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  • Author: Sonja Wolf, Craig Willis
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Minority empowerment is a relatively new approach on research and policy-making in the field of minority studies. At its core lies the ideal to remove the marginalisation of minorities by providing room for them to take agency on their own behalf. One policy that has been identified as having the potential to rapidly affect marginalised communities is the implementation of a Universal Basic Income; a monthly amount paid equally to all residents of an area without any means-testing or conditions. This working paper explores how these two fields of research can connect and identifies the key areas of everyday life that could be affected. This includes focus on employment, education, relationships and family life, community work, and government intrusion and social stigma; core elements for any individual and society, including minority communities. The analysis section finds that UBI has the potential to alter all of these aspects, but only if it is used to increase the existing standard of welfare and government services and not as an opportunity to reduce government spending by cutting the vital existing programmes.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Minorities, Income Inequality, Universal Basic Income, Welfare, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nevena Radosavlijevic
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The armed conflict in Kosovo was finished in 1999. Even though almost 20 years have passed, the process of reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians, who were the main actors of the war, is still under question. Even though most of the efforts towards reconciliation in Kosovo are attempted from the top-down level of governance, there are significant bottom-up activities as well. The aim of my research is to explore the influence of dialogue projects as a bottom-up tool to achieve the reconciliation in Kosovo. In order to explain this influence of dialogue projects, I am using the case of Youth Peace Camp (YPC) which can be seen as a dialogue project, organized by the Council of Europe. Through the empirical research about the Youth Peace Camp, my research seeks to find elements of reconciliation recognized by a theoretical framework. According to this framework, reconciliation can be seen as space where two sides of the conflict are meeting in order to work on (re)building relationships; where they speak of the past and share their sufferings and experiences, work on acceptance of each other without feelings of hatred, change perceptions by getting to know the “other” and work on a common, interdependent future. Based on survey and questionnaires with previous participants of the YPC, as well as on the participant observation and interviews with participants at the YPC 2018, I found correlations between the YPC impact and reconciliation. The results of this study are emphasizing the positive impact of the dialogue projects such as YPC on the reconciliation process in Kosovo. The biggest influence of the YPC is made on the theoretical components such as relationship building, experience sharing, mutual acceptance and the changing of perceptions. The aspects of acknowledgment and future planning are also tackled and recognized in my empirical research, but not in the same range as the other components. The overall impact of the Youth Peace Camp on the reconciliation process in Kosovo can be seen as a positive one. Since there is no negative influence, the main recommendation of this research is to implement and organize these kinds of projects as much as possible in order to foster the reconciliation process. Besides the practical implementation, more academic research is needed.
  • Topic: Governance, Minorities, Youth, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Author: Andreea Carstocea
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Policies instituted with a view to improving the situation of the Roma in Romania and Bulgaria in recent years have resulted in very limited positive outcomes, as evaluated by international organisations and independent NGOs. Based on a broad outline of these policies, this Working Paper will argue that recognising the impact that anti-gypsyism has on the lives of the Roma, as well as strongly prioritising actions to combat it, represent fundamental conditions for improving the situation of this community.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Discrimination, NGOs, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Author: Guido Panzano
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Located in the northeastern part of Italy, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen, also known with the historical name of South Tyrol, is one of the two provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region. It is a border region and a deeply divided place, with a majority of German-speaking population (62.3%) and minorities of Italians (23.4%), Ladins (4.1%) and past and recent migrants (10.2%). On the 21st October 2018 almost 400,000 South Tyrolean citizens (69.1% Germans, 26.4% Italians, and 4.5% Ladins) casted their vote to elect the Provincial Council. This Working Paper therefore aims to analyse the party competition in this electoral campaign, underling specificities and evolutions of such a peculiar political system.
  • Topic: Minorities, Elections, Local, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Dimitrios (Jim) Molos
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: With the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), the Council of Europe recognized that national minority protection was essential for European “stability, democratic security, and peace”. Yet, because the FCNM is nonjusticiable, and because its monitoring mechanism is voluntary and highly discretionary, many legal commentators’ initial predictions were ambivalent or pessimistic. Two decades and several monitoring cycles after the FCNM entered into force, there is sufficient data to begin assessing the accuracy of the initial predictions. This working paper answers a narrow question: to what extent have the FCNM’s monitoring procedure and the Advisory Committee’s recommendations been effective in facilitating Croatia’s implementation of its legal obligation under the FCNM? In brief, the Croatian implementation record reveals mixed results. Whereas Croatian authorities have made significant progress toward full and effective constitutional, legislative and institutional implementation of their FCNM obligations, this success has been marred by resistance and disobedience at the level of local application. An analysis of Croatia’s progress demonstrates that its national minority protection measures are not properly characterized as legislative lip-service, and that even though Croatia has much work to do to fully implement the FCNM, including on several issues of pressing concern, its real progress should be neither underestimated nor devalued. Ultimately, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the FCNM’s monitoring procedure’s ability to encourage States Parties to enhance their national minority protection, particularly at the legislative and institutional levels.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Legislation, Identity, Protected People
  • Political Geography: Europe, Croatia
  • Author: Sergiusz Bober
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Numerous national minorities residing in Europe produce their own printed or on-line media. In most of the cases, the content such minority media offers, includes also information regarding developments (political, economic, social) taking place in kin states. This Working Paper, through the analysis of content published in Flensborg Avis (the newspaper of the Danish minority residing in the bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein), aims to examine how such information is presented. In other words, does minority media rather passively convey content concerning aforementioned developments or actively participate in debates taking place in their kin state? Another related question is also addressed: does minority media feel obliged to follow the political line currently dominant in a kin state? The conducted analysis shows that Flensborg Avis is an example of a minority media actively engaged in debates concerning issues important for Denmark and presenting views not infrequently on a collision course with narratives dominating there.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Minorities, Media, Ethnicity, Identity, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Stacey Philbrick Yadav, Marc Lynch, Sheila Carapico, Dana Moss, Silvana Toska, Ala'a Jarban, Ala Qasem, Mareike Transfeld, Marie-Christine Heinze, Hafez Albukari, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Elisabeth Kendall, Laurent Bonnefoy, Susanne Dahlgren, Peter Salisbury, April Longley Alley
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Yemen’s war has become one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes. The preventable consequences of the war have been well-documented and the military conflict is now at a stalemate. For Yemenis, 2018 promises a sustained downward spiral. The war and humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen has received relatively little analytical or scholarly attention compared to the conflicts elsewhere in the region, such as Syria and Iraq. Both the Houthis and the Saudi-UAE coalition tightly control access for journalists and researchers, making up-to-date, on the ground research difficult. Media coverage is dominated by propaganda, reinforcing prevailing narratives of either Iranian encroachment or Saudi adventurism. These conditions have not been conducive to sustained, rigorous, empirically and theoretically informed analysis of Yemen. How have political coalitions and movements adapted to more than two years of war and economic devastation? How does governance actually work under the Houthis, the coalition, and in other areas of the country? How has the intervention changed the prospects of the southern secessionist movement? What prospects exist for a political agreement which might end the war? On November 10, the Project on Middle East Political Science convened a workshop on these questions with participants from Yemen, Europe, and the United States. The invited scholars and analysts all have longstanding research ties to the country, and most have been able to carry out very recent research inside the country. It is worth noting that assembling the workshop proved exceptionally challenging. The highly polarized political situation in Yemen extends to the analytical community, making publishing analysis a potential problem for Yemenis who live – or aspire to return – to Yemen. More directly, changing American travel regulations ultimately deterred numerous invited participants from attempting to reach Washington D.C., including several Yemeni scholars and several European scholars with deep experience in the region. While some participated virtually, the loss of a number of critically important Yemeni and European scholars from the workshop tangibly represents the broader cost to academia of these travel restrictions. Despite these obstacles, the workshop brought together a remarkable group of American, European, and Yemeni scholars. Their papers and workshop discussions offered insightful analysis into the central actors, alliances, and war dynamics, and how these are likely to shape whatever future agreement may arise in Yemen. This collection offers no clear path forward for policymakers. But it does draw on the depth of knowledge and detailed research conducted by an interdisciplinary group of scholars who have committed themselves to the study of Yemen and who doubtless hope that this research can help to inform policies that promote a peaceful resolution to this devastating war and an inclusive and sustainable process of rebuilding.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Politics, War, Diaspora, Governance, Alliance, Youth, Islamism, Revolution, State Building, Jihad, Houthis, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Marc Lynch, Maha Yahya, Frances Brown, Steven Heydemann, Jacqueline Parry, Dylan O'Driscoll, Caroline Abadeer, Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck, Deen Sharp, Frederic M. Wehrey, Peter Salisbury, Sune Haugbolle, Pietro Stefanini, Reyko Huang
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: Reconstruction following the devastating wars and state failure which followed the Arab uprisings of 2011 has become an increasingly pressing issue. In Iraq, the liberation of territories from the Islamic State came at great human and infrastructural cost. In Syria, the reconquest of territories by the regime of Bashar al-Asad has been accompanied by international discussions of modest steps towards reconstruction, after a war which generated more the half of the world’s refugees and internally displaced whilst sowing devastation across much of the country. Yemen has endured the near complete destruction of its infrastructure and economy, leaving much of the population at risk of starvation and disease. Libya is devastated by its multiple conflicts and the successive disintegration of what is left of its institutional structures. While none of these wars has yet fully ended, international and expert attention is increasingly focused on the impending challenges of reconstruction, repatriation and reconciliation. It is difficult to exaggerate the extent of the destruction which these wars have left behind. These wars have unfolded across multiple levels. Millions of people have been dispossessed from their homes, driven into exile at home or abroad. Infrastructure has been devastated, with many cities and towns utterly destroyed. National economies have evolved into local war economies. State and local institutions have been fundamentally reshaped. Communal polarization around sectarian or political identities has progressed to extreme levels. Entire communities have been severely impoverished as health and educational attainments plummet. And the individual trauma suffered by tens of millions of people afflicted by conflict and violence will have enduring psychological and developmental effects.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, War, Reconstruction, Authoritarianism, Islamic State, Transitional Justice, Conflict, Protests, Memory, Negotiation, Peace, Police
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Gaza, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Melani Cammett, Kristin Fabbe, Marc Lynch, Allison Spencer Hartnett, Ferdinand Eibl, Anna Getmansky, Tolga Sınmazdemir, Thomas Zeitzoff, Melp Arslanalp, Rania AbdelNaeem Mahmoud, Sean Yom, Wael Al-Khatib, Alexandra Blackman, Dina Bishara, Markus Loewe, Lars Westemeier, Asya El-Meehy, Marc C. Thompson, Caroline Abadeer
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: This spring, major protests swept through Jordan over economic grievances and subsidy reforms. In July, protestors took to the streets in the south of Iraq, demanding that the government address persistent unemployment, underdevelopment, and corruption. Meanwhile, earlier in 2018, Tunisians launched a wave of protests to oppose tax hikes on basic goods and increased cost of living. Such highly politicized responses to social policy concerns are the norm rather than the exception across the Middle East and North Africa. Social policy is where most citizens actually encounter the state and where policy most impacts peoples’ lives. As such, social policy and, more generally, welfare regimes, deserve a more central place in political science research on the region, as they have in the broader discipline. On April 20, 2018, POMEPS and the Harvard Middle East Initiative, led by Tarek Masoud, convened a workshop with a dozen scholars from around the world to discuss theoretical and policy issues related to social policy in the Middle East. The diverse, multidisciplinary group of scholars at the workshop addressed these questions from multiple perspectives. By probing the conditions under which reform occurs or may occur, the essays in POMEPS Studies 31, Social Policy in the Middle East and North Africa emphasize both possibilities for and persistent obstacles to change and underscore the deeply political nature of social policy reform.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Energy Policy, Politics, Culture, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform, Employment, Youth, Social Policy, Political Parties, Social Contract, Housing
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia
  • Author: Marc Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: There has traditionally been a wide divide between the study of the politics of Islam in the Middle East and in the West. Middle East-focused research in American political science has focused in great depth on issues such as political mobilization, social service provision, electoral performance, and Islamist ideologies. American research on Islam in the West, by contrast, has often focused on cultural conflicts, immigration, terrorism, and anti-Islamic campaigns. Today’s European scholarship on Islam distinguishes itself by a wide spectrum of methods, topics, and fieldworks, with a trend toward strong ethnographic research. Over the last two decades, a prolific and pluralist field of scholarship on Islam and Muslims in Europe and the U.S. has emerged and brought to the fore innovative perspectives and understudied topics. On June 28, 2018, POMEPS and Sciences Po CERI convened a workshop with a dozen scholars of Islam and politics in Europe and North America to engage with these various perspectives. Their work in POMEPS Studies 32: The Politics of Islam in Europe and North America illustrates the richness of the field of the politics of Islam in Europe and the U.S.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion, Diaspora, Political Activism, Sunni, Shia, Jihad, Tradition
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, North America