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  • Author: Irene Dawa
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Internet shutdowns – and especially social media disruptions – in Africa are becoming more frequent, mostly around election times and during national exams. A significant communications shutdown occurred in Cameroon in 2018 and lasted 249 days, costing the country US$38 853 122.1 In 2016, an internet shutdown in India cost US$968 080 702.2 Data shows that globally, India leads, with 70% of all known large-scale shutdowns.3 In Africa, Cameroon leads, with 249 days in 2018.4 Some of the reasons cited by governments for shutting down the internet and communications includes national security, political events and school exams. A communications shutdown entails cutting people off from the rest of the world, creating ambiguity and frustration and preventing access to information, which triggers strikes or protests that may become violent. This article examines two case studies – Kashmir and Cameroon – where recent communications shutdowns have led to violent conflict. The information for Kashmir was collected qualitatively – that is, observation and interviews were the key tools used, during a visit to Kashmir in 2019. Ten key informant interviews were conducted with different stakeholders who were affected by the crisis. The interviewees worked in local hospitals or small businesses. In the case of Cameroon, a desk review was undertaken to understand and analyse the conflict. Information was also gleaned from non-governmental organisations working in Kashmir and Cameroon. The communications shutdowns in Cameroon and Kashmir involved disrupting telephone, internet and mobile networks. These recent events in the two countries, which hampered people’s ability to communicate with each other and be informed, and which also included detention of people without trial, especially in Kashmir, violated Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reasons and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Also, Article 9 states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention,”5 and calls for the right of political prisoners to have access to justice and get fair trials, which was apparently not the case. There is a close link between conflict, human rights and the denial of rights, as they can lead to the frustration of needs related to identity, welfare, freedom and security, which are fundamental rights for survival. If rights are denied, needs are frustrated – which can lead to violent conflict as people seek ways to address their basic needs and violated rights.6 Everyone has the fundamental right to express their opinion, as indicated by the United Nations (UN): “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”7
  • Topic: Communications, Social Media, Conflict, Oppression, Freedom of Press
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, India, Asia, Kashmir, Cameroon
  • Author: Anna Rudakowska
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Nowa Polityka Wschodnia
  • Institution: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Abstract: Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (LY) is commonly seen as an institution comprised of career politicians. In fact, candidates without prior experience in elected seats of the island’s political structures are no strangers to the LY. Moreover, in the 2016 parliamentary elections, the political novices enjoyed unprecedented support and achieved relative success. The New Power Party (NPP), which only formed in early 2015 and popular mainly due to the several debutants it fielded, including Freddy Lim, Hung Tzu-yung and Huang Kuo-chang, emerged as the LY’s third-largest party. Although it garnered only five of the 113 seats (4.4%), it was a great win for the fledgling party, ranking it third behind the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which have reigned over the island’s political scene for the past several decades. This article examines the phenomenon of Taiwanese novices. It looks at them from the voters’ perspective. It surveys the demographic profiles and political preferences of Taiwanese who support the newcomers’ engagement in the political process, and compares them with citizens who express negative attitudes toward the newcomers.
  • Topic: Politics, Communications, Elections, Narrative
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Juan Luis López Aranguren
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: The postwar development of the Intelligence Services in Japan has been based on two contrasting models: the centralized model of the USA and the collegiality of UK, neither of which has been fully developed. This has led to clashes of institutional competencies and poor anticipation of threats towards national security. This problem of opposing models has been partially overcome through two dimensions: externally through the cooperation with the US Intelligence Service under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security; and internally though the pre-eminence in the national sphere of the Department of Public Safety. However, the emergence of a new global communicative dimension requires that a communicative-viewing remodeling of this dual model is necessary due to the increasing capacity of the individual actors to determine the dynamics of international events. This article examines these challenges for the Intelligence Services of Japan and proposes a reform based on this new global communicative dimension.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Intelligence, Terrorism, Communications
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia