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  • Author: Mark P. Lagon, Ryan Kaminski
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since Samuel Huntington's 1993 article warning of inter-civilizational conflict, pundits and policymakers alike have been quick to forecast a so-called “clash of civilizations.” This has become especially common following 9/11, with warnings of a unitary Islam pitted against a unified West. Yet a clear-eyed assessment reveals that the West includes Muslim-majority regions and the often fractious United Nations; this divisive vision is as incorrect as it is unhelpful. In his address to the UN General Assembly in September 2012, President Barack Obama argued that freedom of speech and tolerance transcends civilizational, cultural, and religious fault lines. “Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, that's the vision we will support,” declared Obama. In direct opposition to those favoring limitations on the freedom of expression or the imposition of blasphemy charges, the president noted, “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.” Setting the stage for Obama's remarks was what can roughly be termed as a global panic attack with peaceful, semi-violent, and violent protests about a video spreading from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. In the face of the unmistakable energy and vigor associated with protests, however, many were left confused how a shabbily crafted video, Innocence of Muslims, with a skeletal budget, and miniscule opening audience to match, could instigate such a worldwide conflagration.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Max du Plessis
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The ICC has a blind spot which is crippling its credibility
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Palestine, Syria
  • Author: Jeffrey Herbst, Alan Doss, Greg Mills
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The African development and governance picture is today highly differentiated with some countries developing successful democracies while riding a wave of growth, others facing outright institutional failure, and a great number in-between. Critical to understanding the different paths that countries have taken, and the likely even greater divergences in the future, is the relationship between civilians and soldiers. Starting soon after independence in the early 1960s, the seizure of power by soldiers was emblematic of the problems African states faced in promoting good governance. Now, at a time when most soldiers are back in their barracks, economic growth has accelerated and democratization has progressed. However, the picture varies greatly from country-to-country. In this paper, we develop a taxonomy of African militaries to understand why some countries have better civil-military relations than others, what is the likely path in the future, and the potential role, if any, for outsiders. African militaries are characterised, just as African states themselves, by different capacities and civil-military records.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Linda Piknerová
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: This text aims to analyze security cooperation in the Southern African Development Community. The article is based on two theoretical approaches, the first one is a concept of security community, the second one is a human security. Both theories have become widely accepted in the early 1990s because of their ability to cover wider international changes. The Southern African Development Community is seen as a regional integration plan which aspires to become a security community in Karl Deutsch's sense. Beside the both mentioned theories, the text deals with the history of security cooperation in the south of Africa and its changes. The main discussed question is wheher the SADC could be understood as a newly emerging security community.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Iran, Middle East, Asia, France, Arabia
  • Author: Gaetano Pentassuglia
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: As expert analysis concentrates on indigenous rights instruments, particularly the long fought for 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a body of jurisprudence over indigenous land and resources parallels specialized standard-setting under general human rights treaties. The aim of the present article is to provide a practical and comparative perspective on indigenous land rights based on the process of jurisprudential articulation under such treaties, principally in the Inter-American and African contexts. While specialized standards inevitably generate a view of such rights (and, indeed, indigenous rights more generally) as a set of entitlements separate from general human rights, judicial and quasi-judicial practice as it exists or is being developed within regional and global human rights systems is effectively shaping up their content and meaning. I argue that indigenous land rights jurisprudence reflects a distinctive type of human rights discourse, which is an indispensable point of reference to vest indigenous land issues with greater legal significance. From a practical standpoint, focussing on human rights judicial and quasi-judicial action to expand existing treaty-based regimes and promote constructive partnerships with national courts, though not a panacea to all the intricacies of indigenous rights, does appear to offer a more realistic alternative to advocacy strategies primarily based on universally binding principles (at least at this stage) or the disengagement of domestic systems from international (human rights) law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, America
  • Author: Anastasia Telesetsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In the last decade of globalization, States in the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, and North America have looked towards Africa and Southeast Asia for opportunities to lease for 30-50 years large tracts of arable land for production of commodity crops and biofuels in order to meet the needs of home markets. Facing their own governance challenges, States in Africa and Southeast Asia have leased land to private foreign investors without requiring any environmental review or mitigation of the proposed land leases. This paper argues that in food insecure states the recent flurry of land leasing activity to foreign agribusiness is likely to lead to unintended long term consequences for the ecology in land-leasing States by depleting the already fragile environment through monocropping, chemical pesticide and fertilizer applications, and large scale irrigation. This paper argues that international investment law may provide foreign investors with legal protection if land leasing States in the future decide to regulate the leases in a manner that discriminates against large agribusiness. The current proposals for self-regulatory voluntary codes of conduct do not provide sufficient oversight over the leasing process to protect the public's interest in a healthy and productive environment against foreign investors who have under the current lease structure no incentive to improve the land that they are leasing. The creation of an United Nations based ombudsman to provide legal and technical oversight and support for States making long-term leases has greater potential than a voluntary code for ensuring a balanced negotiation among the interests of host State governments for investment, investors for arable land, and the public for long-term sustainability.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, East Asia, North America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Stuart S Yeh
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Evidence suggests that a lack of effective checks and balances against corruption undermines the rule of law, the protection of human rights and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. This article suggests the need for an international treaty to establish an African commission against corruption, involving United Nations inspectors to investigate and prosecute corruption. A range of evidence is reviewed suggesting that pressure from constituents as well as international organizations may be effective in compelling African leaders to sign this type of protocol.
  • Topic: Corruption, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Stuart S. Yeh
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: The World Bank and IMF attribute underdevelopment in sub-Saharan Africa to the practice of directing economic activity through centralized planning. They prescribe privatization and economic liberalization to restructure African economies, promote competition, reduce the scope for corruption, and promote good governance. However, inadequate checks on political power permit African elites to subvert these reforms. This article reviews the political economy of sub-Saharan countries as well as a case study of Sierra Leone to illustrate the problem. The analysis suggests the need for an international agency such as the UN to provide the capacity to investigate, expose and check corruption by employing UN inspectors who are immune to pressure from powerful African elites. This type of check on corruption is necessary to promote the rule of law in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dapo Akande, Charles C. Jalloh, Max du Plessis
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: This article assesses the African Union's (AU) concerns about Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It seeks to articulate a clearer picture of the law and politics of deferrals within the context of the AU's repeated calls to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC, or the Council) to invoke Article 16 to suspend the processes initiated by the ICC against President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan. The Council's failure to accede to the AU request led African States to formally withhold cooperation from the ICC in respect to the arrest and surrender of the Sudanese leader. Given the AU's continued concerns, and the current impasse, fundamental questions have arisen about the Council's authority to exercise, or not exercise, its deferral power. This culminated into a November 2009 African proposal for an amendment to the Rome Statute to empower the UN General Assembly to act should the UNSC fail to act on a deferral request after six months. Although ICC States Parties have so far shown limited public support for the AU's proposed amendment to the deferral provision, this article examines its merits because a failure to engage the “Article 16 problem” could impact international accountability efforts in the Sudan, and further damage the ICC's credibility in Africa. This unresolved issue also has wider significance given that the matters underlying the tension ‐ how ICC prosecutions may be reconciled with peacemaking initiatives and the role and power of the Council in ICC business ‐ will likely arise in future situations from around the world.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Rumu Sarkar
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: A new theme among strategists stresses the need for redefining future military missions to include more emphasis on winning the hearts and minds of civilians. If this task is seen as essential for redrafting operational doctrines for Western militaries, planners also should consider some radical practical changes in defining the desirable profile for soldiers and training.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe