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  • Author: Matías Dewey, Cornelia Woll, Lucas Ronconi
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo)
  • Abstract: The legal order is the legitimate foundation of liberal democracy. Its incomplete enforcement of the law can therefore appear dysfunctional, reflecting weak institutions, state capture, and corrupt practices. This paper casts doubt on such categorical assessments by systematically examining the reasons for and intentions behind incomplete enforcement. It argues that law enforcement is part of the political process that is deeply affected by the constellation of actors concerned. Choices over law enforcement produce social order that is analytically distinct from the production of legal norms and their formal implementation. By analyzing different types of partial enforcement, its rationales, and intended effects, we propose an approach that studies law enforcement as an integral part of public policy analysis and of the study of socioeconomic orders.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Law Enforcement, Law, Police, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Rachel Morley
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Within the international development and human rights communities, awareness of the use of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) as a tool of war has grown significantly over the past two decades. Truth commission have emerged as a key response to support victims of CRSV and provide recommendations on how the state should provide assistance and avoid future violations. This report draws on an analysis of the final reports of truth commissions in four African countries—Sierra Leone (2004), Liberia (2009), Kenya (2015), and Tunisia (2019)—to explore the evolving nature of truth commission engagement with this specific mandate on the continent.
  • Topic: Conflict, Sexual Violence, Peace, Reconciliation , Truth
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tunisia
  • Author: Steven Rebello, Jesse Copelyn, Sinqobile Makhathini, Boikanyo Moloto
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
  • Abstract: Militarisation refers to a process where societies (states, institutions, and citizens) prioritise, organise, prepare for and respond to threats or crises with military action or violence. This policy brief highlights how many countries across the world, including South Africa, adopted a militarised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Africa, this militarised response has been noted by the deployment of the SANDF to assist with the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations as well as through the noticeable increase in the use of excessive force in response to protests.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Protests, Violence, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Andrew Chubb
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College
  • Abstract: This volume examines the role of popular nationalism in China’s maritime conduct. Analysis of nine case studies of assertive but ostensibly nonmilitary actions by which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has advanced its position in the South and East China Seas in recent years reveals little compelling evidence of popular sentiment driving decision-making. While some regard for public opinion demonstrably shapes Beijing’s propaganda strategies on maritime issues, and sometimes its diplomatic practices as well, the imperative for Chinese leaders to satisfy popular nationalism is at most a contributing factor to policy choices they undertake largely on the basis of other considerations of power and interest. Where surges of popular nationalism have been evident, they have tended to follow after the PRC maritime actions in question, suggesting instead that Chinese authorities channeled public opinion to support existing policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nationalism, Public Opinion, Military Affairs, Navy, Maritime, Oceans and Seas
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Sergiusz Bober, Aziz Berdiqulov
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This Research Paper focuses on practices concerning recognition and non-recognition of minority communities in six European and Central Asian countries (Denmark, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, and Tajikistan). Additionally, it also assesses the risk of misrecognition with regard to some of the minority communities resulting from these practices. The text is structured as a dual comparative analysis, first scrutinizing approaches to recognition within two macro-regions, and afterwards confronting them in order to identify similarities and discrepancies. This results in the identification of two “cultures” of recognition: a “strong” one in Europe and a “weak” one in Central Asia, with their characteristics originating mainly from differences concerning social, political, and legal contexts. At the same time, some features are shared by both macro-regions: hierarchization of minority communities, general limited access to minority rights, and sometimes a severe risk of misrecognition. Moreover, the paper argues in favour of formal mechanisms of recognition, a wider scope of application of minority rights (especially in Europe), as well as the strengthening of minority rights frameworks in Central Asia.
  • Topic: Culture, Minorities, Ethnicity, Community
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Nina Henke
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In less than 20 years after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine has faced several events, which have shaped the process of nation-building. The Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict with Russia have intensified the ‘us–them’ line of self-identification of the “Ukrainians” versus the “Others”. Ongoing “Ukrainisation” is spreading insecurity among minority groups and endangers possibilities to establish a cohesive Ukrainian society with a shared sense of belonging. In the context of a multicultural Ukrainian space and the international commitments of the State to protect and promote rights of its national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, adopting an ethnocentric approach to the nation-building of the country is a conflict-prone factor. By examining and discussing identities in the perspective of the ongoing nation-building process in Ukraine, this research paper aims to identify the potential of the State and individuals to find mechanisms and grounds for reconciliation and integration. This is approached through a series of in-depth interviews and a complex analysis of current political guidelines on education, language and decommunisation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Conflict, State Building, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Ljubica Djordjevic
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The paper analyses the texts of the constitutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia as a basis for exploring how these states deal with the (ethnic) diversity and balance between civic and ethnic concepts of nation. The four countries offer an interesting spectrum of different approaches, caused by different social contexts: the main feature of the approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the category of “constituent peoples”; Montenegro has opted for a civic concept; North Macedonia tries to balance between multiculturalism and a binational state; and Serbia juggles the concept of the nation-state combined with comprehensive protection for national minorities. The analysis shows that the constitutions struggle to various degrees with the balance between the civic (political) concept of a (supra-ethnic) nation and the ethnic (cultural) concept of nation(s), and, in essence, fail to contribute to interethnic interaction and wider social cohesion. Although it is clear that the recognition of specific group identities and accommodation of (minority) rights is essential for pursuing peace, stability, diversity and genuine equality in each of the four analysed countries, it is also evident that imbalance favouring the ethnic concept of nation and failure to establish stronger institutional links of common citizenship, inevitably leads to parallel (one could even argue “segregated”) societies where different groups simply live next to each other but do not genuinely interact, which is detrimental to social cohesion and social stability and prosperity in the long run.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Community, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Larry Diamond, Eileen Donahoe, Ahmed Shaheed, Benjamin Greenacre, James Shires, Alexei Abrahams, Joshua Tucker, Xiao Qiang, Marwa Fatafta, Andrew Leber, Alexei Abrahams, Marc Owen Jones, Afef Abroughi, Mohamed Najem, Mahsa Alimardani, Mona Elswah, Alexandra A. Siegel, H. Akin Unver, Ahmet Kurnaz, Anita Gohdes, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: The Project on Middle East Political Science partnered with Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and its Global Digital Policy Incubator for an innovative two week online seminar to explore the issues surrounding digital activism and authoritarianism. This workshop was built upon more than a decade of our collaboration on issues related to the internet and politics in the Middle East, beginning in 2011 with a series of workshops in the “Blogs and Bullets” project supported by the United States Institute for Peace and the PeaceTech Lab. This new collaboration brought together more than a dozen scholars and practitioners with deep experience in digital policy and activism, some focused on the Middle East and others offering a global and comparative perspective. POMEPS STUDIES 43 collects essays from that workshop, shaped by two weeks of public and private discussion.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Government, Human Rights, Science and Technology, Infrastructure, Authoritarianism, Political Activism, Democracy, Media, Inequality, Social Media, Surveillance, Borders, Digital Culture, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Hisham Aïdi, Marc Lynch, Zachariah Mampilly, Diana S. Kim, Parisa Vaziri, Denis Regnier, Sean Jacobs, Wendell Marsh, Stephen J. King, Eric Hahonou, Paul A. Silverstein, Afifa Ltifi, Zeyad el Nabolsy, Bayan Abubakr, Yasmin Moll, Zachary Mondesire, Abdourahmane Seck, Amelie Le Renard, Sumayya Kassamali, Noori Lori, Nathaniel Mathews, Sabria Al-Thawr, Gokh Amin Alshaif, Deniz Duruiz, Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Efrat Yerday, Noah Salomon, Ann McDougall
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS)
  • Abstract: In February 2020, the editors of this volume organized a POMEPS workshop that explored the origins of the disciplinary divide between the study of Africa and the Middle East, examining issues that span both regions (i.e., cross-border conflict, Islamist politics, social movements and national identity, and Gulf interventionism.) In February 2021, we convened another workshop, sponsored by POMEPS and the newly-founded Program on African Social Research (PASR, pronounced Pasiri) centered on racial formations and racialization across the two regions. Both workshops centered around the need for a genuinely transregional scholarship, one which rejects artificial divisions between ostensibly autonomous regions while also taking seriously the distinctive historical trajectories and local configurations of power which define national and subregional specificities. The workshop brought together nearly two dozen scholars from across multiple disciplines to explore the historical and contemporary politics of racial formation across Africa and the Middle East.
  • Topic: Islam, Race, War, Immigration, Law, Slavery, Judaism, Colonialism, Borders, Identity, Amazigh
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, South Africa, Yemen, Palestine, North Africa, Egypt, Madagascar, Tunisia, Oman, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea