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  • Author: Ryan C. Berg
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Daniel Ortega’s suppression of protestors and civil society continues unabated. Since April 2018, Nicaragua’s security forces have killed hundreds of people, thousands have been injured or held as political prisoners, and more than 100,000 Nicaraguans have fled to neighboring countries or the United States. Ortega’s authoritarian consolidation began well before April 2018; the keys to his regime’s ruthless survival strategy are the National Police and Nicaraguan Army, co-optation of the judiciary, domination of the media, and a highly complicit private sector that long ago embraced a modus vivendi with his socialist government, among others. The US should ramp up its sanctions against the Ortega regime; target individuals and industries, especially those connected to Ortega or the military; sequence its sanctions rollout; and synchronize external pressure with the domestic opposition to develop an effective strategy for achieving key political and electoral reforms ahead of the general elections in 2021. Reinvigorated diplomacy, particularly with the European Union and other Latin America governments, should seek to expand the international coalition against Ortega’s repression to maintain steady pressure for a definitive change in the character of the regime.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Sanctions, Protests
  • Political Geography: Central America, Nicaragua, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Aaron M. Renn
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The culture of particular places, often developed and cast into institutional form during their founding period, affects their economy in important and understudied ways. Case studies suggest several cultural traits can potentially help places be more economically successful over the long term: (1) open civic networks, which help places better adapt to change; (2) investment in civic leadership and institution building by local elites; and (3) an emphasis on education and rewarding excellence. Civic culture is difficult to change. Doing so requires first acquiring a deep understanding of it and then focusing on the most addressable areas for change, such as incubating new relationships and connections between different actors in the community.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Poverty, Culture, Cities
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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: 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