting from economic pursuits or inequities. Economic character istics in all four of the case studies are present. Ecuador had much to gain in regard to access to the Amazon River. Borneo offered vast resources that could have greatly benefited Indonesias struggling economy. Guatemalas access to additional loggin g lands and increased access to the Atlantic is a compelling economic argument. Lastly, the Mekong River basin is a major economic engine throughout Southeast Asia. Not only does this river provide for livelihoods for those that live along its banks, but it is also a significant economic engine due to transport of goods from the various states that encompass parts of this river or that border it. Economic advantages are certainly present for those disputing borders. Such is the case with any land that e xists. Essentially all land acquired, gained or within states borders inherently offers economic benefits. This is a generic quality to all land. Gaining such attributes can certainly be an aspect to increase desire for acquiring territory, but at what cost ? Guatemala greatly dwarfs the size of Belize D ue to its proximity, it already controls and has within its borders resources, logging, etcsimilar to what is offered on Belizean lands Accordingly, does this small country represent sizable econo mic incentives? It appears not. Another economic factor in this dispute that was highlighted in the research was increased access to the Atlantic. Acquiring Belizean lands would certainly increase access to the Atlantic but this ocean was already accessible Do these nominal economic incentives for Guatemala amount to the primary reason for the dispute or are they add ons to the real reasons for Guatemalas quest for Belize? In the case of the

PAGE 89

82 Mekong River, Laos already has vast access to this riv er and all of its tributaries. In this conflict, the three villages were a primary source for conflict at issue. These villages were small and poor. Did these three villages represent such economic gains that Thailand sought their control? In relat ion to the rest of Thailands resources, these three villages pale in comparison and are unlikely to represent a compelling economic argument for action. A similar argument can be made for Indonesia on Borneo. The Malaysian section of this island is very small. In fact, Indonesia controlled nearly 75% of this island. The Malaysian territory represented about 23 percent. With such a vast stake Indonesia already had on Borneo, did the 23% represent such significant economic incentive that it warranted this dispute and a military conflict? At this point, Indonesia hadnt even adequately been able to take advantage of the lands already under its control Th e country did not have the capacity to manage, oversee, and profit from these additional lands. With such vast resources at its disposal, it is highly unlikely that economic reasons were the catalyst for this dispute. Finally, in regard to Ecuador and Peru, it is clear that access to the Amazon River provides economic benefits. This river not only provides access to the rest of South America, but also to the Atlantic Ocean. Does this economic incentive, however, explain how territory in a post Spanish South America was divided up? Such economic incentive certainly is not included in Ecuadors his torical claims on these lands. I t certainly doesnt explain national sentiments that this land was stolen. Such sentiments evoked and stoked emotions for over 160 years until this dispute was settled. Was accessing a primary reason for the dispute when it was initiated in 1821? At this point, the economic advantages of the Amazon were not as realistic as in modern times. Was the national support indicative of this land solely vested in economic benefits? It is doubtful that such emotions, sentiments, and support could have been sustained

PAGE 90

83 over such a long period of time. While economic incentives are woven into the fabric of disputes, it does not appear they are the fundamental reason for these issues. Another focus for the liberal perspective is a reliance on institutions. It relies heavily on the use of institutions between states to foster a cooperative environment. Liberal s utilize varying types of institutions that contain formal agreements and structures to less formal arrangements. This cha racteristic of liberalism makes it a transformative theory. It seeks to change world views by the using regional and international intuitions to address and bridge issues inherent with what they believe to be an anarchic international society. While admi rable indeed, the deployment and use of institutions between states does little to help us understand the case studies utilized in this paper. One could argue the lack of institutions after the Spanish pulled out of South America was a contributor to the many territorial disputes that arose during this period of flux, Ecuador and Peru included. Furthermore, had the Spanish and the colonized regions set up territorial institutions to determine borders and to provide a resource and forum for resolving disputes, this dispute may not have occurred. It is possible that institutions could have aided this transition, but it is also true that this concept was not prevalent in this time period. The concept of the state was new to Western powers. As they colonized lands throughout the world, they were more interested in added to their wealth than exporting the concept of statehood to conquered lands. Furthermore, when colonist left countries, these countries had not developed civil societies that are part of the d evelopment of any state. Additionally, are we to assume that the best way to understand these case studies is through a lack of institutions? Does a lack of institutions properly explain why the dispute between Ecuador and Peru existed at all or why it lasted 168 years? This is also the case for our other case studies. Ra ther, the use of institutions appears to be more of conflict management tool than an avenue of explanation and

PAGE 91

84 understanding. Liberalisms reliance on institutions are better served to other specific topics within the field of conflict management, but their use in developing a keen and true understanding is certainly not one. Since realism and liberalism contain such significant gaps is constructivism a better theory ? The most impor tan t theoretical characteristic of constructivism is its emphasis on norms and beliefs. This approach seeks to understand norms in beliefs and how they have been shaped over time. Inherent within norms and beliefs are all of the life experiences, history and events that have shaped these views. While certain events can radically change existing perspectives, they are generally shaped over a long period. This allows researchers to include history, wars, political events, relationships and all other infl uences that have shaped the norms and beliefs. This approach is certainly helpful when reviewing the various these case studies Th e approach is able to explore how experiences and events shaped the disputes between these states. In the dispute between Ecuador and Peru, constructivisms theoretical foundation is able to incorporate all of the historical events that molded this conflict. The manner in which this area was managed by Spanish colonists led to differing views in regard to who should hold these lands. Such beliefs were codified throughout this 168 year conflict. Often, these strong beliefs were used as rallying cries and mobilized citizenry in each country, often being exploited for the benefit of presidential campaigns. Such was also the case in the dispute between Belize and Guatemala. Norms and beliefs were not only demonstrated in elections of elected officials, but also in public outcries that led to policy changes and the reversal of agreements to resolve the dispute. Furthermore, t he cultural difference between these two countries, Guatemala identified with Latin America and Belize aligned with the Caribbean, further demonstrated how immersed norms and beliefs were in this dispute. In both of the Latin American case studies, norms and

PAGE 92

85 beliefs shaped over time and through a variety of events, shaped strong views that surpassed any importance of military might and economic advantages offered by the disputed lands. Constructivism was equally important in understanding the case studie s in Southeast Asia. As is the case with the Latin American case studies, constructivism is the only theoretical approach that incorporates the totality of events and history that shaped these disputes. Sukarnos hatred towards colonialism and his quest for Indonesian independence did not allow him to accept what he viewed as colonial overtures in the creation of Malaysia. Furthermore, he had built strong nationalist tendencies based on past Indonesia empires. These traits of his rule led him down a pat h of resistance to Malaysia. While outmatched militarily, his refusal to retreat characterizes his perspective and beliefs towards this conflict. The only reason this conflict ended was because a new leader, Suharto, did not share the same norms and beli efs as Sukarno. Constructivism continues its strong explanatory ability in the Laos and Thailand conflict. Thailands historical views towards Laos and historical regional dominance committed this country to a path of confrontation with Laos. Thailand believed strongly that the disputed lands rightly belonged to this country and not to Laos. Furthermore, ideological differences between Thailand and communist Laos led to a distancing of perspectives and strengthened the desire for acquiring these dispute d lands, so much so that this dispute is not yet resolved. It is undeniably true that the perspectives defined by these theories offer different explanations of these cases studies. Realisms use of power is certainly present when these disputes result in armed conflicts. However, having a bigger, faster, and stronger military does not necessarily lead to an adequate understanding of the events It is also true that liberalist perspectives can be explained in all of these case studies Economic forces do play a role in all of the disputes highlighted these case studies. Additionally, institutions are also present and have

PAGE 93

86 aided in effectuating change. The United Nations was pivotal in recognizing and legitimizing Belize, and guarantor state of the U.S., Argentina, Chile, and Brazil played a vital role in the Rio Protocol and eventually ending the Ecuador/Peru conflict. The presence of realist and liberal assumptions in these case studies should not come as a surprise. The theoretical underpinnings of these theories are both relevant and important. These theories, however, contain more substantive gaps than their counterpart of constructivism Constructivism is the broad est approach and appears to be best able to incorporate more events and experiences that have shaped these disputes. Through the study of norms and beliefs, thi s approach allows researchers more of a blan k canvas that allows them to incorporate history, any world event, or any part of a countries experience that has shaped its world view As such, one can denote that in regards to explaining these four case studies, constructivism is able to include a wider variety of events than are realism and liberalism Constructivism can utilize power structures to determine how such influences have shaped public opinion. In regards to economic resources, it is able to demonstrate how important economic resources may heighten a dispute Is constructivism a perfect theory? Although not perfect, constructivisms primary flaw of not being able to proactively change norms and beliefs is more of a liability wh en seeking to resolve disputes than when explaining or increasing our understanding of them. After applying these three theories to the case studies, it is clear that significant gaps exist in all of them. No one theory is able to perfectly explain any of these case studies. All theories have valid viewpoints and significant weaknesses. It is extremely difficult for any theory to be able to address the complexities that exist in these case s tudies. At first glance, these territorial disputes appear to be between two countries, those who share the border. Upon closer inspection, there are tremendous external influences that complicate this field of study. In

PAGE 94

87 the dispute between Belize and G uatemala, the role of the British government complicates this dispute greatly. Similarly, the role of China, the United States, the Dutch, and Great Britain had significant impacts on the dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia. The vast number of actors involved in these disputes, their varying levels of interest, and the importance of these territories to them provided for complex disputes that are difficult for any one theory to be able to incorporate all events and circumstances into its general assump tions and theoretical foundation. The vast nature of territorial disputes makes if difficult at best for any o ne theory to explain all of these events from its perspective. Ultimately, do we live in a world where one theory has to prevail? While many political scientists and policy makers would like us to believe so, this is certainly not the case. In fact the consequences of war trump academic pursuits of establishing a theoretical winner Theoretical warfare is irresponsible when stakes are so high. P olitical science has failed to create a flawless theory that explains all aspects of territorial disputes This discipline, however, has established a wide array of differing points of view. We have the moral responsibility and luxury to incorporate all of these perspectives to increase our understanding When human life, ecological destruction, and catastrophes are at play all valid viewpoints at our disposal must be utilized. The stakes are simply too great to do otherwise

PAGE 95

88 REFERENCES Amer, Ramses and Thao, Nguyen Hon g. Regional Conflict Management : Challenges of the Border Disputes of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Current Research on SouthEast Asia. 1992: 5379. Amery, Hussein A. "Water Wars in the Middle East: A Looming Thre at." The Geographical Journal, Vol. 168, No. 4, December 2002: 313323. Battersby, Paul. "Border Politics and the Broader Politics of Thailand's International Relations in the 1990s: From Communism to Capitalism." Pacific Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 4, Winter 19981999: 473488. Bell, Judith, et al. Border Disputes and Territorial Disputes. Essex: Longman Group UK Limited, 1987. Bercovitch, Jacob, and Judith Fretter. Regional Guide to International Conflict and Management from 19452003. Washington, D.C.: CQ Pres s, 2004. Bowman, Issaiah. "The Ecuador Peru Boundary Dispute." Foreign Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1942: 757761. Burchill, Scott, et al. Theories of International Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Butler, Michael J. International Conflict Manage ment. New York: Routledge, 2009. Checkel, Jeffrey T. "Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change." International Organization, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2001: 553588. Checkel, Jeffrey T. "Why Comply? Social Learning and European Identity Change." Inte rnational Organization, Vol. 55, No.3, 2001: 553588. Chiozza, Giacomo, and Ajin Choi. "Guess Who Did What: Political Leaders and Management of Territorial Disputes, 19501990." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 47, No. 3, June, 2003: 251278. Clege rn, Wayne M. "New Light on the Belize Dispute." The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 52, No. 2, 1958: 280297. Conboy, Kenneth J. "Conflict Potential in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea." The Heritage Lectures, the Heritage Foundation: 19. Dominguez, Jorge I. Boundary Disputes in Latin America." Peaceworks, No. 50, August, 2003: 545.

PAGE 96

89 Elbow, Gary S. "Territorial Loss and National Image: The Case of Ecuador." Conference of Latin American Geographers, Vol. 22, 1996: 93105. Forsberg, Tuoma s. "Explaining Territorial Disputes: From Power Politics to Normative Reasons." Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 33, No. 4, November, 1996: 433 449. Fravel, M. Taylor. "Regime Insecurity and International Cooperation: Explaining China's Compromises in Terri torial Disputes." International Security, Vol. 30, No. 2, Autumn, 2005: 4683. Giacomo, Chiozza, and Ajin Choi. "Guess Who Did What: Political Leaders and Management of Territorial Disputes." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vo. 47, No. 3, June 2003: 251278. Gorina Ysern, Montserrat. ASIL Insights OAS Mediates in Belize Guatemala Border Dispute. December 2000. http://www.asil.org/insigh59.cfm (accessed December 4, 2011). Hensel, Paul R. "Contentious Issues and World Politics: The Management of Territ orial Claims in the Americas, 18161992." International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 1, March, 2001: 81109. Hewitt, J. Joseph. "Dyadic Processes and International Crisis." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 47, No. 5, October, 2003: 669692. Hey, Jeanne A. K. "Ecuador and Peru: Peacemaking Amid Rivalry." Latin American Politics and Society, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2003: 166170. Jones, Howard Palfrey. Indonesia: The Possible Dream. Jakarta: Gunung Agung Ltd., 1980. Keohane, Robert O. "International Instit utions: Two Approaches." International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4, 1988: 379396. Keohane, Robert O., and Joseph S Nye. "Power and Interdependence Revisited." International Organization, Vol. 41, No. 4, 1987: 725753. Kocs, Stephen A. "Territorial D isputes and Interstate War, 19451987." The Journal of Politics, Vol. 57, No. 1, February 1995: 159175. Kunz, Josef L. "Guatemala vs. Great Britain: In RE Belice." The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 40, No. 2, 1946: 383390. Lagerberg, Kees. West Irian and Jakarta Imperialism. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 1979. Leifer, Michael. "Anglo American Differences over Malaysia". The World Today, Vol. 20, No.4, April 1964: 156167

PAGE 97

90 Liefer, Michael. "Indonesia and Malaysia, the Changing Face of C onfrontation." The World Today, Vol. 22, No. 9, Sept. 1966: 395405. Maier, Georg. "The Boundary Dispute Between Ecuador and Peru." The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 63, No. 1 (American Society of International Law) 63, no. 1 (January 1969): 2846. Ngaosyvathn, Pheuiphanh. "Thai Lao Relations: A Law View." Asian Survey, Vol. 25, No. 12, December 1985: 12421259. Palmer, David Scott. "PeruEcuador Border Conflict: Missed Opportunities, Misplaced Nationalism, and Multilateral Peacekeeping." Jou rnal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 39, No. 3, 1994: 109148. Payne, Anthony J. "The Belize Triangle: Relations with Britain, Guatemala, and the United States." Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 32, No. 1, 1990: 119135. Reynolds, Louisa. Notien Belize's Oil Boom Threatens to Escalate Border Dispute. June 17, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12222 (accessed December 4, 2011). Ruggie, John Gerarg. "What Makes the World Hang Together? NeoUtilitarianism and the Social Constructivist Challenge." International Organization, Vol. 52, No. 4, 1998: 855885. Salleh, Asri; Hamdan, Che; Razali, Che Modd; and Jusoff, Kamaruzaman. "Malaysia's Policy Towards its 19632008 Territorial Disputes. Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution, Vol. 1, October 2009: 107116. Simmons, Beth A. "Territorial Disputes and Their Resolution: The Case of Ecuador and Peru." Peaceworks, The United States Institute of Peace, 1999: 127. Simmons, Beth A. "Capacity, Commitment, and Compliance: International Institutions and Territorial Disputes." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 46, No. 6, December, 2002: 829856. Simmons, Beth A. "Rules Over Real Estate: Trade, Territorial Conflict, and International Borders as Institution." The Journal of Confl ict Resolution, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2005: 823848. . Territorial Disputes and Their Resolution: The case of Ecuador and Peru. Lexington: Reprints from the collection fo the University of Michigan Library, 2011. Thorndike, Tony. "The Conundrum of Belize: An Anatomy of a Dispute." Social and Economic Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1983: 65102. Tillema, Herbert K. International Armed Conflict Since 1945. Boulder: Westview Press, 1991.

PAGE 98

91 Tir, Jaroslav. "Keeping the Peace after Secession: Territorial Conflicts between Rum p and Secessionist States." The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 49, No. 5, October, 2005: 713741. Ulbico, Jorge and the Belice Boundary Dispute. "Kenneth J. Grieb." The Americas, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1974: 448474. van der Kroef, Justus M. "Indonesia, Mal aya, and the North Borneo Crisis". Asian Survey, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 1963: 173181. Vasquez, John, and Marie T. Henehan. "Territorial Disputes and the Probability of War, 18161992." Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, No. 2, March, 2001: 123138. Waddell D.A.G. "Developments in the Belize Question: 19461960." The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 55, No. 2, 1961: 459469. Waltz, Kenneth N. Theory of International Politics. New York City: McGrawHill, 1979. Young, Alma H., and Dennis H. Young. "The Impact of the Anglo Guatemalan Dispute on the Internal Politics of Belize." Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1988: 630.