Posts Tagged

governance

Anette Idler summarizes some of the findings from her new book Borderland Battles, which reveals how violent non-state groups compete for territorial control, co-operate in illicit cross-border activities and replace the state in exerting governance functions in borderlands. Borderlands are like a magnifying glass on some of the most entrenched security challenges of the world. In unstable regions, border areas attract violent non-state groups ranging from rebels and paramilitaries to criminal organisations who exploit their neglect by central governments. These groups compete for territorial control, cooperate in illicit cross-border activities, and substitute for the governance functions usually associated with the state. Studying the Colombian borderlands where armed conflict and organised crime converge demonstrates that the gap between state-centric views on …

Newly confirmed as US Secretary of State, John Kerry delivered his first policy speech last week, making the case for a renewed and proactive American diplomacy. Directing his remarks to the US Congress – and to Beijing’s leaders – more than to his actual audience at the University of Virginia, his message was urgent: “This is a time to continue to engage for the sake of the safety and the economic health of our country. This is not optional. It is a necessity.” Given the looming March 1 deadline for across-the-board sequestration which would reduce State Department operations by $850 million and foreign assistance by $1.7 billion, the US’ chief diplomat used his speech to defend the foreign policy budget against spending cuts, portraying foreign affairs as the guarantor of American economic prosperity.

After long years of silence and quiescence, the Non-Aligned Movement gained momentum in the debate about global governance and the management of alternative strategies of engagement with the world of international affairs. The setting was an unusual one per se, suggesting that the 16th gathering of the NAM was likely to be of a different nature. Indeed, Tehran, during the heated summer of 2012, seemed to be one of the less aligned capitals of the world, for a number of issues, widely debated in political science circles as well as among foreign policy decision-makers. Crippling sanctions, shadow negotiations and an on-going regional conflict in the Middle East, with several branches developing in Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and perhaps Yemen, have put …

On Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, the University of Oxford Centre for International Studies (CIS) hosted an international interdisciplinary conference, jointly convened by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), and the Centre for Sustainable Development & International Peace at the University of Denver. Featuring a variety of scholars and leaders in the field of peace and conflict studies, international development and theology, the conference aimed to “deepen the understanding of the paradoxical role of religion and spirituality in the contemporary social and political context, and its potential to shape global governance.” The first panel, entitled “Religion, Civilization and Globalization”, began with a presentation by Katharine Marshall, Senior Fellow at the Berkley Centre for Religion, Peace and World …

At the 2005 UN World Summit, more than 170 Heads of State and Government accepted three interlinked responsibilities, which together constitute the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). First, States accepted the responsibility to protect their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Second, States promised to assist each other in fulfilling their domestic protection responsibilities. And third, the international community took on a collective responsibility to react, in a timely and decisive manner, if particular States are manifestly failing to protect their populations from the abovementioned mass atrocity crimes. Despite a quite remarkable normative development (see for example the frequent invocation of R2P in relation to the recent Libya crisis), this R2P principle is …

Recognizing that tobacco consumption has become a leading cause for premature death worldwide, the international community, under the auspice of WHO, successfully developed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) with unanimous adoption by the 192 member states in May 2003. It is the first time that the Organization has used its constitutional right to develop an internationally legal instrument in global health governance. Therefore, it is a seminal event in global health. It also represents an unprecedented collective action to curb the global tobacco epidemic. The convention came into force in February 2005. With 174 party members covering 87% of the World’s population, the FCTC has been among the most widely and rapidly embraced international conventions devoted to health …

Religious freedom, if it means anything at all, must mean the ability of people of all faiths and none to practice their religion, to form religious associations and perhaps, if necessary, to be exempt from some civil laws, as Sikhs are relieved of the requirement to wear motorcycle helmets. These exemptions should be offered uniformly, based upon the religious beliefs and the impact of the exemption, not on the constitutional status of the religious organization involved. Religious equality means treating all religions the same: Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists Muslims and Jews, as well as all denominations within each of them. However, religious establishment (a term that may well be essentially contestable in British constitutional law) necessarily carries privileges with it …

In ‘Duck Soup‘ – the 1930s Marx brothers’ film – a powerful rich lady tells the ailing government of Freedonia, she will only bail them out with another loan, if her favourite – Groucho Marx – becomes president: chaos follows. Europe may or may not escape chaos as the euro crisis unfolds. But when asking what sort of European Union will emerge out of the Duck Soup of the crisis, there are no upbeat scenarios. Desperate Politics drives all scenarios The euro crisis has battered the EU’s political dynamics, clout and democratic credentials. The sight of technocrats running the Greek and Italian governments has been criticised as anti-democratic . But Europe’s political failings go beyond this. Neither Angela Merkel nor …