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  • Author: Daniel Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Attention to the growing number of people caught in crises characterized by extreme and often protracted levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and mortality is increasing. The information systems that track these conditions and inform humanitarian decision-making have expanded substantially in the past two decades and in many cases have reached a degree of unprecedented sophistication. These famine early warning systems have become increasingly sophisticated in the past decade, but they still tend to be based on several assumptions that are important to understand. This paper briefly describes existing famine early warning systems and outlines some of the assumptions on which they are based— both in theory and in practice. Then it gives four brief case studies of recent famine or “famine-like” events and pieces together the formal analysis process with an attempt to reconstruct events on the ground from a conflict analysis perspective—highlighting the extent to which the formal famine analysis did or did not deal with conflict analyses and the political kryptonite around the discussion of “intent.” It closes with a summary of gaps in the current system and an assessment of the risks of trying to address those gaps through famine EWS or alternative means.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: What does victory on President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal terms look like? How has the rise and fall of the Islamic State changed Syria’s political map? How will U.S. President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and the subsequent Turkish invasion of the area change the situation?And what about reconstruction, let alone reconciliation? This WPR report provides a comprehensive look at those questions and several others that will determine what’s to come in Syria, with impacts far beyond the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Proxy War, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Since its inception, Daesh has been successfully recruiting women across national and ideological lines to assume key positions in advancing the organization’s objectives. According to recent estimates, out of 31,000 fighters within Daesh territories, almost one-fifth, roughly 6,200, are women. Yet, to date, research and policy focus on women’s involvement in Daesh has been scant. Several media accounts that have covered female participation tend to be alarmingly reductionist in their description of the roles women play in Daesh. These reports primarily categorize women as either passive victims, “Jihadi brides,” or subsidiary supporters of male guardians with negligible influence. This approach not only ignores the multiplicity of roles played by women to expand Daesh’s ideological and operational agenda, but also oversimplifies the motivations behind their decisions to join Daesh. Just like their male counterparts, women are complex human beings with conflicting aspirations, ideological leanings, and life struggles that inform the choices they make.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Gender Issues, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: During the reporting period, elements of an Astana de-escalation plan were enacted while pro-government forces advanced in Hama and the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus. Opposition infighting in Eastern Ghouta and Idleb appears to have stopped for the time being. Fighting in and around Daraa city remained high this week, and both opposition and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued to take territory from ISIS.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: During the reporting period, opposition forces advanced once more against ISIS fighters in the southeastern desert of Syria, opposition forces fought with one another once again in the Eastern Ghouta area of rural Damascus, and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued to advance against ISIS in Tabqa city west of Raqqa. Additionally, pro-government forces advanced against feuding opposition forces in Eastern Damascus, and international and pro-government forces were deployed within YPG-held territory following recent exchanges of fire between Turkey and Kurdish forces.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ahmad Samih Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: ONE OF THE MANY REASONS for the humbling of the mighty Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the 2006 Lebanon War was an Israeli combat doctrine named Systemic Operational Design, better known by its perhaps aptly abbreviated acronym SOD.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The December 2015 Libyan Political Agreement, signed in Skhirat, Morocco, has re- configured more than contributed to resolving internal strife. A year ago, the conflict was between rival parliaments and their associated governments; today it is mainly between accord supporters and opponents, each with defectors from the original camps and heavily armed. The accord’s roadmap, the idea that a caretaker government accommodating the two parliaments and their allies could establish a new political order and reintegrate militias, can no longer be implemented without change. New negotiations involving especially key security actors not at Skhirat are needed to give a unity government more balanced underpinning.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Peacekeeping, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Laetitia Bucaille
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Today, the creation of a Palestinian state appears to be a distant possibility: the international community rejected to manage the issue, and the leadership in these territories weakened because of its divisions, revealing their inability to advance. Both the political and the territorial partition between the Gaza strip, governed by the Hamas and the West Bank, under Palestinian authority in line with Fatah, reveal a profound crisis that questions the very contours of Palestinian politics. It also shows that Hamas’ integration in the political game made it impossible to pursue the security subcontacting system. Maintaining the system avoids reconstructing the Palestinian political community, and makes it difficult to develop a strategy that moves towards sovereignty. Since October 2015, the popular and pacific resistance project has been shelved by the return of the violence against Israeli civilians. The Palestinian leadership counts on internationalization of the cause, which has shown mediocre results. Will the replacement of Mahmoud Abbas by his competitors permit to leave the rut?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Politics, Sovereignty, War, Territorial Disputes, Governance, Peacekeeping, Conflict, State
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, West Bank
  • Author: Dylan O'Driscoll
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: The post-conflict planning following the 2003 invasion of Iraq was weak at best and as a result many elements were at play that led to the marginalisation and political disenfranchisement of the Sunni community. Consequently, radical entities, such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), exploited local dynamics to take up a position within society in the Sunni areas of Iraq. It is important that the current fight against IS in Iraq avoids this pattern at all costs; if the liberation is devoid of long-term planning it will likely result in the resurfacing of a number of issues responsible for the rise of IS in Iraq in the first place. Lessons must be learnt from the mistakes of post-Saddam planning and these must not be repeated post-IS. There needs to be a multifaceted approach to the preparation for the liberation of Mosul that goes well beyond the military dimension.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Christalla Yakinthou, Rebecca Bryant
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report contains the findings of TESEV Foreign Policy Program’s survey of the perception of Turkey in Cyprus. Conducted by Rebecca Bryant and Christalla Yakinthou, the survey aims to understand and represent Turkish and Greek Cypriot assessments of their respective relationships with Turkey today. The report uses a set of fifty extended interviews to present Cypriots’ anxieties, hopes, and fears regarding their relationships with Turkey and possibilities for the future. The report reveals some striking findings. While Turkish Cypriots demand sovereign equality from Turkey; Greek Cypriots are more concerned with the economic performance of Turkey and Greece, rather than the role of Turkey on the future of the island. Both sides think of Turkey’s military presence on the island as an issue and it is also widely believed that Turkey should adopt a more constructive attitude and take concrete steps towards a long-term solution. u rapor TESEV Dış Politika Programı’nın Kıbrıs’ta Türkiye algısını anlamaya yönelik çalışmasının detaylı sonuçlarını içermektedir. Rebecca Bryant ve Christalla Yakinthou tarafından yürütülen bu çalışma, Kıbrıslı Türk ve Rumların Türkiye ile olan ilişkilerini nasıl değerlendirdikleri üzerinde durmaktadır. Araştırma ada genelinde çeşitli kanaat önderleriyle yapılan elli derinlemesine mülakat aracılığıyla Kıbrıslıların Türkiye ile ilgili görüş ve beklentilerini ortaya koymaktadır.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes, Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Greece, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Cengiz Çandar
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The democratic norms, introduced with globalization and embodied in the EU membership criteria, served as a leverage for Turkey like in many other countries. They enabled the society to gain a new insight in its own history and state and as a result the problems that had often been overlooked and swept under the carpet were inevitably included in the domain of politics. The issue, which is often referred to as the ‘Kurdish Question’ yet essentially expresses the refusal by the state to meet the existential and cultural demands of Turkish citizens with Kurdish identity, constitutes the biggest obstacle to democratization in terms of its scope and historical background. Accordingly, today, there is a widespread belief that democracy cannot become entrenched in society unless the ‘Kurdish Question’ is resolved. The TESEV Democratization Program has systematically addressed the ‘Kurdish Question’ in the recent years and brought it to the public attention. Three reports were prepared as a result of an extensive field work, where we attempted to clarify the demands of the politically diverse Kurdish people, the possible constitutional and legal responses to these demands and how these demands are perceived by other segments of the society. The collision of this process with the widening of the domain of politics in Turkey has led to the idea of seeking for ‘the resolution’ within the framework of a new constitution. On the other hand, there is a growing understanding that ‘the resolution’ has some aspects that go beyond the legal context. For establishing a future based on trust requires conclusively burying the past in the pages of history while also ensuring its visibility, which in turn implies a confrontation among different identities. Therefore, the resolution of the ‘Kurdish Question’ needs a democratic method and approach, whereby parties are able to develop an attitude that addresses the whole society and show consent to a policy that does not encumber the future. Yet, the reciprocal past and present violence between the state and the PKK makes it necessary to create a transparent medium for dialogue to realize potential solutions, and therefore to embark upon a journey towards a solution with no way back. This means ensuring that all members of the PKK, including Öcalan, gradually perceive themselves as a part of the political process. This period, in which we are on the verge of creating the new constitution and concurrently solving the ‘Kurdish Question’, is a vital one. This TESEV report analyses what type of a political infrastructure is needed to build a favorable environment for such a dialogue. The study conducted by Cengiz Çandar, one of the most competent observers of the issue, reveals how the building blocks for resolution can be placed in a realistic way and in consideration of the plurality within both sides. Our expectation is that this groundwork presented here will offer a meaningful contribution and roadmap both for the settlement of the ‘Kurdish Question’ and for the democratization process of Turkey …
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Non State Actors, Negotiation, Violence, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Kurdistan