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  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: The horrific suicide bombings at Sana'a mosques, which killed at least 137 people, are the worst such attacks in 20 years and an omen of sectarian conflict that the beleaguered country has so far avoided With worsening sectarian violence, terrible governance, terrorist groups on the rise, meddling regional powers, and a tribal population awash with weapons but little else, Yemen resembles post-2009 Iraq, with significant differences but troubling similarities The Iraqification of Yemen will be a disaster for that country and an international community that is already unable to deal with Syria, Iraq, Libya, and other failing states The Houthi advance into the central town of Taiz, after calling for a general mobilization against the supporters of deposed/exiled president Hadi, and the fighting in Aden show the situation is escalating and could easily follow the path of Iraq, as more sectarian violence and regional demands tear the country apart.
  • Topic: Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Yemen, Syria
  • Author: Busra Hacioglu, Alina Shams, Amy Wood, Ruiqian Zhang
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On December 29, 2013, the journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were arbitrarily arrested and detained in Cairo, Egypt. They were sentenced to seven years in prison after a five-month trial, a verdict US Secretary of State John Kerry called "chilling and draconian" (quoted in Holmes 2014). Although more contentious, the 2002 rendition of Canadian-Syrian citizen Mahar Arar also garnered international condemnation. 2 The subsequent apology by the Canadian government drew attention to the vulnerability of dual citizens, both abroad and at home. In 2006 and 2011, Canadian citizens from Lebanon and Egypt called upon the Canadian government for support during conflicts, with over 13,000 evacuated from Beirut alone by the end of July 2006. These cases all bring to light the complex web of obligations and transnational legalities, which come to the fore during times of conflict. Characterized by an absence of global governance, dual citizenship occupies a grey area in the international arena, as no international conventions directly apply to this citizenship status. In this absence, there are fragmented state responses based on geopolitical and geographical demand - dual citizenship can be permitted, avoided restricted or renounced - according to the whims of states. This has created a messy terrain around rights, state responsibilities, security and migration.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Migration, Governance, Law
  • Political Geography: Lebanon, Syria, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: For a group that feeds on chaos, The Islamic State (IS) itself is rigidly structured and organized. The growing bureaucratic and administrative demands on IS as it attempts to govern the areas it controls-while under increasing military pressure-will stress the group and its structure like never before. The group benefits from ruling over populations that have little experience in effective government services, meaning that the very conditions that helped fuel IS's rise now give it wide latitude to deliver sub-par services for at least the near-term without risking revolt, at least for reasons of shoddy governance. From the caliph-level down to the district level, the group has a repetitive three-office ruling structure that provides easy-to-understand lanes of responsibility and authority, which is vital for a growing organization whose sole membership requirement is belief in its cause.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Bruce D. Jones
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Congratulations. You have not only won a second five---year term at the United Nations, but you also won with a minimum of fuss. In a month in which the Security Council has been rocked by disputes over Syria, all fifteen members backed you. Last week, the General Assembly gave you unanimous support.
  • Topic: International Organization, United Nations, International Affairs, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Syria