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  • Author: Ana Soledad Montero
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: The claim for “memory” and “justice” regarding the crimes of the last military dictatorship took a central place in the agenda of Argentina's former president N. Kirchner (2003 - 2007). The purpose of this work is to analyze the tensions and complexities entailed in any process of construction of a collective memory within democracy: What is the role of the authority and the political decision? How can we find common tolerance principles to establish the limits of the political community? Finally, we wonder about the theoretical and practical possibility of justice, tolerance and pluralism in democracy and, particularly, about the main challenges faced by the Argentinean democracy in order to become a consolidated political community.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America, Central America, Spain
  • Author: Pedro Rivas Nieto, Pablo Rey García
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: This paper studies the phenomenon of the Colombian paramilitarism from its formal emergence, in the sixties, up to its formal disappearance, in 2006. This analysis comprises the evolution and the relations with diverse social groups that constituted the paramilitary movements, specially ranchers, drugs traffickers and the Armed Forces. Special emphasis is given to the change produced among the “self-defence groups” -legitimate defence supported by the State- and the paramilitary groups, whose purpose in the beginning was to finish with the insurgency, but at the end both of them were dedicated to criminal activities.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Central America, Spain
  • Author: Ricardo Zugasti
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Through content analyses focused on the political news on front pages and on the introduction of the democratic values in newspaper editorials, this article outlines the political role of the Spanish press during the principal stage of the transition to democracy, an exceptional journalistic period. This piece of research could be likewise considered as a contribution, through a particular case, to the role of the press in political transitions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Daniel Drache
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Until September 11, 2001, Canadians had not thought very much or very hard about the long border they share with the United States. Nor had public authorities shown significant concern. There was no compelling imperative to contemplate it, particularly in this global age. Ideas passed through it, money poured over it and millions of people crossed it each year. Post–September 11, the border has changed beyond recognition. It is everywhere and everything. Issues now include enhanced security, protection of privacy rights, who Canadians want as citizens, how cross-border traffic can be expedited, and how open the border should be to political refugees.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America
  • Author: Nancy Janett García Vázquez, Paulina Coronel Arias, Elisa G. Gaxiola Baqueiro, Ana Lucia Mendoza Ibarra, Aída Patiño Macía
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: Nowadays it is possible to talk about state-civil society co-responsibility. Although the state is still the dominant actor of the international system, globalization has led it to a re-structuration process. International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) have begun to play a key role in the design of solutions to issues not entirely attended by the state. In this paper we argue that INGOs have addressed topics that affect the international commu-nity—for instance, the environment—and have occasionally complemented the state's functions. To demonstrate our thesis, we will analyze the Span-ish authorities' and Greenpeace's reactions towards the environmental disaster caused by the oil tanker Prestige's sinking off the coast of Galicia.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Spain
  • 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: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Indonesian Papua has seen periodic clashes between pro-independence supporters and goverment forces, but conflict between Muslim and Christian communities could also erupt unless rising tensions are effectively managed. Violence was narrowly averted in Mano­kwari and Kaimana in West Papua province in 2007, but bitterness remains on both sides. The key fac­tors are continuing Muslim migration from elsewhere in Indonesia; the emergence of new, exclusivist groups in both religious communities that have hardened the perception of the other as enemy; the lasting impact of the Maluku conflict; and the impact of developments outside Papua. National and local officials need to ensure that no discriminatory local regulations are enacted, and no activities by exclusivist religious organisations are supported by government funds.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil Society, Nationalism, Religion
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Ethiopia-Eritrea impasse carries serious risk of a new war and is a major source of instability in the Horn of Africa, most critically for Somalia. Following Ethiopia's refusal to accept virtual demarcation of the border by the now disbanded Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC), Asmara unilaterally imple­men­ted it and forced out the UN peacekeepers (UNMEE), significantly raising the stakes and shattering the status quo. Its insistence on recovering terri­tory the Commission awarded it – Badme in particular – could lead to unilateral military action by either side but is only one of several war scenarios. The Security Council and key individual states (the U.S., in particular) must recognise the dangers of their inaction and advance a reconfigured political process with new determination if there is to be a change in the calculations of the parties, who appear to be dangerously content with trying to maintain a level of simmering but unpredictable hostility.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Society of Muslim Brothers' success in the November-December 2005 elections for the People's Assembly sent shockwaves through Egypt's political system. In response, the regime cracked down on the movement, harassed other potential rivals and reversed its fledging reform process. This is dangerously short-sighted. There is reason to be concerned about the Muslim Brothers' political program, and they owe the people genuine clarifications about several of its aspects. But the ruling National Democratic Party's (NDP) refusal to loosen its grip risks exacerbating tensions at a time of both political uncertainty surrounding the presidential succession and serious socio-economic unrest. Though this likely will be a prolonged, gradual process, the regime should take preliminary steps to normalise the Muslim Brothers' participation in political life.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A new peace process in Cyprus offers the best opportunity in decades to solve the intractable division of the island. The turnabout is largely due to the surprise election of Demetris Christofias to the Greek Cypriot presidency. He, together with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Mehmet Ali Talat, are demonstrating political will to make the current UN-mediated talks succeed. Key players like Turkey are being constructive. The outside world, particularly the UN and European Union (EU), needs to fully engage in support of a comprehensive settlement that will improve Cypriot security and prosperity, free Turkey to continue its movement into Europe and overcome a problem that is increasingly damaging to EU policy in the region and beyond.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations