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  • Author: Başak Akkan
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Children had received less attention in the early stages of the pandemic. The mortality rates among children have been almost non-existent, and consequently they have not constituted a risk group. However, in a country with high incidences of child poverty, Covid-19 could have a significant impact in aggravating the existing inequalities among children and in creating new forms of deprivation. Within this context, the impact of Covid-19 on children is analyzed under four headings: The poverty aggravating effect of the pandemic; the manifestation of inequalities regarding the physical (home) environment and living conditions of children; the deepening of digital inequalities and access to education; and increased and unrecorded cases of domestic violence and child abuse amid the lockdowns.
  • Topic: Children, Inequality, Social Policy, COVID-19, Health Crisis, Abuse
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Katariina Mustasilta
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: In December 2019, when the novel strain of coronavirus first hit the headlines, 12 countries in the world were experiencing organised violence on an extensive scale, with more than 100 incidents of violence and attacks against civilians recorded in that month. To most of these countries, the virus seemed a distant threat at the time. Yet, a few months and over 7 million recorded Covid-19 cases later, it has evolved from a distant threat to a stark reality. The global crisis – which has unleashed an emergency in the world’s public health, political, and economic systems simultaneously – has subjected even the most stable societies to unprecedented disruption. In conflict-affected countries, i.e. countries with ongoing conflicts or a high risk of relapse into conflict, and countries emerging from conflicts, the pandemic has added another layer on top of often multiple existing layers of crisis. Against the backdrop of expert warnings over the particular vulnerabilities of conflict-affected countries to Covid-19, this Brief analyses key emerging dynamics and repercussions in conflict-affected countries in general, and in five countries in particular: Colombia, Libya, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen. The focus here is especially on conflicts and countries previously covered by our Conflict Series, so as to build on already accumulated analysis. The Brief identifies three main ways in which the global crisis impacts conflict-affected countries. First, the pandemic itself risks exacerbating inequalities and further burdening already vulnerable groups within conflict-affected societies. Second, local and external conflict parties are quick to capitalise on various opportunities arising from the policy responses to the crisis which also complicate peace and crisis management efforts. Third, the economic fallout puts severe strain on already weak state institutions and undermines governance outcomes (thus increasing the risk of conflict). Of these three dimensions, the policy responses and distraction created by the pandemic have thus far had the most significant repercussions for conflict dynamics, unfortunately often for the worse. The global scale of the crisis and its continuing evolution complicate efforts to seize momentum for peace and set the pandemic apart from previous catastrophic/disruptive events, such as the tsunami in 2004, that in some cases led to a positive shift in local conflict dynamics. The Brief is structured as follows: the main text analyses the emerging trends catalysed by the pandemic crisis in conflict-affected contexts, while the case study boxes discuss the unfolding processes in specific countries. The last section discusses the policy options for preventing further escalatory repercussions.
  • Topic: War, Inequality, Conflict, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Asia, South America, North Africa, North America, Africa
  • Author: Hugh Lovatt
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: European policy this year saw significant wins in Israel-Palestine: helping to block Donald Trump’s ‘peace’ plan and to avoid Israel’s de jure annexation of Palestinian territory. But Europe is failing to fundamentally challenge the worsening situation on the ground, which is storing up future instability and threatens European interests. The Oslo process is exhausted and a viable two-state outcome is slipping out of reach. Instead of its rigid focus on the Oslo peace process, the EU should craft a new peacemaking paradigm based on equality and deoccupation. The absence of a two-state solution will mean Israel ensuring equal rights for Palestinians in one democratic state. The EU should also deter Israeli settlement activity and push Palestinians towards political renewal as prerequisites for a future resolution of the conflict.
  • Topic: Geopolitics, Inequality, Oslo Accords, Instability
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Bertil Emrah Oder
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The recently announced Judicial Reform Strategy was subject to public debate with a series of promises ranging from issuing green passports to lawyers as a privileged of visa exemptions to the introduction of an appeal process in criminal cases concerning the freedom of expression.1 The fundamental shortcoming of this new strategy and other reform efforts is the lack of a specific agenda on the representation of women professionals in the judiciary, especially in the leading positions including the apex courts. Policies on women’s representation in the judiciary remained “invisible” in recent reform efforts on judicial policies.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Law, Women, Inequality, Courts, Criminal Justice, Representation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Berfu Şeker
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: We are at a time when the global politics of women’s rights, gender and feminism are intersecting at the regional and national level, forming around similar dynamics and practices. Against the gains made by women and LGBTI+ groups towards changing gender politics until the 2000s, we are seeing that new populist trends have been gaining power since 2000s.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Populism, Feminism, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bürge Elvan Erginli
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This policy brief is published in the framework of “Inclusive Local Governance for Sustainable City” project under the umbrella project “Supporting Sustainable Cities” of TESEV funded by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty. Actors of various sizes all participate in local programmes, plans and actions on the path towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. International and regional cooperation are necessary for attaining these goals, for which central government may prove more crucial in its effects, while the inclusion of local actors is imperative for following both a more efficient path and achieving democratic participation. It is thus timely to highlight the importance of local participation in identifying and implementing the 11th Sustainable Development Goal, Sustainable City and Human Settlements. This goal, in which the issues of the right to the city under inclusion(1) the creation of accessible and safe urban spaces for all, and the active and direct participation of civil society come to the forefront, necessitates the active participation of metropolitan municipalities of local governments, as well as district municipalities which are in most contact on many issues with the city’s residents.
  • Topic: Education, Governance, Children, Inequality, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East