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  • Author: Amaia Goenaga
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and Casa Árabe, with the collaboration of ICEX (Spain Trade and Investment), organised in 2016 an international conference entitled "Post-conflict re-construction in MENA: Previous experiences and stakeholders’ inclusive involvement in the future reconstruction of Libya, Syria and Iraq". The aim was to tackle the different aspects and challenges related to reconstruction in post-conflict countries in the region. Given the dimension and complexity of the subject, the conference was structured in a double meeting, bringing together stakeholders, academics and experts. The first one took place in Barcelona on the 11 April 2016 and the second one on the 19 September 2016 in Madrid. This document gathers and assesses the main conclusions and recommendations reached in both meetings. Thus issues tackled have been grouped into five main lines of discussion, which are divided into epigraphs devoted to some key concrete issues:
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Jacqueline Lopour
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Humanitarian crises across the world are the worst since World War II, and the situation is only going to get worse. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), almost 60 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes — that is approximately one in every 123 people on the planet (UNHCR 2016a). The problem is growing, as the number of those displaced is over 60 percent greater than the previous decade. As a result, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held May 23-24, 2016. The world’s attention is focused on the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced 11 million people. But in doing so, the global community has lost sight of an equally severe humanitarian and displacement crisis — the situation in Yemen. Yemen now has more people in need of aid than any other country in the world, according to the UNOCHA Global Humanitarian Overview 2016. An estimated 21.2 million people in Yemen — 82 percent of the population — requires humanitarian aid, and this number is steadily growing (UNOCHA 2016a).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, War, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Global Focus
  • Author: Emily Taylor
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Internet enables the free flow of information on an unprecedented scale but to an increasing extent the management of individuals’ fundamental rights, such as privacy and the mediation of free expression, is being left in the hands of private actors. The popularity of a few web platforms across the globe confers on the providers both great power and heavy responsibilities. Free-to-use web platforms are founded on the sale of user data, and the standard terms give providers rights to intrude on every aspect of a user’s online life, while giving users the Hobson’s choice of either agreeing to those terms or not using the platform (the illusion of consent). Meanwhile, the same companies are steadily assuming responsibility for monitoring and censoring harmful content, either as a self-regulatory response to prevent conflicts with national regulatory environments, or to address inaction by states, which bear primary duty for upholding human rights. There is an underlying tension for those companies between self-regulation, on the one hand, and being held accountable for rights violations by states, on the other hand. The incongruity of this position might explain the secrecy surrounding the human systems that companies have developed to monitor content (the illusion of automation). Psychological experiments and opaque algorithms for defining what search results or friends’ updates users see highlight the power of today’s providers over their publics (the illusion of neutrality). Solutions could include provision of paid alternatives, more sophisticated definition and handling of different types of data — public, private, ephemeral, lasting — and the cooperation of all stakeholders in arriving at realistic and robust processes for content moderation that comply with the rule of law.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christoph Sperfeldt, Melanie Hyde, Mychelle Balthazard
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Using outreach-friendly television broadcasting of the Khmer Rouge (KR) trials in Cambodia in conjunction with community-based dialogue meetings, the Voices for Reconciliation: Promoting Nationwide Dialogue on the Khmer Rouge Past through the Mass Media and Community-Level Survivor Networks project aimed to 1) increase community awareness and understanding of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) trials, 2) empower conflict-affected groups to create spaces for dialogue at the community level, and 3) build the necessary capacities among those groups and civil society intermediaries to create environments favorable for longer-term reconciliatory processes beyond the ECCC. The project engaged with the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association's Civil Party Representative Scheme, which supports a network of Civil Parties (CPs) and Civil Party Representatives (CPRs) who are party to the ECCC proceedings. To achieve the objectives, the project had a three-prong strategy: 1) the production and broadcasting of television programs and media outreach to the general population, 2) the organization of community-based dialogue meetings using outreach films to inform Cambodians in rural areas about the ECCC and its developments, and 3) capacity building to civil society groups and 46 CPRs who were directly involved with the project. This report was produced as part of an evaluation of the project in Cambodia, and involved an assessment of the project outcomes in relation to the participation of the CPs and CPRs in the project and lessons learned from the project implementation. The results are based on interviews with a non-random sample of 101 CPs and 38 out of 46 CPRs who participated in the project. To complement the survey, four focus group discussions including a total of 18 women and 14 men, were conducted in four different provinces. The interviews and the focus group discussions took place during the first two weeks of July 2015 at the end of the project. The results represent the points of view of study participants at the time of the survey and focus groups discussions only. This project was supported by USAID and implemented by the East-West Center and WSD Handa Center for Human Rights & International Justice, Stanford University.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Human Rights, History, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Cambodia
  • Author: Fatma Yilmaz-Elmas, Mustafa Kutlay, Hamdi Furat Buyuk, Öznur Gümüs
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: What is the current course of the refugee crisis? What has the EU done so far as a response to the crisis? Is it possible to mention a balanced and comprehensive policy response in compliance with international norms and responsibilities? Are the EU-Turkey migration cooperation policies on the right track? This policy brief answers these and further questions in depth. It handles main results and policy outputs both for the EU and Turkey. We argue that the current mode of cooperation is highly fragile and is likely to fail in case substantial revisions are not taken into consideration. It reveals consideration the sensitive nature of the situation and highlights the parties need to adopt a joint response that takes on the priorities and capacities of both sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Refugee Issues, European Union
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Lucie Collinson, Andrew Winnington, Mary Vriniotis
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Studying the evidence related to the burden of injury of a population is a critical component of developing strategies to prevent and reduce violence. In many countries around the world, national observatories have been established to collect data to measure and monitor armed violence in an effort to inform and strengthen evidence-based armed violence reduction initiatives. These observatories collect data on violent incidents to enhance awareness of the extent and distribution of armed violence in varying geographic and socio-economic settings. An observatory’s ability to inform effective violence prevention strategies depends in large part on the efficient collection and timely sharing of quality data (Gilgen and Tracey, 2011).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Liberia
  • Author: Wolfgang Mühlberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The September ceasefire in Syria expired after the scheduled duration of a week due to the bombardment of sensitive targets by the brokers – instead of being extended and shored up by a political track. Agreeing on the modalities without the ability or willingness to enforce them, makes ceasefires futile and undermines peace negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Ian Johnstone
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations
  • Abstract: The array of tools the UN has developed to prevent, manage and resolve conflict has expanded in recent years. They are being deployed in new formats, from political missions and small peacebuilding teams, to large observer missions and multidimensional peace operations with offensive capabilities. But the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) and other recent reports question whether the tools are being used as effectively as they could be. The HIPPO recommended, “the full spectrum of peace operations must be employed more exibly to respond to changing needs on the ground”. It said the UN must deliver more “right fit” missions, a “continuum of response and smoother transitions between different phases of missions.” This message was echoed in the Secretary-General’s follow up report, the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Peacebuilding Architecture Review, and the Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325. It is also implicit in the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, which calls for creativity in how to respond to that threat.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations
  • Abstract: Since October 2014, the region around the town of Beni in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has been the site of some of the worst massacres in the country’s recent history. Over five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN mission and the Congolese government have publicly stated that the massacres are the work of Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Research by the Congo Research Group (CRG) based on interviews conducted with over a hundred witnesses and local leaders indicates that the definition of the ADF needs to be revised. Rather than a foreign Islamist group driven by revenge, our research points to a group that has forged strong ties with local interest groups and militias over the course of twenty years of insurrection around Beni. Moreover, our preliminary findings indicate that responsibility does not lie with the ADF alone. In addition to commanders directly tied to the ADF, members of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the national army; former members of the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie—Kisangani/Mouvement de libération (RCD– K/ML); as well as members of communal militias have also been involved in attacks on the civilian population.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: Climate change is expected to contribute to the movement of people through a variety of means. There is also significant concern climate change may influence violent conflict. But our understanding of these dynamics is evolving quickly and sometimes producing surprising results. There are considerable misconceptions about why people move, how many move, and what effects they have. In a discussion paper for USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, the Environmental Change and Security Program presents a guide to this controversial and consequential nexus of global trends. Building off a workshop held at the Wilson Center last year, we provide a background scan of relevant literature and an in-depth analysis of the high-profile cases of Darfur and Syria to discern policy-relevant lessons from the latest research.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Climate Change, International Organization, Migration, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus