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  • Author: Matias Dewey
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: State concerns about crime and security issues have strongly affected conceptions of economic action outside the law, a traditional field of research in sociology. This increasing encroachment by policy-related concerns on the intellectual framework of the discipline has led, on one hand, to an almost exclusive focus on criminal organizations in the analyses of illegal economic activity. On the other hand, it has led to the downplaying of the importance of classic topics of sociological reflection, such as the embeddedness of action, the moral dimension of illegal products, or the relationship between social change and the spread of illegal exchanges. This short paper problematizes economic action outside the law by taking legal definitions and their effects seriously. It begins with the problem of naturalizing state definitions. This is followed by a discussion of the illegality of illegal markets, which illustrates sociological contributions. Finally, three dimensions of the study of illegal markets are suggested. Overall, the paper lays out a research program for this field of sociological inquiry.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Markets, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hamdullah Mohib
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: The Afghanistan of today would surprise most outsiders, even those who closely follow developments in the country. We are often wrongly branded as a failing state with a struggling government whose young people are fleeing en masse for Europe and whose military has lost control of the security situation. While anecdotal evidence can always be found to lend isolated support to such claims, this sweeping characterization offers a distorted picture of reality.
  • Topic: Security, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe
  • Author: Andreja Bogdanovski, Uros Zivkovic
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The existence of a police component in UN peace operations is not a novelty. It goes back half a century ago and was first introduced in the Congo in the 1960’s. Embedding police components in UN missions became more extensive at the end of the 90’s. Over the years, with the change of the context of conflicts (from interstate to intrastate) peace support operations have evolved and are now very much shaped to reflect political and security developments on the ground. International policing efforts are an extremely important factor in establishing and maintaining international security today. Although military peace support operations and national military contributions are predominant, not all security problems can have a military solution. Regardless of the security context, police functions and mechanisms are extremely necessary for a successful peace support operation.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrei Gheorghiță
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics International Affairs Journal
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: In the contemporary political environment, the added value brought by leaders to the electoral performance of the parties appears to be significant and growing. However, the impact of leader evaluations on the vote choice is likely to vary from one voter to another. This article explores the influence of voter characteristics on the magnitude of leader effects in the context of the 2012 legislative elections in Romania. Five such characteristics are considered: objective political knowledge, subjective political information, party identification, political engagement, and time of voting decision. For this purpose, the paper employs data from the 2012 Romanian Election Studies (RES) three-wave panel survey. The analyses prove a significant influence of political knowledge and party identification and negligible effects of the other three voter characteristics considered. Thus, political knowledge appears to stimulate the manifestation of leader effects. Similarly, voters holding partisan ties appear to experience higher levels of personalization. The implications of these findings are discussed extensively.
  • Topic: Security, Human Welfare, Politics, Governance, Elections
  • Political Geography: Romania
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: For more than half a century, the United States has played a leading role in shaping order in East Asia. This East Asian order has been organized around American military and economic dominance, anchored in the U.S. system of alliances with Japan, South Korea, and other partners across Asia. Over the decades, the United States found itself playing a hegemonic role in the region—providing security, underwriting stability, promoting open markets, and fostering alliance and political partnerships. It was an order organized around “hard” bilateral security ties and “soft” multilateral groupings. It was built around security, economic, and political bargains. The United States exported security and imported goods. Across the region, countries expanded trade, pursued democratic transitions, and maintained a more or less stable peace.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Ann M. Lesch
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s ruler since July 2013, brooks no dissent. Having “saved” Egypt from the Muslim Brothers, he has ruled by decree in the absence of a parliament, supported by a handpicked technocratic cabinet. His security apparatus muzzles the press, keeps dissident voices off-air, arrests secular as well as Islamist critics, and clamps down on civil society. He has built ten new prisons to accommodate the overflow, as political prisoners may now total 60,000.[1] As typical of military rulers, he announces grandiose projects – the new channel in the Suez Canal, the Dabaa nuclear power plant, million-unit agricultural and housing schemes, and a multi-billion dollar new capital city – without taking into consideration their cost, integrating them into long term plans, conducting comprehensive feasibility studies, or examining their social and environmental impact.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Islam, Politics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Cordella Buchanan Ponczek
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Traditionally, there is a partisan split on foreign policy in the United States: Republican candidates and voters worry more about terrorism, defense and national security than Democratic candidates and voters, thereby putting more stock in foreign policy issues, which manifests itself in the aggressiveness—of lack thereof—of each party’s foreign policy platform. But the candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential election can be categorised by more than just party: a line can also be drawn between conventional candidates—Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Republicans—and unconventional candidates—Donald Trump, a Republican, and Bernie Sanders, a Democrat. Should a conventional candidate be elected president, U.S. foreign policy would be based on predictable adaptation to the changing international environment. An unconventional candidate, however, would be a wild card, whose actions would be difficult to predict.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bobby Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: West Papua is the most violent area of Indonesia. Indonesian security forces battle the country's last active separatist insurgency there. The majority of Indonesia's political prisoners are Papuans, and support for independence is widespread. But military repression and indigenous resistance are only one part of a complex topography of insecurity in Papua: vigilantism, clan conflict, and other forms of horizontal violence produce more casualties than the vertical conflict that is often the exclusive focus of international accounts of contemporary Papua. Similarly, Papua's coerced incorporation into Indonesia in 1969 is not unique; it mirrors a pattern of long-term annexation found in other remote and highland areas of South and Southeast Asia. What distinguishes Papua is the near-total absence of the state in indigenous areas. This is the consequence of a morass of policy dysfunction over time that compounds the insecurity that ordinary Papuans face. The author illuminates the diverse and local sources of insecurity that indicate too little state as opposed to too much, challenges common perceptions of insecurity in Papua, and offers a prescription of policy initiatives. These include the reform of a violent and unaccountable security sector as a part of a broader reconciliation process and the urgent need for a comprehensive indigenous-centered development policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: Alan Bryden
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Calls for greater coherence in the international community's support for security sector reform (SSR) have become commonplace. This reflects frustration at the stovepiped contributions that frequently seem to characterise international SSR engagement. Perhaps more damaging, incoherent approaches may only be the visible symptom of a more profound problem – the inability or unwillingness of the international community to engage collectively with complex political dynamics when designing and implementing SSR programmes. The nexus between difficult SSR politics and incoherent SSR support has multiple dimensions. On the one hand, an SSR process may challenge (or reinforce) inequities in power relations that exclude certain groups and interests. Competing interests therefore provide a sub-text to any reform process. On the other hand, SSR assistance from external actors is itself highly political (and is certainly viewed as such by 'recipients'). This tension is reflected in harmful accusations that SSR represents a Trojan horse for the imposition of foreign values and influence. By failing to acknowledge these political sensitivities in SSR policies and programmes, external interventions can at best have a marginal impact on national security dynamics. This Horizon Paper therefore attempts to provide additional clarity to the concept of coherence and its utility in supporting more effective SSR.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Intelligence, Peacekeeping, Reform
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Most of today's armed conflicts take place within states and are waged by at least one NSA fighting state forces and/or other NSAs. In these conflicts, frequent violations of humanitarian norms are committed by both state and non-state parties. NSAs also frequently control or heavily influence areas where civilians live. Consequently, efforts to protect civilian populations should address not only the behaviour of states, but also that of NSA.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Armed Struggle, Non State Actors
  • Political Geography: Geneva