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  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Heathershaw, Nick Megoran
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Western geopolitical discourse misrepresents and constructs Central Asia as an inherently and essentially dangerous place. This pervasive 'discourse of danger' obscures knowledge of the region, deforms scholarship and, because it has policy implications, actually endangers Central Asia. This article identifies how the region is made knowable to a US-UK audience through three mutually reinforcing dimensions of endangerment: Central Asia as obscure, oriental, and fractious. This is evidenced in the writings of conflict resolution and security analysts, the practices of governments, the activities of international aid agencies and numerous lurid films, documentaries and novels.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Central Asia
  • Author: Edward Thomas
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005, ending two decades of war between Sudan's central government and the Southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army. The CPA shares wealth and power between Sudan's powerful Centre, a newly autonomous South, and Sudan's other vast, diverse, impoverished peripheries. The bold peace gave new legitimacy to the two parties, who agreed to face their first competitive elections in 2009. Southern Sudan will have a referendum on self-determination in 2011.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Abbas Shiblak
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The quest of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes is not only a legal and moral right but has become a major part of Palestinian identity and symbolizes Palestinian historical narratives. It has been an effective instrument of mobilization that became the political priority of various resistance groups which later formed the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO embarked on a line of negotiation which sought to reconcile rightist and realist approaches. They sought acknowledgment by Israel of its responsibility for the refugee issue and acceptance in principle of their right of return while showing flexibility and readiness to discuss various formulations of return. At the core of the inter-Palestinian debate is the dynamic between the two objectives of achieving statehood and the resolution of the refugee issue. State-building came to be seen not only as a means of reconstructing Palestinian identity but also as a catalyst to resolution of the refugee issue. A peace agreement should widen the options for the refugees and address all aspects of the refugee issue including the rights of repatriation to Israel, return to a Palestinian state, compensation, and equality and full citizenship rights in countries where refugees choose to remain. A comprehensive peace agreement must include the regional aspects of the refugee issue and all regional actors. There is an urgent need to review the current format of negotiations and bring about more balanced and effective international political engagement in the bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Political Economy, Post Colonialism, Poverty, Terrorism, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Paul Stevens
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent events between Russia and Ukraine at the start of 2009 and Russia and Georgia in 2008 have brought transit pipelines back into the media spotlight. Any reading of the history of transit oil and gas pipelines suggests a tendency to produce conflict and disagreement, often resulting in the cessation of throughput, sometimes for a short period and sometimes for longer. It is tempting to attribute this to bad political relations between neighbours. This is certainly part of the story, but also important is the nature of the 'transit terms' – tariffs and offtake terms – whereby transit countries are rewarded for allowing transit. Put simply, the trouble with transit pipelines has a significant economic basis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Economics, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
  • Author: Muzong W. Kodi
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Now that the Democratic Republic of Congo has held a series of elections that mark the end of the long transition period, new institutions are being put in place at the national and provincial levels. The paper retraces the enduring legacy of mismanagement, corruption and human rights violations which was left by Mobutu Sese Seko's regime (1965-97) and was deepened during the following six years of conflict and three years of the transition period. This paper shows that a culture of impunity compounded by an inversion of moral values persists and will be among the many challenges confronting the leaders of the new regime.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Demographics, Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Angola is no longer at war except in its Cabinda province. This report summarizes the British-Angola Forum 2003 conference which focused on whether there was a peace dividend and what the post-conflict priorities for reconstruction and development should be. The opportunities and challenges are many, but many speakers emphasized how slow post-conflict democratic change is. Key issues examined in the British-Angola Forum's 2002 conference were as pertinent as ever. The confrontation between transparency and sovereignty continues to resonate especially.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Joel Peters, Becky Kook
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 17 May 1999 Ehud Barak secured a stunning victory in the Israeli elections, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a majority of almost 400,000 and gaining slightly over 56 per cent of all the votes cast. While polls in the days immediately prior to the election had signalled Netanyahu\'s defeat, no one had anticipated such a landslide victory. After three turbulent years of Likud government, Barak\'s election slogan \'Israel wants a change\' clearly captured Israeli public disillusion with Netanyahu, who lost the trust and support of voters throughout the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Martin Plaut, Patrick Gilkes
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In May 1991 the capital of Eritrea, Asmara, fell to the liberation movement that had been fighting for the independence of the territory for the past thirty years. At the same time the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was captured by forces led by northern rebels from the province of Tigray. It seemed, for a moment, that the long and bloody wars that had racked the region might be at an end. The dual victories were the result of a close cooperation between the two movements that had led these struggles—the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Both had been determined to overcome authoritarian rule from Addis Ababa and had worked closely together to achieve this end. Two years later Eritrea achieved formal independence, recognized by the United Nations, by the Organization of African Unity and—most important of all—by the new rulers in Ethiopia. At the hour of victory relations between the two movements appeared genuinely warm and friendly. Yet just seven years later the divisions could hardly be deeper. Since May 1998 they have been in—or close to—open warfare. Their leaders, who were once close personal friends, are no longer on speaking terms. Tens of thousands of people have been deported or displaced and radio stations blare out vitriolic propaganda against one another. These are complex events that have been further obscured by the contradictory versions of the truth that both sides have advanced.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Migration, Nationalism, Sovereignty, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Abiodun Alao
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Prior to the recent controversy over the transfer of arms, little international attention was devoted to Sierra Leone. Even its civil war, which is at the root of the matter, did not attract any significant attention outside West Africa, despite the fact that it had claimed nearly 50,000 lives. Although its enormous diamond deposits have always attracted some interest, this has been limited to private companies and individual entrepreneurs. Many Sierra Leoneans believe that had there been sustained concern about the predicament of their country, the entire arms controversy might have been avoided. This briefing paper does not, however, attempt to delve into the complexities surrounding the sale of arms to Sierra Leone and deals only tangentially with the role of mercenaries that has been the subject of so much scrutiny. Rather, it traces the major events leading to the civil war that began in March 1991, bringing with it immense suffering for this impoverished nation. This is a tale of intrigue and power struggles that has involved most of the West African region, and has allowed unscrupulous actors from as far afield as South Africa, Britain and the United States to dabble in the affairs of this country. It is a salutary lesson in the lack of concern about the fate of small nations in the post-Cold War era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America