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  • Author: Mary Larzelere
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: When was the last time you thought about street lights? They’re certainly something I’ve always taken for granted, until a recent trip to Kosovo as part of an Urban Institute program supported by USAID, the Democratic Effective Municipalities Initiative (DEMI). DEMI is a three-year, $20 million project dedicated to helping Kosovo municipalities achieve good governance at the local level. DEMI undertakes steps to make local service delivery more transparent and inclusive, and make local officials more accountable for results, a true challenge in any democracy, let alone a new one such as Kosovo’s.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Electricity, Public Service
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In 2012 CESS conducted a range of activities in Turkey in the framework of the “Good Governance of the Security Sector in Turkey” programme: In March we organised a conference and a follow-up training course in Ankara on Financial Accountability and Budgetary Transparency of the Security Sector. During these events we discussed the main procedures in reviewing defence budgets and particular attention was dedicated to the role of the Court of Accounts. It became clear during the proceedings of both events that despite the fact that changes have been made for the better in Turkey with regard to financial oversight of the security sector, most of these changes unfortunately are only made on paper and are still not put into practice. The auditing process clearly lacks key mechanisms that would make the military more accountable. Therefore the Court of Accounts still has no real leverage over the military in terms of auditing defence spending.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: How should analysts understand the combination of the June 30 massive popular mobilization and the July 3 military coup against then-President Mohamed Morsi? Should these events be understood as a continuation of the January 25 revolution, a second revolution, a straightforward military coup, or a restoration of the Mubarak-era order? Does the blame for the failure of Egypt’s first popularly elected presidency lie with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, with a recalcitrant opposition, with a resistant state, or with the deep problems which any transitional leadership would have confronted? Can a pathway toward a democratic order still be found?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Yemen began its long-awaited National Dialogue Conference this week in Sanaa. The NDC hoped to find some zone of consensus for moving forward in its transition from the long rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. It has been beset by many problems of representation, withdrawals and boycotts, deeply entrenched divisions, and the perception of irrelevance to the real problems of Yemenis. For a while it looked like it might never actually convene.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Charles Cadwell
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Jakarta, with a population of 9.5 million (27 million in the greater metropolitan area) has grown 3.6% per year for the past decade, about double the overall Indonesian population growth rate. By 2025, Jakarta will join the list of megacities, with the center city population reaching 10.8 million, according to a 2010 UN report. This next spurt will make Jakarta larger than Moscow and put it on a par with Paris. The proliferation of gleaming office towers that stretch in all directions from downtown is but one measure of dramatic growth. As you might expect, any prospects for continued growth will require dramatic new investment in infrastructure. Gleaming new toll-ways are already clogged, electricity supply, though much more reliable than in the countryside, is reportedly inconsistent. Corruption in public procurement dominates local and national headlines, keeping the national Anti-Corruption Commission more than busy. Financing infrastructure in the years ahead will require both public and private investment, though investors are understandably wary of a policy environment still dominated by money politics, opaque regulatory processes, and slowing reform momentum.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Urbanization, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: 30 August is Victory Day in Turkey, a national holiday celebrated with military parades and jet fighters painting the sky red and white, the colours of the Turkish flag. Victory Day commemorates the final battle in Turkey’s War of Independence. It glorifies the army and the new republic created on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. On Victory Day, all promotions of officers are announced, and the students of military schools celebrate their graduation. Besides, the Chief of Turkish General Staff used to receive the congratulations of high state officials. However on 30 August 2011, things were a bit different.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Natalia Gherman is Moldova’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator with the EU. CESS spoke to her in Chis¸ina˘u during the second in a series of UNDP workshops on EU negotiations organised by CESS and its partners. Ms Gherman had just returned from a visit to The Hague and Berlin where she spoke to her colleagues about the visa liberalisation regime, one of the main priorities for Moldova in its relations with the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: Central Asia presents a broad spectrum of security challenges. These range from religious terrorism, organised crime and simmering ethnic quarrels to endemic corruption, environmental decline and a disintegrating infrastructure. Besides, the danger of instability is heightened by a lurking receptiveness to religious extremism among returned migrants.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: On 12 May we received the news that David Greenwood had passed away. It was expected in a way, but still it came as a shock. David had been suffering from a disease one can fight for some time, but never beat. Although at the end he was very weak and never left home anymore, David was not supposed to leave Margaret and all of us so soon.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In the second half of 2007 we decided to take the Starlink programme further east and got in touch with the Netherlands Embassy in Astana to investigate possibilities in Kazakhstan. During a fact-finding mission in November 2007 we found that there was a clear need to develop capacity for democratic governance in the security sector of Kazakhstan. The country is engaged in a process of reform that, if successful, will improve oversight of the security agencies, enable the country to fulfil the commitments it undertook in its NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan of 2006, and enhance Kazakhstan’s standing at the OSCE. Kazakhstan will hold the presidency of the OSCE in 2010. It is obvious that Kazakhstan has put in place several of the laws and institutions required for democratic oversight of the security sector, and others are likely to follow. However, Kazakhstan still has some way to go to foster a culture of accountability. Here Starlink training courses will be helpful. The Starlink programme has been included in Kazakhstan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus