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  • Author: Rachel Lastinger, Sandra Urquiza
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Election observers are a crucial mechanism for transparency in the electoral process and can play a key role in electoral reform. In the United States, election observers’ findings can be more efficiently utilized to catalyze needed reform. The Carter Center has observed over 113 elections and supported citizen observer efforts in various countries. Drawing from this international experience, we suggest that US election observers can monitor the electoral process beyond election day, from voter registration to election dispute resolution and have a similar impact on electoral reform and integrity.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Law, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States of America, North America
  • Author: Elliott Prasse-Freeman, Tani Sebro
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Myanmar’s recent military coup has, for now, ended the country’s brief ten-year experiment with democracy. But the military junta did not anticipate a massive country-wide social movement against the brazen power-grab, in which millions have taken to the streets. As protests continue in urban centers, a trans-ethnic and pro-poor solidarity movement is emerging. Myanmar’s most excluded subjects, many of whom watch the protests from refugee camps, are now weighing both the possibilities and precariousness that the coup entails.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Minorities, Displacement, Conflict, Coup
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar, Oceania
  • Author: Paulina García-Del Moral
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Mexican feminists have used the hashtag “la policía no me cuida, me cuidan mis amigas” (police do not protect me, my female friends do) to denounce and document sexual abuse and harassment at the hands of police and the sharp increase in police repression against feminist demonstrations. The repression of these feminist demonstrations suggests a new and disturbing pattern of the criminalization of women’s right to mobilize.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Law, Women, Feminism, Conflict, Police, Girls
  • Political Geography: Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Marta Abrantes Mendes
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Based on interviews with key Yemeni civil society organizations, the report finds that much more is needed to support a Yemeni-led vision of justice and accountability. After registering a diversity of views amongst Yemeni civil society—from a need to address the economic and social costs of the conflict to the role of civil society in any future transitional justice processes—this report also highlights the obstacles facing Yemeni civil society. Additionally, the report proposes more tactics and strategies for supporting Yemeni civil society and victims’ groups, and to ensure they have an influence over the contours of an eventual peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Peacekeeping, Transitional Justice, Accountability, Justice
  • Political Geography: Yemen
  • Author: Andrzej Dąbrowski
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The development of U.S.-Belarus relations has been hampered by the events following the Belarusian presidential election in August 2020. In response to the Lukashenka regime’s violation of human rights, the U.S. extended a set of sanctions against the country and will most likely reinstate suspended economic restrictions. At the same time, the Biden administration will expand support for civil society, which creates a point of cooperation with Poland and the EU to coordinate aid activities and build international support for democratic changes in Belarus.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations, Elections
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, North America, Belarus, United States of America
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the rigged presidential elections in August 2020, the public protests against Alexander Lukashenka have continued. The Belarusian authorities have responded with repression, detaining protesters and independent journalists. Despite Lukashenka’s calls to reform the constitution, he also tries to postpone this process. The European Union should increase its support to civil society and keep demanding the Belarusian authorities respect human rights.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, European Union, Protests
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Belarus
  • Author: Julia-Silvana Hofstetter
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The wide availability of digital technologies is increasingly impacting the work of peacebuilders, altering both peacebuilding practices and conflict dynamics. The malicious use of technology – from the weaponization of social media to digital authoritarianism and cyberattacks – poses new threats to peaceful societies and urges peacebuilders to consider new fields of action in cyberspace. However, digitalization has also brought major innovations to the work of peacebuilders, establishing a new field of practice, ‘digital peacebuilding’. Many of the innovative uses of peace technologies – for conflict prevention, transformation and reconciliation – have been driven by civil society organizations, who are at the forefront of addressing the rising threat of digital conflict drivers, too. This report provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges digital technologies create for peacebuilders, discusses how they alter the role of civil society, and proposes future directions for the digital peacebuilding agenda.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Peace, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Brigitte Dekker, Maaike Okano-Heijmans
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: pen, safe and inclusive digital connectivity and engage with the region’s thriving digital economies. While Indo-Pacific countries have called for greater maritime presence by European countries in their increasingly contested waters, European actors may have more to offer in the less-discussed but equally contested high-tech and digital domains. Recognizing the opportunities and disruptions that accompany the digital transition and green transformation globally, the EU and its member states need to increase their engagement with governments, commercial and civil-society stakeholders and networks in the Indo-Pacific on a broad array of digitalization issues.
  • Topic: Civil Society, European Union, Economy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Maximilian Kreter
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hedayah
  • Abstract: This country report, written by Maximilian Kreter, is one of the outputs of the CARR-Hedayah Radical Right Counter Narratives Project, a year-long project under the STRIVE Global Program at Hedayah funded by the European Union and implemented by the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). The overall project creates one of the first comprehensive online toolkits for practitioners and civil society engaged in radical right extremist counter narrative campaigns. It uses online research to map narratives in nine countries and regions, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. It also proposes counter narratives for these countries and regions and advises on how to conduct such campaigns in an effective manner.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Far Right, Radical Right, Civil Society Organizations , Countering Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Canada, Norway, Germany, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand
  • Author: Mette Wiggen
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hedayah
  • Abstract: This country report, written by Dr. Mette Wiggen, is one of the outputs of the CARR-Hedayah Radical Right Counter Narratives Project, a year-long project under the STRIVE Global Program at Hedayah funded by the European Union and implemented by the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). The overall project creates one of the first comprehensive online toolkits for practitioners and civil society engaged in radical right extremist counter narrative campaigns. It uses online research to map narratives in nine countries and regions, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. It also proposes counter narratives for these countries and regions and advises on how to conduct such campaigns in an effective manner.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Political Extremism, Civil Society Organizations , Countering Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Canada, Norway, Germany, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand
  • Author: Faiza Shaheen, Sarah Cliffe, Liv Tørres, Paula Sevilla Núñez, Paul von Chamier, Amanda Lenhardt, Nendirmwa Noel, Alexander Bossakov, Avner Cohen
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The flagship report of the Pathfinders Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion is about the solutions that will deliver equality and inclusion. It is the culmination of several years of research and mobilization undertaken by a unique partnership of ten countries, the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, Oxfam, and CIVICUS, along with numerous partners and international experts. The report constructs a bridge between the rhetoric of “build back better” and action: a bridge between promise and progress. The report draws on the lived experiences and desires of people across countries around the world. To understand citizens' concerns about inequalities, their policy priorities, and their desire for change, Pathfinders commissioned a public opinion survey in eight countries: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, and Uruguay. These opinion surveys show an immense preoccupation with societal divisions and a consensus that more needs to be done to address them. Additionally, it underlines the need for renewed social contracts between citizens, civil society, the private sector, and governments, as well as between high and low- and middle-income countries. These social contracts must be built to serve future generations, to guard against climate breakdown and pandemics while delivering respect, opportunity, and justice for all. The report should serve as a practical handbook for policymakers and influencers; as a source of possibility for the public; and, as a call to all political leaders to act.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Inequality, Research, Social Justice, Exclusion , Equality
  • Political Geography: Canada, South Korea, Uruguay, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Mexico, Tunisia, Costa Rica
  • Author: Dmitri Teperik, Dmytro Dubov, Oleh Pokalchuk, Illia Miroshkin, ksana Iliuk, Anastasiia Apetyk, Larisa Snihur, Grigori Senkiv
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: Since 2014, after the occupation of the Crimea and part of the territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Ukraine has remained the object of complex operations of influence from Russia. Effective protection from such operations is possible only if the various components of national resilience are fully explored, from regional media development to the readiness and ability of citizens to resist operations of such influence. This report combines an overview of key legal documents that address the topic of resilience in Ukraine; a description of the socio-political features of the south and east of the country; and the results of an empirical study based on data from focus groups and in-depth expert interviews, as well as significant excerpts from the analysis of public user data and discussions on social media networks. The conclusions and recommendations reflect the main practical task of this report – to improve the understanding of stakeholders in Ukraine of the mosaic-like structure and non-linear dynamics of the development of national resilience, especially its individual components in the regional context. Thus, this report is an important starting point for further applied research, as well as for practical steps to take to strengthen the informational, digital, communication, and cognitive security of Ukraine.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Communications, Social Media, Resilience, Hybrid Threats, Society
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ulaş Bayraktar
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report has been produced in the framework of the Empowering Civil Society for a More Democratic Local Governance Project funded by the scope of Republic of Turkey and European Union supported Partnerships and Networks Grant Program. TESEV is the lead, Şişli Municipality and Association of Union of Citizen Assemblies are the co-applicants, and the Checks and Balances Network is the associate of the project. The transition from the classical management approach to the governance approach, in which private sector and non-governmental organisations take on roles in determining public policies, has been the dominant discourse of politics for more than a quarter century. Instead of a hierarchical and monolithic bureaucratic process, this approach envisions a management triangle that engages other stakeholders. However, these governance principles have not been fully put into practice in Turkey and those that have been implemented have not yielded the expected results. The present study aims to test these statements at the level of local governments and politics. Its purpose is also to open up a discussion based on the findings of interviews and roundtables conducted in ten cities in Turkey and of a comprehensive survey administered to a nationally representative sample of civil society organisations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organization, Governance, Democracy, Urban
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Arsla Jawaid
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: Pakistan has struggled with Islamic militancy since the rise of the mujahideen in the 1980s. In the late 2000s, the Pakistan Army began establishing rehabilitation centers in the Swat Valley in an effort to deradicalize former Taliban fighters and other militants and reintegrate them into their communities. This report contrasts Pakistan’s deradicalization approach with the community-based program used in Denmark and the widely different prison-based program used in Saudi Arabia, and identifies areas in which the army’s approach could benefit from more extensive partnering with civilian-based organizations.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Prisons/Penal Systems, Violent Extremism, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: Brandon Friedman, Joshua Krasna, Uzi Rabi, Michael Milshtein, Arik Rudnitzky, Liora Hendelman-Baavur, Joel D. Parker, Cohen Yanarocak, Hay Eytan, Michael Barak, Adam Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: This collection of essays, published by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in collaboration with the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC), focuses on how states and societies absorbed the coronavirus shock as the first wave spread through the Middle East, from February through April 2020. It offers a critical examination of how several different Middle East countries have coped with the crisis. This publication is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive, but rather representative and preliminary. Each of these essays draw on some combination of official government data, traditional local and international media, as well as social media, to provide a provisional picture of the interplay between state and society in the initial response to the crisis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Health Care Policy, Economy, Crisis Management, Sunni, Jihad, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Nations
  • Author: David Manley, Rani Febrianti, Hari Subhash
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Abstract: Indonesia’s system of funding provincial, district and city governments is one of the most complex in the world, and has undergone substantial expansion over the last two decades. While the system allows thousands of authorities to function, it is failing in three respects: inequality of funding between regions persists, funding for some governments is unpredictable and volatile and some oil- and gas-rich regions have not sufficiently prepared for a possible future with much lower revenues. Indonesia’s planning ministry, Bappenas, should investigate these issues further focusing particularly on clarifying policy objectives, ensuring more reliable funding, supporting oil- and gas-rich regions in becoming more resilient to a long-term decline in prices and clarifying the published rules around the funding system.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Oil, Gas, Media, Mining, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Hasan Aydin
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Because of a perceived existential threat to the Turkish state, the teaching of any language other than Turkish in the formal education system has historically been forbidden through targeted legislation, despite the fact that Turkey comprises many minority ethnic groups other than Turks. Guaranteeing the rights of minorities like the Kurds for native tongue education would ensure preserving the distinct identities of minorities and contribute to the resolution of the decades-long Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Potential solutions include establishing programs, hiring more qualified instructors, and encouraging pluralism and diversity in education.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Education, Poverty, Minorities, Income Inequality, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Jeffrey Neilson
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 1870, the Dutch colonial government established the principle of domein verklaring (free state domain) in its East Indies colony when it enacted agrarian laws to promote private investment. The now-independent Indonesian nation is still trying to resolve the principle’s implications for community access to land, which threaten the long-term sustainability of livelihoods across the country. Further legal recognition of pre-existing customary rights over land is required to prevent exacerbating the marginalization of rural community interests.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, History, Law, Colonialism, Land
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Miguel Ángel Martínez-Meucci
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In Chile, the ongoing constituent process presents a great opportunity, but it also embodies great challenges. Chile’s future will depend on the capacity of the constituent body to reach broad consensus and produce a balanced text that is capable of innovating while preserving the best of what already exists.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Governance, Law, Constitution
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Author: Dina M. Siddiqui
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh has brought into focus both the striking power differential between Euro-American retailers and national suppliers and the damaging effects of this asymmetry.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Demographics, Labor Issues, Pandemic, COVID-19, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia
  • Author: John Crabb
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The island of Puerto Rico is in trouble, and it has been for some time. The US territory has a fiscal deficit worse than many third world countries and a list of economic and political problems to match. The uncertainty facing its some 3.2 million residents and those restoring normality is not conducive to the stimulation of prolonged growth. Puerto Rico can, and will, emerge stronger; but it’s going to need a lot of support.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Nationalism, Finance, Multilateralism, Trade
  • Political Geography: Caribbean, Puerto Rico
  • Author: Anya Prusa, Beatriz Garcia Nice, Olivia Soledad
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2011, Mexican poet and human rights activist Susana Chávez Castillo was tortured and killed in Ciudad Juárez. Eighteen years earlier, she coined the phrase “ni una mujer menos” protesting the unsolved murders of women in that city. Today, those words live on as grassroots movements across Latin America condemn the prevalence of gender-based violence. But, as Chávez’s own narrative suggests, meaningful policy change has been slow.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Political Activism, Women, Gender Based Violence , Feminism
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: René Castro-Salazar, Moctar Sacande, Danae Maniatis, Danilo Mollicone
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It may come as a surprise to many readers, but since 2005, Lake Chad has stopped shrinking; in fact, it has actually stabilized in the last two decades, reaching more than 13,000 square kilometers today. The conflict surrounding Lake Chad continues to be one of the world’s most challenging conflict-traps (a cycle of economic deterioration and repeat conflict), with seasonal migration of people in search of natural resources such as fuelwood, fish, water, and arable land to sustain their livelihoods.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Environment, Science and Technology, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Chad, Lake Chad Basin
  • Author: Anne Merrild Hansen, Melody Brown Burkins
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic is warming at a rate that is almost twice the global average. While one can generalize about the global impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, food insecurity, and more droughts and floods, the impacts on Arctic communities—or any specific global community—are best understood through conversations at the local level.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Climate Change, Environment, Governance, Culture, Mining, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Greenland, Arctic
  • Author: Rebecca Ebenezer-Abiola, Jeremy Moore
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Until the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 in 2015, the international community had no comprehensive framework with which to address the specific needs and opportunities of a key demographic group—young people. This report presents the findings of a meta-review assessing fifty-one youth projects supported or implemented by USIP between 2011 and 2018 and offers recommendations for continuing to develop and support peacebuilding activities with effective engagement, cooperation, and flexibility among civil society organizations and funders.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Demographics, United Nations, Youth, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: La Ring, Khin Sandar Nyunt, Nist Pianchupat, Shaazka Beyerle
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The National League for Democracy’s decisive victory in Myanmar’s 2015 elections inspired hopes of a full transition from military rule and an opening of civil space. Neither has materialized, and the groups working to advance social, political, and economic change in Myanmar continue to face significant challenges. Focusing on three cases of organized nonviolent action in Kachin, Mandalay, and Yangon, this report explores the divide that has opened between civil society and the NLD government and the rifts emerging within civil society itself.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Nonviolence , Donors
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Diego Benitez
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: USIP implemented its Initiative to Measure Peace and Conflict (IMPACT) program first in the Central African Republic and later in Colombia, where it worked directly with peacebuilding organizations to gauge their collective impact on fostering reconciliation in the wake of the 2016 peace accord between the government and FARC rebels. Drawing on the challenges encountered and lessons learned, this report provides suggestions for how future iterations of the IMPACT approach can help policymakers, donors, and practitioners achieve greater and more cost-effective results from the peacebuilding projects they support.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Education, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America
  • Author: Vali Nasr, Valeria Talbot
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The MED Report 2020, Navigating the Pandemic, provides analyses, policy recommendations and a vast array of data and infographics to stimulate discussion and inspire innovative ideas during the 6th edition of Rome MED Dialogues. Following MED's four traditional thematic sections – shared security; shared prosperity; migration; civil society, culture and media – the Report focuses on a selection of topics that are crucial to the region, highlighting both the challenges and the dynamics taking shape in an area that has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The aim of this publication is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the prospects and policy options for the Middle East and North Africa, where COVID-19 has impacted on a context already marred by socio-economic vulnerabilities and instability.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Migration, Culture, Geopolitics, Media, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Nancy Ezzeddine
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The recent protests in Iraq and Lebanon are driven by the effects of inadequate governance, which itself is a result of years of corruption, nepotism, and the appropriation of public authority and resources for sectarian purposes and self-enrichment. The governance model of both countries – sectarian quasi-democracy – is increasingly proving to be a long-term dead end. Both countries stare into the abyss of public bankruptcy, crumbling social services, growing poverty levels, and the lingering threat of renewed violence. Yet, the Lebanese and Iraqi political elites are stubbornly refusing to make more than token concessions to the protesters’ demands. The reform protesters seek are ambitious due to the many mechanisms that have entrenched elite capture of public authority and budgets in both countries over the past decades. These include, in particular: (1) the deep institutionalization of consociationalism that prevents more radical reform; (2) the pervasiveness of public/private arrangements that political elites use to dominate socioeconomic interactions to their benefits; and (3) the steady courting by many domestic political parties of foreign alliances that sustain the sectarian status quo. Notwithstanding the roadblocks to reform thrown up by these three mechanisms, this paper argues that today’s mix of political and economic crises offers opportunities bring about change. This is because these crises starkly expose the deep failure and unsustainability of current governance and development mechanisms in Lebanon and Iraq. Faced with resilient, stick systems that feature many veto players, reform is inevitably bound to be a gradual, long-term process that slowly and painfully strengthens and changes political structures. Key ingredients of such a path are the capacity of civil society structures to influence and guide decision making, the extent to which the international community is ready to challenge the status quo via conditions and incentives for genuine reform, and the ability to protestors to keep pressing for and prioritizing domestic agendas despite geopolitical tensions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Corruption, Reform, Alliance, Political Crisis, Economic Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Leonie Pearson
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: With over 780 million people dependent on transboundary rivers in South and Southeast Asia, water governance is vital to regional development. Yet, the current approach to water governance is dominated by state-centric actors (sometimes called the “hydrocracy”) and is not delivering sustainable water management for people or ecosystems. The so-called “hydrocracy” is a mix of government, bureaucrats, politicians, and national development banks, often aligned with private developers. They have established strong processes for governing transboundary water and are focused on maintaining the cyclical planning-to-construction of large infrastructure projects, e.g. dams, hydropower plants, bridges, etc. These state-centric actors are focused on delivering water allocation, utilisation and management with a clear agenda of ‘the state has a duty to develop its water resources’ for national economic development. For many, the state-centric actors are delivering the governmental agenda. Therefore, it is not governance that is managing transboundary water in Asia, but government.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government, Water, Governance
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nicolas Florquin, Elodie Hainard, Benjamin Jongleux
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Even though states may not intentionally supply materiel to armed groups, a lack of stringent risk assessments on weapons and ammunition exports destined for areas prone to diversion can hamper efforts to curtail the broader illicit arms trade. The 2020 edition of the Small Arms Survey’s annual Trade Update, Trade Update 2020: An Eye on Ammunition Transfers to Africa, delves into cases of authorized small arms ammunition transfers to Africa through exploring the potential of beyond-the-norm data sources. Relying on peacekeeping operations, national customs, and civil society research, the case studies highlight ammunition imports from opaque exporters to countries affected by armed conflict, states subject to arms embargoes, and other areas on the continent equally prone to seeing arms and ammunition diverted from the licit to illicit markets. Ammunition accounted for 42 per cent of all authorized African small arms imports in 2017. Since countries with low transparency records do export ammunition to government forces in conflict-affected regions and such regions are prone to diversion, there is a gap in risk identification. Therefore, findings from the case studies emphasize the importance of exporters improving their reporting practices and carrying out stringent risk assessments. In addition, the leveraging of multiple data sources can enhance the monitoring of the authorized ammunition trade and help curb unauthorized activities.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Crime, Markets, Peacekeeping, Arms Trade, Transparency
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Díaz Arias, Luisa Cajamarca, Maya Collombon, Olivier Dabène, Gaspard Estrada, Manuel Gárate, Marie-Laure Geoffray, Damien Larrouqué, Frédéric Louault, Maria Teresa Martínez, Anaís Medeiros Passos, Kevin Parthenay, Gustavo Pastor, Carlos A. Romero, Pierre Salama, Sebastián Urioste
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Amérique latine - L’Année politique is a publication by CERI-Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC). The study extends the work presented on the Observatory’s website (www.sciencespo.fr/opalc) by offering tools for understanding a continent that is in the grip of deep transformations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Nationalism, Political Economy, Religion, Governance, Peacekeeping, Economy, Political Science, Regional Integration, Memory, Transnational Actors
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Latin America, Nicaragua, Caribbean, Venezuela, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia
  • Author: Ronja Harder, Jasper Linke
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Civil society engagement is part of a culture of participation that enhances the democratic nature of decision-making about security. The expertise and independent interests of civil society provide a counter-balance to government policy by providing policymakers with a wider range of perspectives, information and alternative ideas. However, civil society activism is not always democratic or representative of the population’s needs or interests and does not automatically lead to effective oversight. This SSR Backgrounder explains how civil society can improve the accountability and effectiveness of the security sector. This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions: What is civil society? How can civil society improve SSG? How can working with civil society help state security and justice institutions? When does civil society make insecurity worse? What challenges does civil society face?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Governance
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Global Focus
  • Author: Itır Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this report, we enquire into the issue of gender equality by investigating different sectors at once to offer recommendations for improvement. In this project, which is supported by the Swedish Consulate General in İstanbul, we first examine, in light of data gathered and disseminated by European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the percentage of women high-level decision makers in Turkey’s politics, public administration, local government, civil society organizations, social partners, business, media, judiciary and education/science/research. We compare these rates in their historical transformation and with the rates of European Union countries, thus inspecting them in their wider quantitative context. Next, we conduct in-depth interviews with women (if not present, men) high-level decision makers in these areas to carry out a qualitative assessment of women’s participation in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, Politics, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Vimal Kalavadiya, Vinod Patgar, Vijay Rathod, Mahabaleshwar Hegde, Manju Menon, Krithika A. Dinesh, Hasmukh Dhumadiya, Bharat Patel, Tania Devaiah, Jayendrasinh Ker, Harapriya Nayak, Santosh Dora, Vimal Kalavadiya, Sandeep Patel, Debayan Gupta, Bipasha Paul, Kanchi Kohli
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program trains and supports a network of community paralegals or grassroots legal advocates who work with communities affected by pollution, water contamination and other environmental challenges. They use the legal empowerment approach to make communities aware of laws and regulations that can help secure much needed remedies for these problems that often arise out of noncompliance or violation of environmental regulations. As part of their work, the community paralegals write about their cases to create public awareness on the use of law outside of courts as well as engage the readers in these issues. This is an updated collection of published stories written by paralegals and their team members working in coastal Gujarat, Northern Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Keonjhar, Odisha. These are a combination of case stories and opinion pieces on issues of industrial non-compliance that have adversely affected many local communities. Each article tries to highlight the gap between the law on paper and its implementation in reality, while putting forth the conviction that putting law in the hands of ordinary people can shift the balance of power in support of justice.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Environment, Law, Justice
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Alejandro Anaya Muñoz
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL)
  • Abstract: Human rights are a very important area in contemporary international relations. The doctrine of human rights was concretized after a process of development of more than three centuries after the end of the Second World War and has changed the institutional panorama and the relations between actors at the international level. On the other hand, regardless of its «lack of teeth», the international regime on the subject has transformed the way states relate to international bodies, transnational civil society organizations and other governments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs, Norms
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anton Barbashin, Alexander Graef
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Over the course of the last decade Russian foreign policy has taken critical turns, surprising not only the entire international community but also Russia’s own foreign policy experts. Arguably, the most notable turn came in March 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, setting in motion developments that are continuously shaping Russia, its neighbors, and, to a certain degree, global affairs. Clearly, Russia’s post-Crimean foreign policy does not exist in a vacuum. Its ramifications are colliding with regional and global trends that are effectively destabilizing the post-Cold War international order, creating uncertainties that are defining the contemporary international moment. In this report, we deal with those whose job it is to explain the logic of Russia’s foreign policy turns and to analyze global trends and their meaning for Russia and the rest of the world. Although these experts, as a rule, do not directly influence political decision-making, their debates, as Graeme Herd argues, “set the parameters for foreign policy choices” and “shape elite and public perceptions of the international environment” in Russia.1 Especially in times of crisis and rapid change ideas produced at some earlier stage by experts and think tanks external to the state bureaucracy can suddenly obtain instrumental value and direct policy options. In Part 1, we briefly discuss the role of think tanks in Russian foreign policymaking and present the landscape of Russian think tanks working on foreign policy issues. We distinguish among three basic institutional forms: academic and university-based think tanks, private think tanks, and state-sponsored think tanks. Highlighting the diversity of organizations, we then focus on four state-sponsored think tanks whose size, political contacts, and financial means allow them to dominate the think tank scene in Russia and that represent different ideological angles of a broad, yet also comparatively volatile mainstream: the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP), the Valdai Discussion Club, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI). Part 2 follows this selection by looking at Russian foreign policy debates since 2014. We consider how experts writing for these four organizations have approached three major themes: the evolution of the concept of Greater Europe and European Union (EU)-Russia relations, the establishment of the Greater Eurasia narrative in the context of Russia’s declared pivot to the East, and the concepts of multipolarity and the liberal world order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Diplomacy, Norms
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia
  • Author: Cengiz Günay
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Abstract: Many documents, programs and strategies of the European Union highlight the importance of civil society as an element of democracy promotion. In this short article I deal with the question of what civil society actually is and whether the idea of civil society as a motor of democratization is still a valid presumption. Civil society is an often mentioned but essentially contested concept. As the term is characterized by a plurality of different meanings that depend on the historical, cultural and legal context, there is no single, generally accepted concept that defines civil society. It remains rather unclear whether civil society includes any form of non-governmental organiza-tion (NGO), such as business people’s associations, syndicates or trade unions. Is the media part of civil society or does the concept refer exclusively to NGOs that address specific societal issues? Does the concept only refer to institutionalized and licensed organizations and associations or are social movements, thematic platforms, informal networks and other un-institutionalized forma-tions also part of civil society? After all, they do often fulfill the same functions as civil society organizations (CSOs). And how about religious organizations, are they also part of civil society?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Mediterranean
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Despite deep concerns about the future of democracy, people in Central and Eastern Europe retain a strong attachment to civil society and faith in the freedoms achieved with the collapse of Communism, according to States of Change: Attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a report from the Open Society Foundations. Based on polling by YouGov conducted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, States of Change provides a snapshot of current opinion on democracy, freedom of speech, the market economy, and the media in the former Eastern Bloc and Germany.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Markets, Democracy, Media, Berlin Wall, Free Speech
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Central Europe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
  • Abstract: The joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) publication, Invisible Women: Gendered Dimensions of Return, Reintegration and Rehabilitation, is an effort to map the gaps and challenges pertaining to the reintegration and rehabilitation of women and girls associated with violent extremist movements and establish a preliminary evidence-base of good practices and approaches. The report and its methodology centralize the experiences of local civil society, in particular women-led civil society organizations (CSOs) who contributed to the report through interviews, dialogues, and case study profiles. The research emphasizes the necessity of integrated, multi-stakeholder approaches that enable state and civil society to work in tandem, based on the comparative advantages of each.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Gender Issues, United Nations, Violent Extremism, Women, Gender Based Violence , Rehabilitation, WPS, Girls, Civil Society Organizations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Steyne, Priajina Khudaverdyan
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: Mapping Study seeks to support international engagement on security sector reform in Ukraine by identifying the extent and scope of current rule of law, security sector governance (SSG) and democratic oversight programming. By covering international and regional organisations’ initiatives, as well as national projects, the Study seeks to comprehensively map programmes assisting Ukraine’s democratic institutions, executive, government, independent oversight institutions, civil society, media and the security sector itself.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Migration, Reform, Disarmament, Borders, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Diana Guarnizo Peralta
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Dejusticia
  • Abstract: This document is aimed at medical personnel, civil society organizations, policy makers, and anyone interested in addressing the issue of palliative care from a human rights perspective. Although for years palliative care was confined to a strictly medical analysis, in recent times the international community and United Nations bodies have recognized palliative care as a human rights issue. This document seeks to demonstrate the many linkages between palliative care and human rights in terms of both the conception and the protection of palliative care. We hope this report serves as a useful tool for the medical community, patients, and patients’ families throughout the American continent who seek legal and human rights arguments to facilitate access to more humane end-of-life care, as well as for litigants and human rights activists who wish to protect and guarantee a life without pain for patients, including during their last days of life.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Health, Health Care Policy, Public Policy, Public Health, Medicine
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: César Rodríguez, Peter Evans
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Dejusticia
  • Abstract: Activists, particularly those based in the global South, have accumulated a wealth of experience in dealing with a range of transnational networks operating in diverse issue areas. New theoretical understandings have reflected this accumulating experience. As the twentieth century came to a close, the practice of global and transnational politics was undergoing a sea change. Understandings of its dynamics were changing along with the practice. Classic paradigms of international relations, which had focused almost exclusively on relations among nation-states, were being expanded to consider the impact of transnational civil society organizations. Recognition of the role of new nonstate actors in global politics was epitomized by the impact of Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink’s Activists beyond Borders in 1998. Their framework is a foundational reference point for the analyses of recent and future trends that are set out in this book. This volume brings together a set of ten essays by reflective activists who draw on their experience to provide new insights into what has been happening in the world of transnational advocacy, and by engaged academics who are committed to using the tools of their disciplines to contribute to the same agenda. The essays reflect not only the views of individual authors but also the collective dialogue among the authors at the workshop where the papers were originally presented in the spring of 2015.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Non State Actors, Global Political Economy, Networks, transnationalism
  • Political Geography: Global South
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: The decision to be a whistleblower is not easy. Mental trauma, the risk of retaliation, the potential loss of employment or ostracization by work colleagues—not to mention the impact on one’s personal life—all weigh heavily on the individual who decides to speak out for the common good. But when potential whistleblowers feel too vulnerable to act, it's society itself which suffers. In this report, whistleblowers from eight European countries describe what they experienced after they took a stand. Additionally, civil society experts weigh in on how the EU can craft policies to better protect whistleblowers. The question of how to define whistleblowing—does it apply to sexual harassment, can NGOs be considered whistleblowers, and so on—is also explored. The report ultimately recommends an EU-wide directive on whistleblowing, which it argues would give whistleblowers the protection they need to step forward. The report also argues that a multi-level, multi-stakeholder approach would emphasize the value of whistleblowers and the crucial role they play in a healthy open society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Intelligence, NGOs, Transparency, Whistle Blowing, Secrecy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
  • Abstract: The Better Peace Tool explores the history and evolution of peacemaking in modern times. It considers six common barriers to inclusion and how to overcome them. And it presents a four-part framework for the inclusion of women peacebuilders, offering proactive steps to broaden participation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Peacekeeping, Women, Peace, WPS, Civil Society Organizations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Benaim
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: One year after military victory over the Islamic State (IS) and a bitter Kurdish defeat in Kirkuk, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan is settling into a new moment of hard-won calm. Its two largest parties are poised to form a new regional government, and a newly formed central government in Baghdad presents opportunities for cooperation. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leaders have sought to turn the page on bitter disputes with Baghdad and Washington over the Kurds’ referendum on independence.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Transition, Political Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Kurdistan