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  • Author: Rami G. Khouri
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The grievances that exploded all over the Arab region between 2010 and 2020 are historic in so many ways that it is hard to know where to start understanding them. Scholars should avoid a single-focus analysis and instead grasp why the protests across nearly a dozen countries have addressed almost every dimension of material, political, and psychological life. Four key factors that converge, though, should take priority in any assessment of what this decade means for the Arab region: (1) the expanding range of rights, denials, and grievances that citizens raise; (2) the fact that Arabs have unsuccessfully tried to redress these grievances since the 1970s without receiving any serious responses from their states; (3) the demands today to go well beyond reforms in individual policies and instead totally overhaul the governance systems and throw out the ruling elites; and, (4) the simultaneous uprisings across much of the Arab region, revealing the common suffering of citizens and the incompetence of governments in about a dozen states at least. In short, the deterioration of the quality of citizenship and the dilapidated state of public services and governance have reached such a severe condition that they have caused mass eruptions by citizens in multiple lands to redress these stressful and often dehumanizing realities.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Social Movement, Reform, Citizenship, Arab Spring, History , Accountability
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Moosa Akefi Ghaziani, Mohmmad Akefi Ghaziani
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Review of Human Rights
  • Institution: Society of Social Science Academics (SSSA)
  • Abstract: The incorporation of universal human rights’ norms in public municipal law has often been a challenge for both Islamic and secular states. Employing an analytical method this article explores the main legal challenges to the incorporation of universal human rights norms into municipal laws in three states--Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two Islamic states, and India, the secular state. It is argued that despite their differences in the larger legal framework they follow a peculiar dualistic system to incorporate the human rights norms, which results in its application challenges.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law, Norms
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Claudia Fuentes-Julio, Raslan Ibrahim
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The role of human rights abuses in the causes, dynamics, and consequences of conflict illustrate the importance of a human rights approach to conflict resolution:1 if human rights are part of the problem, they must be part of the solution. This essay aims to show how a human rights perspective can improve the odds of transforming violent conflicts into sustainable peace by enhancing the design and implementation of peace processes and conflict resolution practices. In doing so, we will clarify the main characteristics of a human rights approach to conflict resolution and identify a set of human rights standards to guide its implementation. We will then briefly analyze the Colombian and the Israeli-Palestinian peace processes, each through the lens of the human rights approach. These two cases illustrate opposite ends of the spectrum when considering the inclusion of human rights in conflict resolution. At one end, the Colombian peace process illustrates how negotiations and a final agreement can recognize peace as a human right, highlighting the need to transform the structural conditions of injustice and human rights violations that give rise to armed conflict. At the other end, in the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, human rights are virtually absent despite the fact that systematic abuses are among the main underlying causes and consequences of the conflict. In the conclusion, we address one of the main criticisms and challenges of a human rights–based approach to conflict resolution.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Colombia, Palestine, South America
  • Author: Gülsen Kaya Osmanbaşoğlu
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Academic Inquiries
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Along with Turkey’s changing refugee policy from the Eurocentric, secular nation-state ideology to the neo-Ottomanist one on the state level, there also exist main handicaps on the micro power level concerning the successful coordination of the refugee issue with full respect of the human rights. Economic, cultural and especially political factors play a role in the relationship between Syrians and Turkish residents. Fragmentation within the Syrian community living in Turkey is also evident. On the other hand, different from the state policy, Turkish people implicitly show their reluctance towards this migration wave without creating a social turmoil. In this line, it is suggested here that Neo-Ottomanism, as a rising trend, helps a considerable majority of the society to take a moderate stance towards the immigration flux.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Syrian War, Neo-Ottomanism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Adham Sahloul
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: The murder of Saudi Arabian columnist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2nd in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has been a clarion call for the Washington foreign policy community, one that is redefining the United States’ relations with the Saudi Kingdom and, by extension, US strategy in the Middle East. The Khashoggi affair will outlive President Donald Trump; the reputation of Saudi’s leadership is beyond repair, and with Global Magnitsky sanctions and the newly proposed bipartisan Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act, the US Congress appears ready to act where the executive has fallen short. The CIA has concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) ordered Khashoggi’s murder. Trump, who has threatened “severe consequences” for whomever is found responsible, seemed over the past month to be looking for a way out of naming, shaming, and punishing MbS himself. In his statement on November 20th, Trump confirmed many observers’ worst fears about this president’s worst instincts, saying that US security, economic, and political interests transcend this incident. For a sitting US president to balk at the notion of holding an ally accountable and making even a symbolic effort to address such a gruesome crime with clear chains of responsibility constitutes a new low in US foreign policy
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Crime, Human Rights, Politics, Trump, Journalism, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Nikola Gjorshoski
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: One of the essential postulates of political orientation and determination for the building of stable societies and a functioning political system in its content recognizes and imposes the need to examine the relation of relevant political actors to constitutionalism and human rights as concepts and preoccupations for any modern society. Also, constitutionalism and human rights and freedoms as its inseparable category manifest the political values and the corpus of essential and common political goals and commitments of a particular political community. Political Islam as an ideological political subject has its own sources and a valuable orientation framework through which prisms and perceptions can be interpreted or extracted by individual axiological determinants to certain issues. This paper analyzes exactly the relations of political Islam with constitutionalism and human rights, and similarly to the so-called framework it draws attention to the concepts of power, the mechanisms of control and compliance with the Sharia regulations. At the same time, the importance of human rights and freedoms in the Islamic narrative, their nature and scope, as well as the differences with the western established documents in this area are emphasized and analyzed.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Islam, Constitution, Sharia
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Ryan J. Vogel
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: President Donald Trump has made clear his intent to utilize wartime detention in the fight against al-Qaeda and ISIS. As former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy, William Lietzau, and I have argued elsewhere, this could be a positive development in the United States’ evolving approach to the war against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their associates, so long as it is coupled with a commitment to continuing key detention policies and humane treatment standards developed over the past fifteen years. In recent years, the United States has largely avoided adding to the detainee population at Guantanamo (GTMO) – mainly in reaction to some of the more infamous excesses from the first couple of years after the attacks on September 11, 2001. But failing to capture new enemy fighters has come with an operational and humanitarian cost. The United States should take the opportunity that comes with political transition to re-embrace the wartime detention mission.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Law, Prisons/Penal Systems, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus, United States of America, Guantanamo
  • Author: Greg Scarlatoiu
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea officially dispatches over 60,000 workers to a minimum of 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The regime confiscates much of the USD 200 million earned by these workers annually. Despite the known exploitation and hardship, North Koreans continue to covet these positions, which provide rare opportunities to spend time outside the world’s most isolated dictatorial regime and send small amounts of money to their families at home. Only those deemed loyal to the regime as measured by North Korea’s songbun system have access to these jobs. Even those with “good songbun” frequently bribe government officials to secure one of the few positions available. Once overseas, workers labor under harsh and dangerous conditions that border on slavery. North Korea’s pervasive security apparatus continues to survey all activities while spouses and children serve as de facto hostages to prevent defections. The Kim Family Regime’s dispatch of workers amounts to exporting its subjects as a commodity. Efforts to address this issue must be based on applicable international standards. Governments bound by international agreements should first seek redress, as difficult as it may be, before terminating the contracts that cover North Korea’s overseas workers.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Labor Issues, Economy, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Sadia Rafique, Khalid Manzoor Butt
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Socio, economic and political involvement of women as half of the total populace is important to reinforce society and state. In every sphere of life, women have been found under-represented one way or the other. The women of Iran are not exempted from this. This paper evaluates women‟s position in two different periods in the history of Iran, i.e., during the rule of the Pahlavi Dynasty, and during the period of the post Islamic Republic. The objective of the paper is, first, to highlight the treatment meted out to women in Iran and shed light on various spheres of social life while comparing the two periods. Secondly, to examine factors that have affected the position of women in Iran
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, History, Governance, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Erika Weinthal
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In the Middle East, water often crosses political borders; because water is a shared resource, its effective management demands cooperation among different users. In the absence of cooperation, conflict is likely. Indeed, conflict and cooperation over shared water has defined Israeli-Palestinian relations since 1967 when Israel gained full control over the Eastern and recharge zone of the western Mountain aquifer, as well as the southern Coastal aquifer. These resources, combined with water from the Sea of Galilee have provided about 60% of Israel’s water consumption. With the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel placed restrictions on the drilling of new wells for the Palestinian population in the West Bank, and instead chose to supply water to Palestinian households through its national water company, Mekorot. The signing of the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Oslo I) and the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II) between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization offered an historic opportunity to move from conflict to cooperation over shared water resources. Unlike many other peace agreements, water was codified in the Oslo Accords, as it was understood that water sharing was of critical importance for human security, economic development, and regional cooperation. Specifically, the Oslo Accords called for the creation of a Joint Water Committee (JWC) during an interim period before the final status negotiations, comprised of equal number of members from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, whose functions would include the coordinated management of water resources and water and sewage systems in the West Bank. Oslo II, Article 40 on water and sewage recognized Palestinian water rights in the West Bank and the need to develop additional water supply. Oslo II also detailed specific water quantities to be allocated to the Palestinian population, mostly from the eastern Mountain aquifer in the West Bank.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Water, Conflict, Negotiation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, West Bank
  • Author: Sherene Seikaly
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Arab Studies Journal
  • Institution: Arab Studies Institute
  • Abstract: The Arab world and the broader Middle East offer profound lessons on the inextricability of knowledge and power. In the midst of civil war, foreign intervention, and ongoing occupation, those of us who study the Middle East or call it home confront two realities at once. On the one hand are the conditions of everyday life that range from the constrained to the unbearable. On the other are the increasingly confined possibilities of producing knowledge on these conditions. To grasp these two realities, we have only to glance at the kind of fire, sometimes live, scholars and students have come under in the last few months alone. In January, the Turkish Higher Education Council condemned a petition that scholars in solidarity with the Kurdish region signed as “terrorist propaganda.” University rectors immediately began taking punitive measures: launching investigations against and suspending scholars who were signatories. This is in addition to the prosecutions and criminal investigations scholars are facing for expressing their opinion on social media.
  • Topic: Communism, Human Rights, Socialism/Marxism, Intellectual History, Transitional Justice, Feminism, Justice, Reconciliation , Leftist Politics, The Press
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia