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  • Author: Rose Jaji
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This policy brief addresses the under-representation of women in Zimbabwe’s public service institutions and in the security sector, despite the government’s expressed commitment to UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security. While women account for 25 percent of public servants, there is no woman in the highest ranks of the security sector, particularly in the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF). Also, women’s representation in the national parliament is 35 percent, while their repre- sentation in the country’s urban and rural councils is below 20 percent.1 Women’s under-representation is reflected in their limited influence on peacebuilding in Zimba- bwe. Women who engage in peacebuilding in the public sphere face sexual harass- ment, arrest by the authorities, and censure. The marginalization of women in the public sphere is mirrored in the private sphere. Yet this is a space where attitudes are shaped and value for peace can be instilled in children and young people. The combination of gender discrimination in the public sphere and the exclusion of the private sphere from peacebuilding policies constrains women’s participation at lo- cal, national, and international levels (Björkdahl 2012; Tiessen 2015).
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Peacekeeping, Women, Feminism, Norms
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Amanda Coffie, Richard Alemdjrodo, Patience Adzande, Jocelyn Perry
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) esti- mates, nearly sixty-six million people had been forced to leave their homes and migrate as a result of conflict, political violence, ethnic and religious tensions, and natural disasters as of 2016.1 These rather high estimates contributed to the UN’s 2016 launch of the New York Declaration for Migrants and Refugees to enshrine global commitments to the challenges posed by high levels of forced displace- ment, and develop concrete plans for their resolution. This policy briefing note addresses the African Union and African govern- ments, as well as African scholars and policymakers regarding Africa’s particular position within global displacement and migration trends. It provides recommen- dations in the lead-up to the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) at a special summit in Morocco in December 2018.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugees, Displacement, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Chantal Ingabire
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This policy briefing note addresses the challenges and opportunities for engag- ing youth in post-conflict reconciliation in Rwanda, and makes specific recom- mendations based on the findings of a research project. Coming to terms with the past after a period of extreme violence during which hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives is a major challenge for any society. One of the mecha- nisms deployed by the government of Rwanda following the 1994 Genocide was the establishment of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) in 1999 (NURC, 2016). To achieve its objectives, the NURC organized a number of platforms, namely Ingando,1 Itorero,2 seminars,3 and national sum- mits4 in which various categories of Rwandans discussed the above-mentioned issues (NURC, 2016). This policy brief draws upon the results of a 2017 qualita- tive study investigating the extent to which Rwandan youth in the western part of the country between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two years participate in reconciliation processes and what, according to them, are the factors enabling or hindering reconciliation policies and practices. Respondents of the study included youth identified through their membership of a number of civil society organizations (CSOs) and participation in government initiatives in the field of peacebuilding (mainly at the secondary school level), and those that do not take part in any club or association focusing on peacebuilding. Most of these clubs work towards fighting against genocide ideology and promoting unity and reconciliation through debates, dialogues, peer education on reconciliation as well as organization and participation in outreach activities. Respondents in this study were not yet enrolled in the national Itorero program as this program targets pre-university students, among others. The study was implemented in collaboration with Community Based Sociotherapy (CBS), a Rwandan non-governmental organization (NGO) that promotes interpersonal healing and grassroots reconciliation processes.
  • Topic: Genocide, Youth, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rwanda
  • Author: Oluwatoyin Oluwaniyi
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War shifted the focus from international wars between states to internal wars with immense consequences for unarmed civilians, such as occurred in the African countries of Angola, Burundi, Central Afri- can Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, So- malia, and Sudan, to mention a few.1 The nature of these wars makes these countries susceptible to further wars. To avoid such conflict traps, peace- building measures such as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) have been introduced to pave the way for an easier transition from conflict to peace, by minimizing risks from ex-combatants as possible spoil- ers and, restoring hope and security to victims of conflict while developing their communities.2 Evidence from countries that have utilized DDR, such as Angola, DRC, So- malia, and Liberia, suggests that while disarmament and demobilization may be essential, reintegration remains the most critical component of post-conflict peace and security.3 Debate continues over the notion that while disarmament and demobilization entail short-term security opera- tions, they do not by themselves bring sustainable benefits; reintegration focuses on extensive long-term development efforts that are critical to avoiding the conflict trap and sustaining peace in the long run. Short-term security does not bring about sustainable benefits unless it is coordinated with long-term community development strategies. Reintegration address- es the economic and social transformation of both ex-combatants and the overall communities they are joining, yet the full implementation of this pro- cess is generally ignored in DDR programs in post-conflict countries. This paper focuses on the extent of implementation of the reintegration phase in the Niger Delta region’s post-conflict (usually called post-amnesty) period and its impact on peace, security, and development in the region. The Nigerian federal government embraced the post-amnesty DDR concept in June 2009 to set the pace for gradual resolution of the violence that had embroiled the region for almost a decade. During the execution of the disar- mament and demobilization phases, the Niger Delta region recorded initial progress in peace and security demonstrated by an increase in oil produc- tion from an estimated 700 barrels per day (bpd) to an estimated 2,500 bpd in early 2010. However, the implementation of the reintegration phase has raised several questions due to the region’s relapse into violence and crime. There is, therefore, a need to investigate the factors working against suc- cessful implementation of the reintegration process. A critical analysis of the process will enhance the understanding of schol- ars and policymakers alike on what constitutes sustainable reintegration and at the same time, how it may be achieved in post-conflict societies. The focus on reintegration is meant to facilitate a specific consideration of its importance as the point of intersection between short- and long-term peacebuilding processes.
  • Topic: Conflict, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Anouar Boukhars
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: “The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) is dead,” thundered King Mohammed VI at the twenty-eighth Annual Heads of State Summit of the African Union (AU). Its flame has faded, he added, because faith in a common interest has vanished. Unless the Maghreb follows the good example of neighbor- ing African sub-regions, the king warned, the AMU will soon cease to exist. Stalwart integrationists fear that Morocco has abandoned the Maghrebi dream altogether. The depressing truth, however, is that the King’s lament on the demise of the AMU is simply a reflection of the mood of resignation increasingly palpable in the Maghreb. Everyone knows that the AMU is an empty shell, ensnared in decades of neighborly parochial animosities, petty jealousies, and perverse rivalries. The two countries consequential enough to anchor the Maghreb remain at each other throats. Morocco and Algeria see eye-to-eye on almost nothing, and their bickering and recrimination have only gotten worse.1 Sadly, the demons of their discord seem to grad- ually possess their respective publics who intermittently hurl insults at each other in social media forums and during sports and entertainment events.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Sports, Social Media, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Morocco
  • Author: Roseanne Nijru
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This briefing note is based on exploratory research in two informal settlements in Nairobi: Mathare and Kibera. It makes recommendations for engaging health workers in peacebuilding processes in urban informal settlements in Kenya. The recommendations are based on study conclusions showing that health care sys- tems, especially community-centered primary health care services and workers, have great potential to promote peace and security in Kenya. Violent conflicts constitute a public health challenge because of their adverse effects on health, social, and economic systems, which lead to declines in population well-being. Thus, peace and health are mutually reinforcing, and development cannot take place without good health. Despite this health-peace nexus, Kenya’s National Policy for Peacebuilding and Conflict Management (2015) and National Cohesion 1 and Integration Commission (NCIC, 2008) , both formulated in a volatile political climate, have not recognized the contribution of the health system to peace- building. In 1998, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted “Health as a Bridge for Peace (HBP)” as a policy framework on the premise that the role of health care providers in promoting peace is significant for the attainment of “Health for All.”2 This study suggests that health care systems in Kenya can be part of the multifaceted peacebuilding effort in urban informal settlements that experience a range of violence—political, ethnic, extremist, resource-related, gender-based—and vicious cycles of retaliatory attacks.
  • Topic: Health, Peacekeeping, Urban, Community
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Rosette Sifa Vuninga
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: In Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), youth gangs are a relatively recent phenomenon. In the post-Mobutu Sese Seko era, crime rates in Bukavu have drastically in- creased and criminal activities have become more organized and violent. More segments of society are now involved in criminal activities, most no- tably unemployed university graduates. This paper analyzes how recent trends, particularly the increase in and changing dynamics of youth crime in Bukavu, are interpreted and perceived. It does so through two lines of argu- ment. The first is that the participation of unemployed university graduates in organized crime is strongly linked to social injustice in Bukavu. Our re- search suggests that many young people in Bukavu—already abandoned by government—feel that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been implicated in what Stephen Jackson calls the “war economy.” 1 They allege that those who have stepped in to mitigate the various consequences of state failure and war have been co-opted into a corrupt system. The second is the culture of “fending for oneself” at any cost, another consequence of a weak and ineffective state, which has led to people having less regard for the rights of others where their own well-being is involved, and has made anti-crime movements—which were often radical and uncompromising— more accommodating of criminal activity.2 The popular phrase “everyone is doing it,” captures the widespread public cynicism and increasingly permis- sive attitudes towards crime in Bukavu. To answer the central question about how people in Bukavu make sense of urban youth crimes, this paper begins by considering the situation of street youth, commonly referred to as maibobo, to illustrate the worsening state of affairs for many young people in urban Bukavu. Despite the large number of NGOs dedicated to helping them (and other vulnerable groups), many maibobo are now offering their “services” to criminal gangs in exchange for protection and others favors. Among these groups is Fin d’heures (FH), an urban gang that operates in Bukavu. This paper also explores the contro- versial relationship between FH and Jeunes Essence Force Vives (JEFV), a local anti-crime organization in Bukavu that was well-known for combating crimes committed by FH. I will then consider JEFV, itself a registered NGO, within the context of the NGO sector as a whole, and examine the reasons why NGOs have featured negatively in recent conversations about crime in Kivu. Finally, I will briefly highlight some of the local youth-led initiatives aimed at reducing youth involvement in regional violence.
  • Topic: Youth, Violence, Urban, Gangs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Gbemisola Animasawun
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: This paper examines the implications of leadership decapitation as a counterterrorism tactic using as case studies, the killings of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by the US and Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf by Nigeria. It is based on Alex S. Wilner’s method of comparing the number of attacks a group successfully carried out before and after the removal of its leader as a means of ascertaining its weakness, demise, or renewed ferocity due to the death of its leader.12 This study gives an account of the unprecedented increase in the number of Boko Haram attacks and the high level of fear and attention—both local and international—due to the high-level targets chosen by the group after the killing of Mohammed Yusuf. This is complemented by primary data gathered through semi-structured interviews with selected security operatives who had contact with Yusuf and his successor Abubakar Shekau. For al-Qaeda, data was collected from secondary sources only. This study begins by summarizing the origin and agenda of violent Islamism, followed by arguments for and against leadership decapitation. Next, it considers accounts of the evolution of al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, their experience of leadership decapitation, and the ferocity of both groups in the aftermath of leadership decapitation. Finally, it examines the overall implications of leadership decapitation for counterterrorism efforts in light of the post-decapitation recovery and increase in reach of both al-Qaeda and Boko Haram. The two cases of leadership decapitation examined in this article are telling cases that invite closer attention to the implications of counterterrorism strategies.13
  • Topic: Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Refugee Crisis, Leadership, Boko Haram
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Nigeria
  • Author: Vicky Karimi
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Social Science Research Council
  • Abstract: The research presented in the 2015 United Nations Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 comprehensively demonstrates the key role played at all levels by women in the operational effectiveness, success, and sustainability of peace processes and peacebuilding efforts. It recommends that mediators, facilitators, and leaders in peace operations be proactive in including women in all aspects of peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. More importantly, the study found a need for the normative framework to be localized and for greater attention to be given to mapping what local communities and women actually need.1 Since 2000, the United Nations has passed several resolutions that constitute the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. These are particularly significant because they were adopted by the UN Security Council. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 prioritizes the inclusion and participation of women in all stages of decision-making in peace processes.2 Subsequent resolutions UNSCR 1820 (2008), UNSCR 1888 (2009), UNSCR 1889 (2009), UNSCR 1960 (2010), UNSCR 2106 (2013), UNSCR 2122 (2013), and UNSCR 2242 (2015) focus on various aspects of the WPS agenda, such as sexual and gender-based violence, peacekeeping, rule of law, impunity, and the role of women in countering violent extremism.3 Together, these resolutions provide a robust normative framework for the substantive participation of women in the discourse on peace and security.
  • Topic: Security, Women, Peace
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Lisa Davis
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Moments of catastrophe that destroy communities often provide opportunities to rebuild them to be more resilient to preexisting harms. The challenge lies in spotting and seizing those opportunities. With the re-takeover of Mosul and other cities formerly controlled by the Islamic State, the rapidly growing demand for shelter in Iraq continues unabated. Yet the dearth of supportive services in many affected communities continues. One obstacle is an Iraqi policy that effectively forbids local organizations from providing shelter. The potential solution lies in international allies partnering with local organizations in a new way: by supporting their policy initiatives. In Iraq, local activists know that changing the anti-shelter policy in a time of massive humanitarian crisis would broaden the safety net for women fleeing all forms of violence while also helping to dismantle long-term structural violence. This is the paradox of crisis. One local organization, the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), is stepping up to meet the needs of survivors of gender-based violence by providing much-needed shelter, albeit clandestinely. Together with international partners, OWFI is challenging Iraq’s anti-shelter policy and creating the conditions for structural change.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Islamic State, Local, Shelters
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Laleh Ispahani, Ryan Knight
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The US is experiencing an unprecedented erosion of democratic institutions and norms under the Trump administration. While constitutional checks and balances are holding for now, we are seeing the kinds of challenges that have presaged a shift toward authoritarianism in other countries. If not countered, this kind of “constitutional regression” can develop into something that looks like a more lasting authoritarian condition, with institutions that are so hollowed out as to be ineffective, and with impact that outlives the Trump administration. Since November 2016, American civil society’s reform sector has adjusted, adapted, and innovated to meet these challenges. To facilitate their success, the philanthropic sector must likewise adapt. The Open Society Foundations (OSF) are a global philanthropy whose mission is to foster open societies in place of authoritarian ones.[i] Our founder, George Soros, was born in Hungary and lived through the Nazi occupation of 1944 to 1945, which resulted in the murder of over 500,000 Hungarian Jews. In 1947, as Communists consolidated power in Hungary, Mr. Soros left for London where, ultimately, he studied philosophy with Karl Popper, author of The Open Society and Its Discontents, at The London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1956, he emigrated to the US, where he worked in the worlds of finance and investment. He has used the fortune he amassed to support philanthropy that reflects Popper’s philosophy—that no ideology is the final arbiter of truth, and societies can only flourish when they allow for democratic governance, freedom of expression, and respect for individual rights.[ii] Mr. Soros began his philanthropy in 1979, giving scholarships to black South Africans under apartheid who might lead their country out of closed and authoritarian conditions, and into ones governed by democratic principles, respect for the rule of law, protection of the rights of minorities, and civil and political liberties. In the 1980s, he applied the same principles to help promote the open exchange of ideas in Communist Hungary, and across Eastern and Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. While the Foundations started as an effort to help those in countries emerging from more closed or authoritarian conditions, in 1996, OSF launched its first US-based programs; as Mr. Soros wrote in 2006, “America was an essentially open society [but] even open societies are open to improvement.” Since then, OSF and leaders of civil society have worked to protect democratic society and its institutions in the US and in over 140 countries around the world. At OSF, our guiding principle is that the world is imperfect, but that what is imperfect can be improved. With that comes a commitment to examining our own role in the world, a constant questioning as to whether our philanthropy—what we fund, and how we fund it—is responsive to the most pressing issues facing the world as it really is, and not as we perceive it to be. Still, even though we have spent the last two decades supporting U.S.-based efforts to counter what we view as threats to the American democratic project (e.g. the influence of big, secret money on politics, restrictions on the right to vote, the criminalization of poverty, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, a bipartisan tendency toward government secrecy), to date, we viewed that work as part of a project to ensure that a largely sound framework was improved so that it lived up to its promise. As we reflect on conditions a year after President Donald Trump’s election, however, we think that the US is experiencing an unprecedented erosion and hollowing out of democratic institutions and norms, and could be derailed from this course of improvement. This prompts us to consider how OSF might work differently in order to allow our civil society grantee institutions to more assiduously protect against further decline. Together, these shifts in civil society and philanthropy could erect the bulwark needed to counter both the threat of constitutional regression and the more remote risk of a total constitutional breakdown. These reforms are significantly informed by rights organizations and foundations operating in other countries that are contending with threats to democratic government.
  • Topic: Civil Society, United Nations, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Juan Manuel Santos
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Not long ago, Uruguay’s former president Jose Mujica said something that stuck in my mind: “Colombia is a laboratory for history!” In a polarized world facing numerous political disturbances, sectarian warfare, terrorism, and even the growing and frightening prospect of nuclear conflict, I believe President Mujica was trying to draw attention to my country’s hopeful, and perhaps unlikely, story of peace. The fact that a country like Colombia was able to end a 50-year-long war that left millions of victims and untold bloodshed between sons and daughters of the same nation is a beacon of hope in today’s disheartening global landscape. Indeed, the negotiation process and our efforts toward building a lasting peace constitute a true laboratory of ideas, experimentation, and lessons learned that could help find solutions in other parts of the world with similar or worse problems.
  • Topic: Democracy, Conflict, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On 21 March, 2018, 44 African heads of state and government dignitaries signed a historic African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at the 10th Ordinary Session of African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda. The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995. The Session was under the theme: “Creating One African Market,” and falls under AU’s Agenda 2063 Initiative. The AfCFTA is also one of the biggest free-trade areas with regards to the number of countries, thus, encompassing 1.2 billion people with over $4 trillion in combined consumer and business spending should the remaining 11 AU member countries join the Agreement (Signe, 2018). The AfCFTA would additionally become effective 30 days subsequent to ratification by the legislative houses of at least 22 African countries; countries that signed the Agreement have 120 days for its ratification. This paper seeks to outline the significance of the Agreement, its aims, challenges and the continuous work needed to sustain it going forward with potential impact it may have on third country agreements with AU member countries.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Economy, Tariffs, Free Trade, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: To progressively bring independent African states together in order to foster unity, continental integration2 is a long cherished ideal of the forbearers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU). The pursuit of this ideal, however, looks farfetched. It’s been over half a century and yet the continent has a very restrictive regime in terms of movement of persons within, so is continental trade. The AU, however, has announced to introduce a single African passport in order to facilitate easy movement of persons and trade activities across the continent. The first part of this paper examines some of the merits implementing the single African passport will bring; the second part deals with some of the challenges that may come with it as well as the highlight of a central critique.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Borders, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On 27 June 2018, South Sudan’s main belligerents inked a peace deal that aims to set the country on a path to normalcy from it over half decade of conflict. The deal was reached at the backdrop of a two-day talks between President Salva Kiir and ‘rebel leader’, Riek Machar, former Vice President of South Sudan. The Khartoum talks were mediated by President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)2 . The announcement of the deal came both as a surprise and relief – surprise because only a week prior to this deal, the warring parties had stalemated a peace pact intended to resurrect an earlier peace deal signed in 2015. In fact the leading figures, both Kiir and Machar had summarily not only rejected that deal but also the notion of even working together, the deal came as a relief in certain quarters cognizance of the 30 June deadline set by the UN Security Council after which sanctions on South Sudan would be renewed.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Conflict, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Ilhami B. Değirmencioğlu
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: During the course of the past 10 years, the security environment has become more complex due to the blurring of the lines of warfare. Therefore, the ‘gray zone’ between peace and war expanded and became a battlefield of non-conventional warfare such as counterinsurgency, terrorism, cyber-attacks, etc. (Mansoor, 2012: 1). The failed and fragile states in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, as well as non-recognized de facto states in the Caucasus played catalytic role in the expansion of the non-conventional warfare. Moreover, Great Powers inclined to use increasingly the non-conventional warfare in the proxy and delegated wars waged by them. In the recent years, the non-state actors used innovative and complicated tactics against legal authorities in many countries. The prevalence of the new complex threats transformed the classic war concept into a concept called ‘new wars.’ Due to the combined use of the conventional and non-conventional warfare, many scholars and politicians started to call the new model of war as ‘hybrid war.’
  • Topic: National Security, Conflict, Peace, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) held its 30th Summit from 22 – 29 January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The central theme of the Summit was a clarion call to strengthen African unity and fight against corruption and the eradication of poverty on the continent. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was elected the new AU chairperson at the Summit, however, it is a significant development that transpired on the sidelines of the Summit among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan that this policy update seeks to address pursuant to an earlier published policy brief, The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and geopolitical tension between Egypt and Ethiopia with Sudan in the mix.2 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn all signaled their resolve to avoid misunderstandings cognizance of Ethiopia’s construction of its dam, The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a sideline meeting at the Summit. A statement released by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that, “we (the three country heads) have agreed to work as one on matters among the three countries, particularly on the construction of the GERD” (Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2018).
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, International Affairs, Infrastructure, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On the 11th and 12th of February 2018, the “2nd Turkey–Africa Ministerial Review Conference” transpired in Istanbul. The Conference was held under the tutelage of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. In participation was the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, H. E. Thomas Qwesi Quartey together with several foreign affairs ministers of African countries as well as AU representatives. Considering that a Turkey–Africa Summit is scheduled to be held in 2019 in Turkey, this TurkeyAfrica Ministerial Review Conference was held to evaluate the progress of Turkey’s Africa partnership so far in conjunction with steps that could be taken to even solidify this special relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, Health, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Conference
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: 2017 could be described by Libyans and many in the international community as a year of political stagnation with no vital accomplishment in terms of the political impasse and deadlock in postGaddafi Libya (El-Gamaty, 2018), a scenario that has seen the establishment of rival governments and the proliferation of militias among certain factions embroiled in the Libyan conflict. A ray of hope has however appeared in the form of renewed efforts to get the country back to full functionality. It is in this vain that on 29 May, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders of rival Libyan factions together with diplomats from over 20 countries (including UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame, French Foreign Affairs Minister Le Drian, Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso) in Paris in attempt to broker a peace deal and a pathway to elections in Libya.
  • Topic: Elections, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Author: Andreas L. Paulus, Johann Ruben Leiss
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article explores rule of law transfers from an international perspective. Based on the observation that the proposal of an emerging international constitutional order seems to have lost momentum this article emphasizes a global legal reality that is characterized by a complex and rather non-hierarchical interplay between various (fragmented) international legal orders and suborders as well as national legal orders. This article discusses four legal mechanisms that are of pivotal relevance with respect to global rule of law transfers. These mechanisms include, first, so-called “hinge provisions” as doorways between different legal orders, second, harmonious interpretation as a legal tool of integration, third the sources of international law enabling transmission of norms and providing a framework for judicial interaction and, fourth, judicial dialogue as an informal means of rule of law transfer.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Law, Sovereignty, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Till Patrik Holterhus
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article demonstrates that Arts. 21 and 3 (5) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) as well as Arts. 205, 207 (1), 208 (1), 209 (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), legally oblige the European Union (EU) to promote the rule of law in its foreign trade and development policy. Furthermore, it is shown that, in the context of such promotion, the EU applies not a rudimentary but a sophisticated concept of the rule of law – quite similar to the concept of the rule of law that has developed within the Union. To fulfill the legal obligation to promote the rule of law abroad, the EU employs, as a key instrument, the legal mechanism of conditionality, not only through autonomous instruments but also in its contractual international relationships (carrot-and-stick policy). The EU’s foreign policy in the trade and development nexus, in particular when it comes to the promotion of the rule of law, can, therefore, be considered a process, to a large extent, determined and organized the of law.
  • Topic: International Law, International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Floris Tan
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article examines an underexplored avenue for the protection of the rule of law in Europe: Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This provision prohibits States from restricting the rights enshrined in the European Convention for any other purpose than provided for in the Convention. In this contribution, the author argues, based on a combination of textual, systematic and purposive interpretations of Article 18, that the provision is meant to safeguard against rule of law backsliding, in particular because governmental restrictions of human rights under false pretenses present a clear danger to the principles of legality and the supremacy of law. Such limitations of rights under the guise of legitimate purposes go against the assumption of good faith underlying the Convention, which presupposes that all States share a common goal of reinforcing human rights and the rule of law. Article 18 could therefore function as an early warning that European States are at risk of becoming an illiberal democracy or even of reverting to totalitarianism and the destruction of the rule of law. The article then goes on to assess the extent to which the European Court’s case-law reflects and realizes this aim of rule of law protection, and finds that whereas the Court’s earlier case-law left very little room for an effective application of Article 18, the November 2017 Grand Chamber judgment in Merabishvili v. Georgia has made large strides in effectuating the provision’s raison d’être. As the article shows, however, even under this new interpretation, challenges remain.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andreas Th. Muller
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: A core objective of the law of occupation has traditionally been that the occupying power should heed rule of law standards in the administration of the occupied territory. Less clear is whether it should also seek to inculcate rule of law standards into the local government. To be sure, the pertinent rules of the law of occupation provide for far-reaching competences of the occupying power. However, given the predominately negative, security-focused and conservationist nature of the occupier’s powers, its involvement in the “rule of law transfer” business should not be overrated. While it is true that two major post-1945 developments, i.e. international human rights law and the involvement of the UN Security Council, have contributed toward broadening, recalibrating, and dynamizing the applicable legal standards in situations of occupation, it is nonetheless crucial to resist the temptation to concede, in the name of promoting the rule of law, too much legislative leeway to the occupying power. Thus, the question whether, and to what extent, the law of occupation mandates the occupying power to engage in promoting the rule of law in the occupied territory, calls for a differentiated, and cautious, answer.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Astrid Wiik, Frauke Lachenmann
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Rule of law (RoL) promotion has become a go-to-tool in the complex process of stabilizing and rebuilding (post-)conflict States. The process is driven by a heterogeneous group of national, foreign, and international actors who define and prescribe RoL norms and standards, who programme, finance, implement, and eventually monitor RoL reforms. While the legitimacy and effectiveness of RoL promotion has undergone scrutiny, particularly within the overall context of international development assistance, an aspect that has so far received little attention is the legality of RoL promotion. This concerns both the mandate of the various actors and the execution of RoL activities on the ground. Since 2001, the international community has intensely supported the RoL in Afghanistan rendering it a veritable testing ground for RoL promotion. The article explores the legal framework for actors in RoL promotion in Afghanistan from 2001 up to the present day, with a focus on the German Government, its development cooperation agencies, and private non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The article shows that while detailed rules bind the monitoring and evaluation of RoL activities in line with the existing international frameworks for development assistance, few laws and principles guide the programming and implementation of RoL promotion. The existing standards are generally too abstract to guide specific RoL promotion activities. Further concretization and harmonization is necessary in the interest of the sustainability of RoL promotion in Afghanistan – and elsewhere.
  • Topic: International Law, Non State Actors, Governance, Rule of Law
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Peter-Tobias Stoll
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: International investment law appeals to a lawyer’s appetite for the rule of law by disciplining the exercise of power between States and foreign investors through legalization and judicialization. Originally supposed to serve as a fix to promote foreign investments in developing countries in times of legal uncertainties, now, thousands of bilateral investment agreements exist, and the number of cases in investment arbitration has exploded in the last decade. Further, there is a tendency of generalization, as investment protection now features as a standard element of international trade agreements, far beyond the original focus on developing countries. A number of flaws and shortcomings of the rules and procedures became apparent in the course of the more frequent use of the system and resulted in much discussion within the expert community, which resulted in some changes. Furthermore, the long neglected possibility became apparent, that investment claims could be directed against industrialized countries and that the conduct of their authorities could be subjected to review by international arbitration tribunals. This sparked heated public debates, particularly so in the EU. These two developments have in common, that they implicitly as well as explicitly raised the issue of the rule of law. This paper will assess the system of international investment law as it stands, its critique and its reform, through the lens of the rule of law. It will also make a highly idealistic proposal on the further development of international investment protection. In concluding, it will reflect on the proper use of the rule of law in legal analysis, by setting out the different perspectives in which the term may be employed, and the methodological consequences.
  • Topic: International Law, International Trade and Finance, Rule of Law, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hana Jalloul Muro
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Avoiding violent radicalization is one of the great debates and challenges that we find today in Western societies. Although not all radicalization must be linked directly to violence or terrorism, we must prevent a priori radicalization so that it does not lead to the aforementioned processes. In the same way, the implementation of adequate and effective measures to deal with de-radicalization processes is something very necessary. The knowledge of the terminology is of vital importance to understand the meaning, development and reality of the terms presented in this publication, in order to prevent its political manipulation by state and non-state actors.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Terrorism, Radicalization, Ideology, Violence, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Rubén Ruiz Ramas
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: The refusal of Nursultan Nazarbayev, both to designate his future successor and to strengthen the institutions that can take responsibility for this task, fuel the potential for conflict attached to the future context of succession. The horizon of the transfer of power concerns Nazarbayev, who in July 2018 reaches 78 years old. The sources of concern are related not only to Nazarbayev’s family safety but also to the risk of confrontation among the elite networks and their social, ethnic and regional power basis. A kind of political instability vulnerable to escalation to major threatens to the national and even regional security. On the one hand, this article aims to analyse the structural vulnerability of Kazakhstan to a context of presidential succession product of its nature as an authoritarian regime and a neopatrimonial state. On the other hand, the paper also tackles the preparation of that context by the authorities and the options available to deal with the transfer of power. To this end, the paper begins with an analysis of the neopatrimonial state heterogeneity in Central Asia, followed by a section focused on the specific nature of the authoritarianism and neopatrimonialism in Kazakhstan. Finally, it elaborates the Kazakh context of succession, and the several options of transfer of power and the likely actors involved in them are examined.
  • Topic: Politics, Authoritarianism, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Nuria G. Rabanal
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: The aim of this work is to show the energy situation of the European Union (EU) across the analysis of its energy policy focusing in energy security. The facts show the important role of Russia as energy player and its influence in the design of energy strategy of the EU. As a reply of the strong dependency of Russian imports, European institutions have developed a strategy structured in two dimensions; internal and external one with the aim to guarantee the international cooperation with third countries, the increasing of internal energy market integration, the promotion of energy save, and the search of effective alternatives to conventional sources. The EU Strategy has designed a joint of measures that includes the increasing in the efficient use of conventional sources combined with higher levels in energy Investment, Innovation and technological Development (I+D+I), and the promotion of renewables. This is the way to change the classical energy model to a new one more compatible with the environment and a sustainable economic growth but also that implies a significant reduction of energy dependence.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia
  • Author: José Ángel López Jiménez
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: The abrupt Soviet Union´s dissolution came accompanied by a whole of different typology of conflicts causing high complexity in the convulsed independent statehood construction process. Secessionism in cascade of territorial and administrative entities have been a useful tool in Kremlin´s hand in order to enhance their interests in the post-soviet space. Russian Foreign Policy in shared neighborhood with Eastern European Union borders has an absolute priority in their interests-defined in strategic documents- infringing the main Contemporary International Law principles. Russian interventionism in the independent republics acquires different modalities since the 2008 summer- with Russian armed forces penetrating in Georgia and supporting Abjasia and South Ossetia secessionist movements- are even increasing these actions. In 2014, with Crimea´s annexation and the conflict in Ukraine -Eastern districts-, Russian expansionism seems to be reached a road without return. Specially due to international community inaction and Russia´s return to a protagonist role in a multipolar order in construction.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Law, Territorial Disputes, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Victoria Rodríguez Prieto
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: “The Global Strategy Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union” has triggered significant measures in comparison with previous framework, which was elaborated in 2003 and updated in 2008 by then High Representative J. Solana. Those measures aim to promote more security in response to all vulnerabilities which tests stability, especially in European neighbourhood. Likewise, new European response should be understood in the framework of Lisbon Treaty´s innovations. The latter have let European Union (EU) provide with a more ambitious action in tune with external context. Regarding European neighbourhood, changes in Southern but also Eastern regions remains as main concern. While this is true that major challenges are in the southern area due to civil war in Syria, failed-state Libya, presence of Daesh and other extremist groups in the area. Meanwhile, to the East, context has undergone in the last few years owing to the Ukrainian crisis but also the Belarus dictatorship headed by V. Lukashenko, high levels of corruption in Moldova, recent political and social riots in Armenia, non-changes in Azerbaijan or the increase violence in Nagorno-Karabakh region. New strategy seeks to address these challenges through measures based on a great reinforcement of European normative dimension. Concerning neighbouring states, principle of pragmatism and resilience are the most relevant. All this strengthens by principle of differentiation, co-ownership and more flexibility embedded in the recent revised ENP, which facilitates their implementation. Our main purpose lies in analyzing innovations’ global strategy with regard to the Eastern neighbouring states whose relations with EU are within the so-called Eastern Partnership. This article argues that, to a certain extent, those have a certain impact on Eastern Partnership. However, significant results will become more visible in the mid-long term.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Middle East
  • Author: Federico Aznar Fernández-Montesinos
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: NATO is an organization hindered by its 20th century success; in addition, it is not well understood in a postmodern world despite having been transformed by increasing its political aspect and reduced its military weight through the simple re-reading of its founding treaty. A "Hard" power institution in a postmodern and "Soft” world. However, risks and threats have only faded and, although they have lost some of their intensity, they have gained in specter. Paradoxically, NATO dissolution with the end of the Cold War would have led to the disappearance of a forum for dialogue, to the unraveling of the security space and, thus, to the rearming of Europe. Russia is the continent nation heir to the USSR, the reason for the creation of NATO. But Russia is not the USSR in geopolitical or ideological terms, even though its recent action has brought back the shadows of the Cold War. The complexity of the approach to the problem of its relationship with the West cannot be reduced to the dichotomous and exclusive enemy friend key (it is a partner, supplier, supplier ... more than a strategic rival). Its correct definition comes from the resolution of the problem of its identity. In this context, NATO remains a geopolitically necessary organization, not in vain is today the only bridge that links exclusively Europe and the United States while contributing to the stability and structure of the West. And it serves to find a place for Russia too. His eventual tensing is a proof of the vigor of his health and the need to find channels of understanding among its members. In general, it is not good to blow up bridges already built despite it is legitimate to want to change them.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Geopolitics, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Javier Morales Hernández
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Russia considers the rapprochement or integration into NATO of other countries of Central and Eastern Europe or the Caucasus as a direct threat, even though it does not pose any danger to its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. Instead of interpreting this process as a mere competition for influence, Russian leaders perceive it primarily as a military threat, which would even justify the use of force to counteract it. In the present article we investigate the social and ideational factors that have led to this securitization of NATO enlargement, preventing Moscow from adapting to the new game of alliances in a more pragmatic way. The concept of “ontological security” allows us to explain the consistency and permanence over time of these Russian perceptions, which are derived from its own subjective needs.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Sovereignty, Non-Traditional Threats, Ontology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Jerónimo Morales Rins
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: The definition of a National Security Strategy is essential to take a stand in a world of limited resources where competence for access, use, and appropriation of international common spaces is going to escalate. Added to the role of preserving jurisdictional spaces the Armed Forces should develop new roles emerging from the defense of national interest in spaces of diffuse sovereignty in a global scenario of deterioration of governance. The Armed Forces should rethink accordingly their structure, doctrine, organization and capabilities to adapt themselves to those scenarios, in accordance with the guidelines of the National Security Strategy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Sovereignty, Military Strategy, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: María del Rosario Rodríguez Cuitiño
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Organized crime has grown in the world and in the region, and its criminal operations do not escape Uruguay. Among the challenges facing the State, is the fight against organized crime, especially drug trafficking, money laundering and arms theft. Likewise, the links that may arise between organized crime and terrorism must be addressed as a threat. This work aims to reflect about these threats that affect the Security and Defense of the State and what has been their response to this problem that has been placed in a first plane in the public agenda.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: South America, Uruguay
  • Author: Hernan Flom
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Despite being a transnational organized crime, drug trafficking has a local impact in terms of security and violence, which is typically managed by non-national state actors. This paper proposes that, given their juridical and material constraints, subnational state agencies, primarily police forces, regulate drug trafficking through a combination of toleration, repression and rent extraction. I also argue that greater coordination within law enforcement agencies at the subnational level leads to lower drug-related violence at the retail dealing level. I illustrate this argument with a subnational comparison of four cases in Argentina and Brazil during the last two decades.
  • Topic: Narcotics Trafficking, Regulation, Violence, Drugs, Police, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, South America
  • Author: Jaime Baeza Freer, Leslie Wehner
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: This article analyses the evolution of the security concept used by Chile. This piece studies the different security dimensions in which Chile operates such as domestic and regional. In this sense, the article also focuses on Chile’s relation towards Latin America and its vocation to be an active actor in peacekeeping operations. Likewise, this article also pays attention to Chile’s involvement in multilateral security organizations such as the current state of the South American Union (UNASUR).
  • Topic: Security, Human Security, South American Union (UNASUR)
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Andrei Serbín Pont
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Regional cooperation in defense and security is the result of a long process that has been strongly influenced by the confluence of regional and subregional experiences, as well as by the different stages of development of regionalism. These experiences provided valuable capital for the creation of spaces for dialogue among countries that would allow addressing issues related to divergences and asymmetries in defense, as well as the generation of mutual trust with the aim of deactivating persisting conflict hypothesis in the region and address regional positions in the face of common threats.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Carolina Sampó
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Although Brazil has always been considered one of the most violent countries in the region, in the last years, violence has grown exponentially and has also become more complex. The present paper seeks to show how the increase of violence, especially in the North and Northeast of Brazil, is related to the dispute between different criminal organizations, by the illicit drug market since the end of the non-aggression agreement that the Primeiro Comando da Capital and the Comando Vermelho had. From a qualitative approach, combining documentary analysis of primary and secondary sources, with interviews with experts, our work tries to answer the following questions: What is the current situation of violence in Brazil and how has it been re-signified? After that, we will relate that mutation to the complex variety of criminal organizations that operate in its territory; and, finally, we will answer how these organizations relate to each other. The result of this work will enable the development of multiple lines of research, especially related to the confrontation between criminal organizations and the illicit drug market in Brazil.
  • Topic: Narcotics Trafficking, Violence, Organized Crime
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations Review
  • Abstract: An era of UN peacekeeping ended on Good Friday, as the organization’s fifteen-year old mission in Liberia (UNMIL) closed shop. This follows the termination of the UN missions in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) last summer and that in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in October. All dating back to 2003 or 2004, these were the final examples of a relatively successful series of peace operations launched by the Security Council between 1999 and 2005 that were characterized by (i) fairly large military and police components relative to the territories and populations they served; and (ii) a long-term commitment to enabling peaceful politics in post-war states, including facilitating multiple elections.
  • Topic: United Nations, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Elections
  • Political Geography: Africa, Caribbean, Haiti, Liberia, North America, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Jefferson Brehm
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations Review
  • Abstract: In January 2016, al-Shabaab militants attacked an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forward operating base in El Adde, Somalia. They held the base for several days before the Kenya Defence Forces managed to reclaim it. Media reporting has understandably focused on the loss of life among the Kenyan peacekeepers—widely reported to be upwards of 100 men and women. The loss of materiel has received considerably less attention, but is of great importance. Al-Shabaab potentially put AMISOM’s personnel and local communities in even greater peril by seizing their weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and communications equipment. The El Adde attack resulted in one of the largest recorded single incidents of diversion of materiel from peacekeepers, but was far from an isolated incident. As the Small Arms Survey has documented, the loss of equipment during peace operations is routine and widespread. In fact, thousands of small arms and light weapons, and millions of rounds of ammunition have entered the black market from more than a dozen missions undertaken by the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations. Logistical challenges to security management are not specific to UN missions but pose challenges for all organizations that engage in peace operations because all peacekeepers who deploy with military hardware face the risk of losses. Small Arms Survey research suggests a number of ways that these losses can be resisted or better managed, including through improved record-keeping, tailoring procedures to the specific operational environment, and respecting the operational limitations of inspection regimes.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Weapons , Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, South Sudan
  • Author: Thijs Van Laer
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations Review
  • Abstract: In July 2016, serious fighting erupted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, when a peace agreement signed less than a year before broke down. Many citizens were killed, often in deliberate, ethnically motivated attacks, while others sought safety in the vicinity of the premises of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Many more had already found relative safety there after earlier violence and atrocities in 2013. As of June 28, 2018, more than 210,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living under UNMISS protection. Despite its responsibility to protect those IDPs, in July 2016 peacekeepers abandoned their positions at the IDP site, and more than 20 civilians were killed. In addition, two Chinese peacekeepers died after a grenade exploded near their armored personnel carrier. Despite repeated alerts, UNMISS did not intervene when government security forces forced their way into a nearby hotel and killed one and sexually abused other UN and humanitarian personnel residing there. Much has been written about the woefully inadequate response by the UN peace operation to these attacks, blamed by a UN inquiry on the lack of leadership, inadequate coordination, and poor troop performance. The mission’s military commander was sacked after the inquiry.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Displacement, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Veera Laine
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The initiative to create an autocephalous national Orthodox Church in Ukraine, proposed by the political leadership of he country, now seems more likely than ever before. The Russian Orthodox Church duly risks losing its economic support and status in the Orthodox world, which has political implications for Russia as well.
  • Topic: Religion, Catholic Church, Secularism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Robert Bell
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In no aspect of NATO’s deterrence and defense posture is the challenge of Alliance management more demanding than in its nuclear dimension. This is especially the case at a time when Russia’s aggressive actions and threatening behavior have fundamentally changed the security environment in Europe, and President Donald Trump’s approach to NATO has presented challenges of its own. In this context, it is crucial that Allies understand the positions that they have agreed on in terms of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation (ADN), as well as nuclear weapons policy, doctrine and posture. Considering the security benefits they receive in return for the United States’ extension of its nuclear deterrent to its NATO Allies, these states must also distinguish between the nuclear-related roles and responsibilities they are expected to take on and those with regard to which they have the option to ‘opt out’. For its part, the Trump Administration must appreciate that if all Allies are expected to close ranks behind the enhancements to NATO’s nuclear posture that are needed in order to respond to Russia’s threatening behavior, many will require an equally robust arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation posture as a quid pro quo.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North America, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The liberal, norms-based international order is being challenged by two contradicting trends: the rise of power politics and geopolitical conflicts, on the one hand, and the diffusion of power and increased importance of networks, on the other. This paper explores how increased connectivity is shaping the agenda and practice of EU foreign policy and re-defining the traditional tensions between realist and liberal approaches to global politics. It argues that the EU should develop foreign policy strategies that utilise networks as an asset against power politics, looking at two examples of how a network-based approach can help the EU to defend its values and interests: networks for resilience against hybrid threats, and networks for supporting Ukraine. These cases shed light on how the concept of networks can contribute to the EU’s strategy in today’s fluid global politics and unstable regional security environment.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Liberal Order
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Jussi Lassila, Ryhor Nizhnikau
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The appeal of left-leaning ideas is on the rise in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Nonetheless, the main left-wing parties, particularly the communists, remain stuck in the past and at odds with the interests of the electorate. The communists have gradually transformed from opposition forces and political competitors into conformists of the ruling elites. This new function dictates their key interest in maintaining the stability of the system, which also leads to growing dissent among the parties’ members. Embeddedness in the existing political system is preventing the Left from self-reforming and impeding their transformation into modern national social-democratic projects. Yet Moldova has shown that in the new political context old ‘Leninists’ can reinvent themselves and become the most popular political project in the country.
  • Topic: Communism, Political stability, Political Parties, Participation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Moldova
  • Author: Matthew D. Stephen
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: International institutions thrive when they are utilized, their rules are respected, and they are important in shaping international outcomes. They fail when they fall into disuse, their rules are violated, or they otherwise become peripheral to the events of world politics. In order to function effectively, international institutions require a minimum level of agreement amongst their most powerful members. In many institutions today, the level of agreement is shrinking. While geopolitical tensions are real, the biggest risk to international institutions comes from the unravelling of domestic and transnational social coalitions in favour of economic openness and ideals of internationalism. To rescue international institutions, it will be necessary to take action at the national level. This means using the policy tools available to national governments to create economic security, reduce inequality, and foster inclusive community identities. This may come at the expense of deeper international integration, but it will be better for international cooperation in the long run.
  • Topic: Security, Inequality, Institutionalism, Community, International Institutions
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite concrete achievements in energy and military-technical cooperation, long-term trends, such as Russia’s growing dependence on China, India’s tilt towards the US, and tense Sino-Indian relations are not conducive to closer strategic cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This FIIA analysis situates President Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy in the discursive field of post-Cold War American foreign-policy debates, and assesses the possible perils it poses for US global engagement. The “Trump doctrine” has been built in contradistinction to liberal internationalism, contains civilizational tropes drawn from neoconservatism, and is underpinned by a zero-sum materialist worldview borrowed from realism. Trump’s approach to the international is also transactional, which means he intermittently draws upon (neo)isolationist themes. This Trumpian amalgamation of four American foreign policy traditions can be termed transactionalist realism with civilizational undertones. By embracing this approach to the international arena, Trump and his administration risk eschewing the importance of social relations that legitimize US international conduct, turning inter-cultural struggles into self-fulfilling prophecies, and undermining prudent long-term use of American power. If methodically carried out, the emerging “Trump doctrine” will prove detrimental for the future of US global leadership in a complex 21st-century world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Leadership, Social Roles
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Stephen J. Flanagan
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In a period of renewed great power competition, the United States and other NATO allies are once again giving attention to the maritime dimension of deterrence and defense in the North Atlantic and Northern Europe. Growing Russian assertiveness and the deployment of a range of new maritime surface and subsurface systems have increased the threat to maritime lines of communication across the Atlantic, which are a central area of NATO’s responsibility and essential for North American reinforcement of forces deployed in Europe in the event of a major crisis. The US and NATO responses include an increased naval operational tempo, expanded maritime exercises, the pre-positioning of additional equipment, and the re-establishment of the US 2nd Fleet and the NATO Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, both with missions to defend the North Atlantic. These developments need to be further integrated into NATO and national plans for defense of Northern Europe and the Arctic, and tested through exercises and training. There may be opportunities to improve this integration in the context of Nordic/Baltic cooperation and the bilateral and trilateral defense cooperation that Finland and Sweden are pursuing with the United States.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America, Northern Europe
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kurds are an ethnic group of approximately 35 million people, half of whom live inside the Republic of Turkey, where the conflict between the state and the Kurdish separatist PKK organization has now lasted for over three decades. After a promising peace process in 2009–2015, the AKP government under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has now reduced Turkey’s Kurdish question to anti-terror operations, and marginalized the legal Kurdish HDP party, echoing the failed policy of the 1990s. Turkey is now a presidential system where power is tightly concentrated in the hands of President Erdoğan, a development directly opposed to Kurdish demands for greater local autonomy in the Kurdish-majority districts. Through the PKK network and transnational Kurdish sympathies, the fate of Syria’s and Turkey’s Kurds is now inextricably intertwined. The current way of building the new regime in Turkey is likely to produce more PKK attacks, but also widespread resentment among ordinary Kurds, including those opposing the PKK.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Ethnicity, Separatism, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, Kurdistan