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  • Author: Peter Hakim
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US-Brazilian relations sunk to one of their lowest points ever following last year's exposure of the US government's massive surveillance of the South American giant-including the correspondence of President Rousseff and the business operations of Brazil's national oil company, Petrobras. Brazilian authorities responded angrily. The Brazilian president called off a highly valued state visit to Washington, denounced the US for violations of sovereignty and human rights, and proceeded to bypass the US to purchase nearly $5 billion worth of fighter aircraft from Sweden. In fact, US-Brazil ties have not been constructive for more than a generation. Yes, relations are mostly amiable, but with limited cooperation, considerable discord and some open clashes. Washington views Brazil primarily as a regional actor, and wants its cooperation mainly on inter-American issues. For Brazil, regional collaboration means working with other Latin American nations-not the United States. Brazil usually wants the US to keep a distance from the region. The US is no more enthusiastic about Brazil assuming a global role; differences over some of the world's most dangerous political and security challenges have made Washington uneasy about Brazil's engagement in international affairs and critical of its foreign policy judgements. Relations will probably improve, but they could get worse. The two governments need to acknowledge that their relationship is fragile and troubled, and take steps both to rebuild trust and to avert further deterioration and new confrontations. They have to be more careful with each other.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Arts Innovator: Andrea Baranenko, Venezuela Latin America is moving forward, but Venezuela is moving in the opposite direction,” says Andrea Baranenko, a 28-year-old Venezuelan filmmaker whose recent documentary, Yo Indocumentada (I, Undocumented), exposes the struggles of transgender people in her native country. The film, Baranenko's first feature-length production, tells the story of three Venezuelan women fighting for their right to have an identity. Tamara Adrián, 58, is a lawyer; Desirée Pérez, 46, is a hairdresser; and Victoria González, 27, has been a visual arts student since 2009. These women share more than their nationality: they all carry IDs with masculine names that don't correspond to their actual identities. They're transgender women, who long ago assumed their gender and now defend it in a homophobic and transphobic society.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Reform
  • Political Geography: America, Venezuela, Guatemala
  • Author: Santiago A. Canton
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Inter-American System enshrined the right to freedom of thought and expression in Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article IV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. In 1998, to further protect this right, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR or the Commission) established the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. I served as the first head of the office.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jiun Bang, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea-Japan relations have been frozen for some time and despite the summer heat, no thaw appears likely anytime soon. Although economic interactions continue to deepen between the two countries, and although there is a clear desire – and even a need – to coordinate policies toward North Korea and China, the two countries appear more focused on other issues as their main foreign policy priorities in the short-term. The two recently elected leaders have yet to meet for a summit, a sign that even a symbolic attempt to repair relations is proving difficult. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has grown stronger with a rousing Liberal Democratic Party victory in Upper House elections, yet a number of rhetorical controversies kept attention focused on Abe's foreign policy, particularly toward Korea and China. To date not much has changed and there is little evidence that either Seoul or Tokyo desires improved relations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, South Korea
  • Author: Christian Pangilinan
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The streets of Catmaran, a small town in Northern Samar province in the Philippines, seem wide compared to those of the capital, Manila. There is almost no traffic. Instead of dense rows of aluminum-roofed shacks, rough concrete houses, and stalls with plastic signs for soda and cell phone companies, green farms and bahay kubo, traditional thatch houses on stilts, border the roads. At first glance, the beaches look idyllic.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Philippines
  • Author: Walter Lohman
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: In the course of two months in the fall of 2011, the President and his administration—particularly the Secretary of State—conducted a political and diplomatic offensive to prove American staying power in Asia. It marked a 180-degree turn from where the White House had begun three years earlier. The fall offensive began with the long-awaited passage of the Korea-U.S. FTA (KORUS), an agreement of major economic importance. After years of accumulated opportunity costs, in October, the administration finally pushed the agreement forward and arranged for South Korean President Lee Myun-bak to be in Washington for the occasion of its passage. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton framed the new approach in her November “America's Pacific Century” speech, wherein she declared the Administration's “Asia Pivot.”1 President Obama gave the approach authority and economic substance at APEC, where the U.S. secured a game-changing commitment from Japan to join the Transpacific Partnership trade pact (TPP). The President then embarked on his third visit to the Asia Pacific. In Australia, he announced new training rotations of up to 2,500 U.S. Marines through Australia's northern shore, a move with obvious implications for the security of our allies and sea lanes, and in Indonesia, he became the first American president to participate in the East Asian Summit (EAS). At the EAS meeting of 18 regional leaders, President Obama raised the importance of maritime security and freedom of navigation and “expressed strong opposition to the threat or use of force by any party to advance its territorial or maritime claims or interfere in legitimate economic activity”—thereby tying American interests to regional concerns about China. For her part, Secretary Clinton headed to Manila to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)—and then on to America's other treaty ally in Southeast Asia, Thailand. In Manila Bay, she signed a reaffirmation of the U.S.-Philippines MDT on the deck of a U.S. Navy destroyer and essentially declared America ready to “fight” for the Philippines. She also announced the dispatch to Manila of the second (of what will likely be four) refurbished coast guard cutters. En route to Indonesia, President Obama phoned long-suffering Burmese human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi to get her blessing for a Burma visit from Secretary Clinton. Clinton arrived in Burma by the end of November, meeting Suu Kyi and the Burmese president and beginning a careful, “action for action” process of normalization that could have major implications for the U.S. strategic position in the region. The Chinese have long taken advantage of Burma's isolation from the U.S. If Burmese political reform proves to be real, it will offer an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert itself there. It will also remove a roadblock in America's relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with which it has long disagreed on Burma. A democratic Burma would tip the scales in ASEAN—a hodgepodge of governing systems—in favor of democracy, a state of play that improves the sustainability of American engagement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Japan, America, Washington, Asia, Australia, Korea
  • Author: Judith R. Fergin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When I first visited Timor-Leste twenty-two years ago, I witnessed the courage of students demonstrating for independence. Throughout the following years, I joined other Americans in observing with intense interest Timor-Leste's travel along the road to independence, from the exhilarating popular consultation and its tragic aftermath in 1999 to the joyous assumption of sovereignty in 2002. Since then, the government and people of Timor-Leste have met the manifold and complex challenges of establishing an entirely new country from the ground up with courage and dedication. Even as a young nation, Timor-Leste has exhibited a tremendous commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The result is a country that counts, in the Asia-Pacific and around the globe.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Muhammad Azam, Sagheer Ahmad Khan
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: Advanced democracies, including the United States, have been championing democratic promotion around the world. In the past, American policy towards the Arab Middle East, however, had been mainly based on just paying lip-service to democracy sans concrete measures for promoting a democratic culture in the region. The events of 9/11 marked a watershed in the history of US foreign policy towards the region. Facing calls for a democratic Arab World from home and abroad in the wake of 9/11 the US government raised the ante for pushing democracy in the Arab Middle East. The rhetoric and emphasis laid on 'democracy in the Arab World' by the American leadership over the years after 9/11 was unprecedented. This study deals with the visible shift in US foreign policy vis-à-vis democracy in the region, focusing on the six GCC states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to American approach and strategy, practical measures taken in the areas of politics, economy, education, media, civil society, and human rights is also furnished. An effort is made to understand and highlight the methods and tools employed by the foreign democracy promoters, both at the levels of state and society. However, a large part of the study appertains to the activities conducted at the grass-roots level. The study is comparative in its nature, based on empirical analysis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman
  • Author: Pierre Thielbörger
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article uses the case of the Libya intervention to address three general claims about international law. Firstly, it examines whether the reliance of the intervention on the mechanisms of collective security under the UN Charter suggests that international law relating to peace and security has finally overcome its post-9/11 crisis. It concludes that the resolution's vague wording – which makes the distinction between what is “legal” under the resolution, and what is not, hard to draw – undermines such an assumption. Secondly, it explores whether the Libya intervention has put new emphasis on what has been termed the “emerging right of democratic governance”. In spite of the underlying democracy-enhancing spirit of the execution of the intervention, Resolution 1973 was exclusively written in the language of human rights. It did little to indicate a changed attitude of States towards a norm of democratic governance. Finally, the article examines whether the case of Libya shows a renewed international attitude towards States which violate the most fundamental human rights of their citizens. The article concludes by suggesting that, in this third respect, a more muscular liberalism is indeed on the rise again in international law, challenging the formerly almighty concept of State sovereignty. In contributing to this subtle transformation, the Libyan case has made a genuine contribution to the development of the international legal order.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Libya, United Nations
  • Author: Benjamin A. Valentino
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As forces fighting Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi consolidated control of Tripoli in the last days of August 2011, many pundits began speaking of a victory not just for the rebels but also for the idea of humanitarian intervention. In Libya, advocates of intervention argued, U.S. President Barack Obama had found the formula for success: broad regional and international support, genuine burden sharing with allies, and a capable local fighting force to wage the war on the ground. Some even heralded the intervention as a sign of an emerging Obama doctrine. It is clearly too soon for this kind of triumphalism, since the final balance of the Libyan intervention has yet to be tallied. The country could still fall into civil war, and the new Libyan government could turn out to be little better than the last. As of this writing, troubling signs of infighting among the rebel ranks had begun to emerge, along with credible reports of serious human rights abuses by rebel forces. Yet even if the intervention does ultimately give birth to a stable and prosperous democracy, this outcome will not prove that intervention was the right choice in Libya or that similar interventions should be attempted elsewhere. To establish that requires comparing the full costs of intervention with its benefits and asking whether those benefits could be achieved at a lower cost. The evidence from the last two decades is not promising on this score. Although humanitarian intervention has undoubtedly saved lives, Americans have seriously underappreciated the moral, political, and economic price involved. This does not mean that the United States should stop trying to promote its values abroad, even when its national security is not at risk. It just needs a different strategy. Washington should replace its focus on military intervention with a humanitarian foreign policy centered on saving lives by funding public health programs in the developing world, aiding victims of natural disasters, and assisting refugees fleeing violent conflict. Abandoning humanitarian intervention in most cases would not mean leaving victims of genocide and repression to their fate. Indeed, such a strategy could actually save far more people, at a far lower price.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Libya
  • Author: Jacob Heilbrunn
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: The prophet armed, Samantha Power, has now drafted Obama into her crusade against mass slaughter. Liberal hawks and neocons, reunited. Make way for a profound foreign-policy transformation.
  • Topic: NATO, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Federico Daniel Burlon
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: Sixty-five percent of the Netherlands is below sea level: ten thousand miles of dykes, gates, and dams hold back the sea. As the water besieges the land, some politicians and scholars claim that immigrants are doing the same to the country. On the other side of the Atlantic, immigration to the United States also has been compared to a tide that must be contained. The fears surrounding immigration have been one of the focal points raised by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and by his successor, Ban Ki-moon. As a result of the dramatic increase of migration flows and the large number of irregular migrants worldwide, immigration has moved from low to high politics. Fuelled by a mentality that sees domestic security as threatened, the salience of irregular immigration is grounded in parallels drawn between the control of illegal immigration and the control of crime. According to Adam Crawford, the conflation of illegal immigration with crime has led Western governments to rule through the politics of fear of crime and insecurity. The impact of these policies on irregular immigrants illustrates what John Tomlinson calls the reflexive nature of globalization. An insightful avenue to take in order to explore globalization is the study of human mobility. Globalization has placed immigrants at the nexus of the increase in migration due to lower transportation costs, the development of the international human rights regime, and the enactment of increasingly restrictive immigration policies by developed countries. The interplay between these processes crystallizes in detention centers, and renders immigrants vulnerable to human rights violations. Studying globalization from a comparative perspective, this essay analyzes the impact of the International Human Rights Regime (IHRR) on American and Dutch immigration detention policies. In the last decades, detention has become the established way of dealing with irregular migrants. It lamentably obscures various essential examples of alternative legislation.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Netherlands
  • Author: Gaston Chillier, Ernesto Seman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Most Latin American countries have regarded immigration policy as a function of border protection, using approaches that emphasize security and law enforcement, including strict regulation of work and residency permits. Nevertheless, such policies have not only failed in recent years to curb the growth of undocumented migrants; they have also clashed with resolutions adopted in 2003 and 2008 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that guarantee migrant rights. Argentina is a notable exception. Thanks to a law passed in 2004, it has emerged as a model for innovative immigration policymaking. The law incorporated the recognition of migration as a human right. But what really made it historic was the open, consultative process used to conceive, develop and pass the legislation. How Argentina got there is an instructive story—and it may hold lessons for its neighbors and for other areas of the world. A Country of Immigrants Struggles with Its Limits As a country known both as a source and a destination for immigrants, Argentina has always carved out a special place for itself in Latin America. In the nineteenth century, it forged a national identity through an open-door immigration policy that was geared selectively toward European immigrants. But migration from neighboring countries such as Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay increased steadily to the point that—by the 1960s—the number of immigrants from its neighbors outpaced arrivals from Europe. In response, Argentina imposed stricter controls on the entry and exit of foreigners, beginning with legislation introduced in 1966. The legislation established new measures for deporting undocumented immigrants. In 1981, under the military dictatorship, legislative decrees that allowed the state to expel migrants were codified into law for the first time as Law 22.439, also known as La Ley Videla (named after the military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, who was later convicted of human rights violations). The law contained several provisions that affected constitutional guarantees, including the right of authorities to detain and expel foreigners without judicial redress; the obligation of public officials to report the presence of unauthorized immigrants; and restrictions on their health care and education. For example, undocumented immigrants could receive emergency health care, but hospitals were then obligated to report them. The resolutions and decrees of the National Migration Office—first established in 1949—turned the office into a vehicle for the violation of migrant rights and precluded it from regulating immigration and addressing immigrants' status. From the downfall of the military dictatorship in 1983 until 2003, congress failed to repeal La Ley Videla or enact an immigration law in accordance with the constitution and international human rights treaties recognizing migrant rights. In fact, the executive branch expanded the law's discriminatory features and promoted the autonomy of the National Migration Office to establish criteria for admission and expulsion from the country without any legal oversight. The continuation of La Ley Videla relegated close to 800,000 immigrants—most of whom came from neighboring countries—to “irregular” status, with serious sociopolitical consequences. Efforts to rectify the situation at first met little success. In the absence of reform, Argentine immigration policy was based on individual agreements with countries like Bolivia and Peru to regulate immigrant flows. These agreements failed to address the larger realities of immigrant flows and Argentine authorities often expelled immigrants despite the treaties. As a result, courts repeatedly upheld detentions and expulsions sanctioned by the immigration authorities, with no formal mechanisms to ensure justice for immigrants. In turn, the high cost of filing or pursuing an appeal generally made this an unlikely option. In 1996, this unjust and unsustainable situation led to the creation of the Roundtable of Civil Society Organizations for the Defense of Migrant Rights, a diverse coalition of human rights groups. The roundtable sought to counter xenophobic rhetoric from state ministries and from the president. It worked for migrant rights and included a diverse coalition of immigrant associations, religious groups, unions, and academic institutions. A key goal was to expose the contradictions and inconsistencies of La Ley Videla by sponsoring reports on human rights abuses of migrants, bringing cases to court and submitting complaints to the Inter-American Human Rights System. In 2000, the organization outlined a specific agenda to repeal La Ley Videla and to pass a new immigration law that respected the rights of foreigners. Criteria for the new legislation included: administrative and judicial control over the National Migration Office; reform of deportation and detention procedures to guarantee due process; recognition of the rights of migrants and their families to normalize their immigration status; and elimination of discrimination and other forms of restrictive control in order to ensure access to constitutionally guaranteed social rights and services…
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America, Argentina, Latin America, Chile, Bolivia
  • Author: Anthony DePalma
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Brazil
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: Josef Korbel Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver
  • Abstract: Where many see trade policies and agreements as undermining human rights, Emilie Hafner- Burton takes a contrarian and more optimistic view. Her provocative and well-written book, Forced to Be Good: Why Trade Agreements Boost Human Rights, is based on years of qualitative and empirical analysis of the marriage of trade agreements and human rights. She shows that, rather than undermining human rights, Americans and Europeans have developed “mutually binding trade agreements that safeguard people's rights and even impose penalties for violations” (2). Moreover, Hafner-Burton provides an illuminating analysis as to why developing countries might accept increased human rights conditionality. She concludes that acceptance of human rights conditionality illustrates an “extraordinary political conversion in the way governments manage trade”.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: M. Nazrul Islam, Muhammad Azam
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
  • Abstract: The paper deals with the efforts made by American private sector and civil society actors after 2000 to popularize democratic values and norms in the six Gulf states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The study is focused on areas including politics, education, culture, media, human rights, and women empowerment. The paper also deals with approaches adopted, goals and objectives set and strategies devised and employed by the American NGOs regarding democracy promotion in the Gulf region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Education, Human Rights, Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: About a month before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United States elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama. This historic event, a fitting milestone, brings to life that declaration, which human rights activists and legal scholars regard as the sacred text. Obama's election fulfills a dream of the U.S. civil rights movement, a struggle that relied as much on the UDHR as on the courage of the men and women who for decades fought to make the United States a ''more perfect union.'' For human rights defenders around the world, its significance cannot be overstated.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America