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  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The North Caucasus (Russian) Republic of Dagestan has avoided large-scale violence despite its proximity to Chechnya but is now suffering from escalating street warfare. Several hundred local and federal security forces, administrators, politicians, ministers and journalists have been killed since 2003. The militant Islamist organisation Shariat Jamaat is responsible for much of the violence. Some of its leaders fought in Chechnya, but its extremist propaganda is also attracting unemployed Dagestani youth. This home-grown extremism, espousing jihadi theology and employing terrorist methods, is a new phenomenon. Police efforts to end the street war have been ineffective and in some instances counter-productive. While supporting loyal local elites, Moscow can help halt the increase in violence if it implements an efficient anti-corruption policy and reintegrates youth into the economic and political system.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Corruption, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The African Union's (AU) intervention in Sudan's Darfur region tests the effectiveness of its own peace and security structures and those of the European Union (EU). The AU has taken the lead both in the political negotiations between the government and the rebels and in deploying a peace-monitoring mission, the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS). It has had to rely on outside support for AMIS, with nearly two thirds of its funding coming from the EU's African Peace Facility. The results are mixed. If Darfur is to have stability anytime soon, and the two organisations are to fulfil their ambitions to be major players in crisis prevention and crisis resolution, AMIS must get more troops and a more proactive, civilian-protection mandate, and the EU needs to find ways to go beyond the present limitations of the African Peace Facility in providing assistance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Islamism, terrorism, reform: the triangle formed by these three concepts and the complex and changeable realities to which they refer is at the centre of political debate in and about North Africa today. The role of Egyptian elements in the leadership of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation is well-known, if not necessarily well understood. The involvement of Maghrebis in terrorist networks in Europe -- whether linked to al-Qaeda or not -- has recently been underlined by the suspected involvement of Moroccans in the 11 March 2004 attack in Madrid. Egypt itself has endured years of terrorist violence; few if any countries have suffered as much from terrorism as Algeria has over the last twelve years; and the bombings in Casablanca on 16 May 2003 suggest that Morocco is not immune.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Algeria, North Africa, Egypt, Morocco
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: This briefing compares the mandate of the Independent Monitoring Commission for Northern Ireland (IMC) with those of two recent European examples of the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with peace agreements: the unsuccessful Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) of 1998-1999, and the much more fruitful mission of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1995. It attempts to identify lessons from those earlier experiences that may help the IMC carry out its mission in the context of carrying forward the Good Friday peace process.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Ireland
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The impassioned controversy that surrounded the decision to invade Iraq had the unfortunate consequence of impeding coordination of humanitarian relief operations. Now that the war has begun, it is important to deal with the urgent task of meeting the needs of the Iraqi people. That will require steps by those who were opposed to the war, in particular European governments and NGOs, to agree to work in close coordination with the United States and put their plans and their funding on the table. And it will require steps by the United States to eschew a dominant role in the post-conflict humanitarian effort and hand coordination over to the United Nations.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Georgia's political crisis, which climaxed in the forced resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze on 23 November 2003, is not over yet and could still lead to violence and the country's disintegration. Georgia, in other words, is still pre-conflict, not post- conflict, and exceptional international action is required to contain the potential for chaos. Washington, which quietly supported what U.S. media called the “Rose Revolution”, has promised aid for organisation of the presidential election on 4 January 2004, as has the European Union; other donors should follow suit, and the international community should maintain this support through the equally important and potentially more contentious legislative elections in the spring.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington, Georgia
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The conflict in the Transdniestrian region of the Republic of Moldova is not as charged with ethnic hatred and ancient grievances as others in the area of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and it is more conducive to a sustainable settlement. However, a "quick fix" in 2003, as envisaged by the Dutch Chairmanship of the OSCE, is also unlikely. To reach the sustainable agreement that is required if the forthcoming European Union (EU) enlargement is not to be compromised by a nearly open border with international crime and serious poverty, a comprehensive approach is needed that takes into account the root causes of the original conflict and the factors that have blocked the settlement process since 1992.
  • Topic: Politics, Regional Cooperation, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The return of the nationalist parties to power after the October 2002 general elections in Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) was widely assessed as a calamity. Some observers went so far as to claim that it signified the failure of the international peace-building mission over the previous seven years. But the new High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, refused to be downcast. Not only was the nationalists' victory narrow, but he was confident he could work with them if they proved faithful to their pre-election pledges to embrace the reform agenda he had been charting since taking office in May 2002. This agenda seeks to make up for lost time: implementing the economic, legal and governance reforms required both to make BiH a prosperous, lawful and peaceable state and to set the country on track for European integration. Lord Ashdown aims to put himself out of a job by putting BiH on the road to the EU.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since the fall of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000, the steady normalisation of Serbia's relations with the international community has significantly enhanced the prospects for longterm peace and stability. The European Union (EU) rose to the challenge, providing resources for reconstruction and reforms in Serbia itself, as well as in Montenegro and Kosovo. As part of this assistance effort, it included the three entities in the Stabilisation and Association process (SAp) that it established to build security in the Western Balkans and open perspectives for eventual membership.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Afflicted still by the physical, psychological and political wounds of war, and encumbered by the flawed structures imposed by the international community to implement peace, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter: Bosnia) is not yet capable of plotting a strategy or undertaking the measures likely to win it membership in the European Union (EU). Yet the government announced on 10 April 2003 that its major policy goal is to join the EU in 2009, in the blind faith that the processes of European integration will themselves provide Bosnia with remedies for its wartime and post-war enfeeblement. The Thessaloniki summit meeting between the heads of state or government of the EU members and the Western Balkan states to be held on 21 June is likely to throw some cold water on their ambitions.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The EU-Western Balkans Summit to be held in Thessaloniki on 21 June runs a real risk of discouraging reformers and increasing alienation in the Balkans, unless European policies towards the region are substantially enriched.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since U.S. President George W. Bush's 24 June 2002 statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian reform has emerged as a key ingredient in Middle East diplomacy. In his statement, the president publicly identified “a new and different Palestinian leadership” and “entirely new political and economic institutions” as preconditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state. In early July, the Quartet of Middle East mediators (the European Union, Russian Federation, United Nations, and United States) established an International Task Force for Palestinian Reform “to develop and implement a comprehensive reform action plan” for the Palestinian Authority (PA). The September 2002 statement by the Quartet underscored reform of Palestinian political, civil, and security institutions as an integral component of peacemaking. The three phase-implementation roadmap, a U.S. draft of which was presented to Israel and the Palestinians by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns in October, provided details on this reform component.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) emerged in a wave of euphoria surrounding the events of the late 1980s in the former Soviet bloc. Building on the achievements of its predecessor, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), it has played a key role in state-building and democratisation in many areas of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica's 24 June 2002 sacking of Yugoslav Army (VJ) Chief of the General Staff Nebojsa Pavkovic was necessary, welcome, and long overdue. The EU, U.S., and NATO acclaimed the move as an effort to assert civilian control over the military, and Kostunica indeed deserves credit for removing a significant obstacle to the country's reintegration with Europe. Nonetheless, the action was probably more the result of the ongoing power struggle between Kostunica and Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic than a genuine effort to bring the military under civilian control or dismantle the extra-constitutional parallel command structures that the post-Milosevic leadership of the country has created within the VJ.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, United Nations, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Macedonian and Albanian political leaders signed a political agreement – hailed by its Western midwives as a peace agreement – on 13 August 2001. NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson and the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, flew to Skopje to attend the signing ceremony. But the strange context of the signing showed just how implausible it is that, without further extraordinary efforts, the agreement will actually provide a workable way to keep multiethnic Macedonia out of civil war. Details of the agreement had been hammered out by 8 August in Ohrid, a resort town chosen for the negotiations because it was some distance away from the latest fighting. Signature was delayed five days, however, while Macedonian government troops and ethnic Albanian rebels engaged in the deadliest series yet of tit-for-tat retaliations. Terms of the agreement were withheld from the public lest they provoke violent responses from hardliners on both sides. The ceremony, when it finally occurred, was carried out almost furtively, in a small room of the President's residence, without live television.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Macedonia, Albania
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Five years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords, which brought an end to almost four years of bloody war in Bosnia, many of those believed to have carried out some of the war's worst atrocities remain at large. The continued presence in the municipalities of Republika Srpska (RS) of individuals suspected of war crimes—some indicated either publicly or secretly by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)—represents a significant obstacle to the return of ethnic minority refugees. It also undermines seriously Bosnia's chances for building central institutions, generating self-sustainable economic growth, and achieving the political transformation necessary to begin the process of integration with the rest of Europe. Moreover, the continued commitment of most war crimes suspects to the goal of a Greater Serbia, and their willingness to use violence to achieve it, could—in the long term—provoke renewed conflict in Bosnia and continued instability in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The deteriorating relationship between Montenegro and Belgrade has raised the question of whether the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with its two constituent republics of Serbia and Montenegro, in fact continues to exist. The answer to this question has immediate relevance to the forthcoming federal elections scheduled for 24 September 2000, and in particular the issues of: whether the government of Montenegro can legitimately boycott those elections, in the sense of refusing to co-operate in their physical conduct and encouraging Montenegrins not to vote; and whether the federal government is entitled to take any, and if so what, action in response to the Montenegrin government so deciding. This legal briefing paper seeks, in this context, to address the following questions: What precedents were set by the decisions of the European Community (EC) Arbitration Commission concerning the status of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and its Republics that might be relevant to an assessment of the current legal status of the FRY? What actions have been taken by the FRY federal government, the Republic of Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia, or the international community that may affect the status of the FRY and the legitimacy of its government and federal institutions? What is the current status of the FRY, its government and federal institutions, and how does this affect Montenegro's obligation to participate in the 24 September 2000 federal elections?
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Local elections are to be held in Podgorica and Herceg-Novi, two of Montenegro's 21 municipalities, on 11 June 2000. Their significance is wider than the simple question of who governs the two local authorities, for these will be the first elections in Montenegro since the victory of the "For a Better Life" coalition (DZB) under president Milo Djukanovic in general elections in May 1998. For this reason the results will be widely interpreted as a comment on the performance of Djukanovic so far, and a barometer of the political mood in the republic as a whole.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Montenegro
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: With just over two years to run before the end of his term as Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic remains entrenched in power in Belgrade. The Yugoslav constitution currently prevents the President from running for re-election in 2001, but while Milosevic may leave the presidency he shows no sign of forfeiting control and is in the process of purging both the army and secret police of all opposition. He also retains some residual influence over such cultural institutions as the Orthodox Church. Individuals who oppose his views and who are potential political opponents are invariably intimidated, often through brute force. Political party rivals are both attacked in the state and pro-regime press and also courted with the prospect of sharing power. The latest to succumb to that temptation has been Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Relations between Albanians from Albania proper and their ethnic kin over the border in Kosovo are complex. Despite obvious linguistic and cultural ties, the political division of the past 80 years and Albania's isolation during the communist period have caused the two communities to evolve in a very different fashion. Moreover, the arrival of Kosovo Albanians in Albania in recent years and their influence in some unsavoury spheres of the economy have caused resentment among Albanians from Albania proper, most of whom are too preoccupied with the daily struggle for existence to devote much time or thought to national questions. The upsurge in violence in Kosovo and the influx of several thousand Kosovo Albanian refugees have, nevertheless, reminded Albanians of the links between the communities and sympathy for their ethnic kin in Kosovo is especially strong in the border areas among the Ghegs, the northern Albanians.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Albania, Tirana