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  • Author: Renaud Egreteau
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: In March 2011, the transfer of power from the junta of general Than Shwe to the quasi-civil regime of Thein Sein was a time of astonishing political liberalization in Burma. This was evidenced specifically in the re-emergence of parliamentary politics, the return to prominence of Aung San Suu Kyi elected deputy in 2012 and by the shaping of new political opportunities for the population and civil society. Yet, the trajectory of the transition has been chiefly framed by the Burmese military’s internal dynamics. The army has indeed directed the process from the start and is now seeking to redefine its policy influence. While bestowing upon civilians a larger role in public and state affairs, the army has secured a wide range of constitutional prerogatives. The ethnic issue, however, remains unresolved despite the signature of several ceasefires and the creation of local parliaments. Besides, the flurry of foreign investments and international aid brought in by the political opening and the end of international sanctions appears increasingly problematic given the traditional role played in Burma by political patronage, the personification of power and the oligarchization of the economy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Democratization, Human Rights, Politics, Peacekeeping, State
  • Political Geography: Asia, Burma, Myanmar
  • Author: Laurent Gayer
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: With a population exceeding twenty million, Karachi is already one of the largest cities in the world. It could even become the world’s largest city by 2030. Karachi is also the most violent of these megacities. Since the mid-1980s, it has endured endemic political conflict and criminal violence, which revolve around control of the city and its resources. These struggles for the city have become ethnicised. Karachi, often referred to as a “Pakistan in miniature”, has become increasingly fragmented, socially as well as territorially. Notwithstanding this chronic state of urban political warfare, Karachi is the cornerstone of the economy of Pakistan. Despite what journalistic accounts describing the city as chaotic and anarchic tend to suggest, there is indeed order of a kind in the city’s permanent civil war. Far from being entropic, Karachi’s polity is predicated upon relatively stable patterns of domination, rituals of interaction and forms of arbitration, which have made violence “manageable” for its populations – even if this does not exclude a chronic state of fear, which results from the continuous transformation of violence in the course of its updating. Whether such “ordered disorder” is viable in the long term remains to be seen, but for now Karachi works despite—and sometimes through—violence.
  • Topic: History, Sociology, Urbanization, Conflict, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Asia, Karachi
  • Author: Luis Martinez
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: In post-Qadhafi Libya, the authorities are in search of a new art of governing. Despite the legitimacy accorded them by elections, they remain very weak. Without any means of coercion, they are constantly obliged to negotiate for their survival, threatened by those who were not chosen by voters but who instead draw their legitimacy from their participation in the revolution – the militias. The challenge facing the Libyan authorities is not so much to combat these forces but to harness them. Libya has not undertaken a process of “de-Qadhafication.” But for the militias, in particular the Islamists, the presence of former officials and leaders in the state apparatus is intolerable. Thus, on May 5, 2013 they pressured the parliament into passing a law excluding from politics persons who occupied positions of responsibility under the old regime. If the revolutionary brigades continue to impose their will on the government, the fall of Qadhafi’s regime will have not brought about political change in Libya but rather the continuation of former political practices under a new guise.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Democratization, Sociology, Governance, Elections, Arab Spring, Political outlook, Protests, State
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Raphaelle Mathey
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Anthropological studies demonstrate that personal values, social relationships and indicators of cultural identity are expressed in a symbolic manner in funeral rites. In Azerbaijan such rites can include as many as ten commemorative events (yas) in the year following the death. These are critically important events in which allegiances are made and broken. During the period of political chaos and economic recession which followed independence, from 1991 to 1996, the yas served as an incubator for a local identity movement. Political stability, beginning in 1996, and the advent of the petroleum era, in the 2000s, transformed the country’s face, reordered the relationships between individuals, and today raise the issue of creating a State and developing a national political project. The study of funeral rites enables one to measure the magnitude of these changes. The evolution of yas reveals new needs of a society in turmoil and reflects the fundamental examination Azerbaijanis are undertaking of themselves, their religion, their European and Oriental identity and their relationship to modernity.
  • Topic: Economics, Religion, History, Culture, Identities, Anthropology
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Elsa Tulmets
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: After joining the European Union in 2004 or 2007, all Central and Eastern European countries have expressed their will to transfer their experience of democratization, transition to market economy and introduction of the rule of law to other regions in transition. They have influenced in particular the launching of an EU policy towards the East, which was so far rather absent, and of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2003. The rhetoric developed is particularly strong and visible, but what about the implementation of the aid policies to transition? Which reality does the political discourse entail, both in its bilateral and multilateral dimensions? Central and Eastern European countries do not represent a homogeneous bloc of countries and have constructed their foreign policy discourse on older ideological traditions and different geographical priorities. Despite the commitment of a group of actors from civil society and reforms in the field of development policy, the scarce means at disposal would need to be better mobilized in order to meet expectations. In the context of the economic crisis, the search for a concensus on interests to protect and means to mobilize, like through the Visegrad Group and other formats like the Weimar Triangle, appears to be a meaningful option to follow in order to reinforce the coherence of foreign policy actions implemented.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics, Europeanization, Transnational Actors
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Poland, Czech Republic, Central Europe, European Union
  • Author: Biriz Berksoy, Mehmet Uçum, Zeynep Başer, Zeynep Gönen
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “The Spirit of the Police Laws in Turkey: Legislative Discourses, Instruments and Mentality” is a discussion of the quality of policing in Turkey as is laid out by laws and the authority and powers given to the police. It aims to uncover the dynamics that extend or restrict police authorities through regulations. Looking at police laws in this manner unearths clues – albeit at the level of discourse – about the mentality of policing, the elements of the conceptualizations of “crime,” “criminal,” “order” and “security” within the police force, and the grounds that legitimize police authority. We hope that the report will lead to a more fruitful discussion of the limits of police powers and duties together with the problems of insufficient oversight and impunity.
  • Topic: Security, Law, Democracy, Criminal Justice, Police, Justice
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hande Özhabeş, Naim Karakaya
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “Judicial Reform Packages: Evaluating Their Effect on Rights and Freedoms” authored by Naim Karakaya and Hande Özhabeş, is published as part of TESEV’s ongoing work on judicial reform. The report focuses on the four judicial reform packages released by AK Party government between 2011 and 2013. It analyses the Judicial Packages and evaluates them from the perspective of rights and freedoms, and focuses especially on freedom of expression, right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial as well as the execution system.
  • Topic: Security, Law, Reform, Freedom of Expression, Justice, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Gülçin Avşar
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The Ergenekon Trial has been one of the most important political developments in recent Turkish history. The trial helped uncover the ways in which some groups in the military establishment and their political and economic collaborators in civilian circles were intervening illegally in democratic politics. When the trial revealed that the suspects had ties to the Susurluk scandal and to organizations that had committed extrajudicial killings of Kurdish civilians in the 1990s —the Yüksekova Gang, the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counter Terrorism organization, and the Special Forces Command—there were heightened expectations among the public that grave violations of human rights committed during the 1990s, particularly against the country’s Kurdish citizens, would be brought to light. Yet the prosecutors and panel of judges in charge of conducting the investigation phase of the trial ignored these expectations as they prepared the criminal complaint, instead focusing solely on the charge of “attempting to overthrow the government.” A report published by the TESEV Democratization Program in November 2013, presented the public with an analysis of information found in the Ergenekon case files regarding the grave violations of human rights during the 1990s. The present work, an abridged version of this report, uses the most noteworthy information on murders by unknown assailants from the case files. We seek to present a general analysis of the Ergenekon Trial’s importance in Turkey’s confrontation with its past, to highlight its unprecedented nature in Turkish criminal-justice history, and finally to present our own recommendations.
  • Topic: Crime, Law, Courts, Justice, Judiciary, Disappearance, Extrajudicial Killings
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Aycan Akdeniz
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report is written by Aycan Akdeniz who is a political analyst at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Turkey. This report analyzes the “cautious optimism” elicited by the recent developments after a long period of stalemate in Turkey-EU relations. Written in a period after the opening of Chapter 22 through the lifting of the French veto and the publication of the 16. Progress Report, the report examines the effects of the euro crisis, the “Arab Spring”, the Cyprus Issue and the Gezi Park protests on the future of Turkey-EU relations and draws conclusions on what is needed to be done by both sides for a constructive re-engagement between Turkey and the EU. Bu çalışma, Avrupa Birliği(AB) Türkiye Delegasyonu’ndan Aycan Akdeniz tarafından hazırlanmıştır. Rapor Türkiye-AB ilişkilerinin tıkanma noktasına geldiği bir dönemin ardından son gelişmeler ışığında ortaya çıkan “temkinli iyimserlik” ortamını değerlendirmektedir. 22. Başlık’ın Fransa’nın vetosunu kaldırmasıyla açıldığı ve 16. İlerleme Raporu’nun yayımlandığı bir dönemde yazılan bu rapor euro krizi, “Arap Baharı”, Kıbrıs sorunu ve Gezi protestolarının Türkiye-AB ilişkileri ve ilişkilerinin geleceği üzerinde etkisini ve bu ilişkilerin güçlenmesi için tarafların ne yapması gerektiğini incelemektedir.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Author: Levent Köker
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “The Basic Principles and the Choice of Government System in the New Constitution,” authored by Levent Köker, is the fourth monitoring report published by TESEV under the umbrella of its constitution monitoring project, Turkey Constitution Watch (turkeyconstitutionwatch.org). The report offers a comparative analysis of the presidential and parliamentary system proposals that are discussed in the Constitutional Reconciliation Commission. It also deals with the basic principles (such as rights and freedoms, independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and local autonomy) that should form the basis of system discussions in Turkey.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law, Constitution, Civil Rights, Justice, Judiciary
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East