Online Publications

8 03 2007


  • Abuse Without End: Burmese Refugee Women and Children at Risk of Trafficking, http://tinyurl.com/2yoky8. A report by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children. “Forced into an underground existence by their illegal status and precarious living conditions, Burmese in Thailand are at strong risk of being trafficked. This report focuses on the link between refugee protection and trafficking. It identifies several aspects particular Thailand that render Burmese refugees especially vulnerable to trafficking. For one, the report explains, Thai law does not take into account the needs and rights of trafficked persons who have fled persecution or armed conflict Burma.”
  • After Mecca: Engaging Hamas, http://tinyurl.com/2bxw92. International Crisis Group report that examines the Saudi-brokered Mecca Agreement between rival Palestinian organisations Hamas and Fatah. Providing a detailed examination of the agreement and an analysis of Hamas based on extensive discussions with the Palestinian Islamist movement and others, it concludes there are significant challenges but also the chance of a fresh start: for the Palestinians to restore law and order and negotiate genuine power-sharing arrangements; for Israelis and Palestinians to establish a comprehensive cessation of hostilities; and for the international community to focus on a credible peace process.
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Nation-Building, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG557/. “Since the end of the Cold War, the United States, NATO, the United Nations, and a range of other states and nongovernmental organizations have become increasingly involved in nation-building operations. Nation-building involves the use of armed force as part of a broader effort to promote political and economic reforms, with the objective of transforming a society emerging from conflict into one at peace with itself and its neighbors. This guidebook is a practical “how-to” manual on the conduct of effective nation-building. It is organized around the constituent elements that make up any nation-building mission: military, police, rule of law, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, democratization, and development. The chapters describe how each of these components should be organized and employed, how much of each is likely to be needed, and the likely cost. The lessons are drawn principally from 16 U.S.- and UN-led nation-building operations since World War II and from a forthcoming study on European-led missions. In short, this guidebook presents a comprehensive history of best practices in nation-building and serves as an indispensable reference for the preplanning of future interventions and for contingency planning on the ground.”
  • Bolivia on the Brink, http://tinyurl.com/25ntwt. A new publication by Eduardo A. Gamarra produced by the Council on Foreign Relations Press. To order a printed copy of this report, please call +1-800-537-5487.
  • Brand China Source, http://fpc.org.uk/fsblob/827.pdf. A report by the Foreign Policy Centre. “In this new report, from the author of the widely discussed paper ‘The Beijing Consensus’, Ramo argues that China’s national image, and the misalignment between China’s image of itself and how it is viewed by the rest of the world, may be its greatest strategic threat. It argues that alongside its other reforms, China needs a ‘fifth transition’ if the trust and understanding necessary for the next stage of its development are to be achieved.”
  • Charter 77 After 30 Years: documenting the landmark human rights declaration, http://tinyurl.com/287t64. An “electronic briefing book” published by the George Washington University’s National Security Archive. The publication contains original signature cards, secret police files, and U.S. Intelligence reports.
  • Democracy Promotion and the European Left: Ambivalence Confused?, http://tinyurl.com/2hh8dv. A working paper by La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE). “The European left has been ambivalent over the question of democracy promotion. This working paper explores the reasons for this skepticism, drawing on interviews with officials in left-of-centre parties in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. The paper argues that debates within the European left exhibit considerable conceptual confusion, in large part because the democracy agenda has been wrongly conflated with a series of other concerns. It is suggested that correcting this confusion would offer the prospect of a more progressive commitment to democracy promotion.”
  • Empowering Young Women to Lead Change: a training manual, http://tinyurl.com/ysbdel (English), http://tinyurl.com/ytm5p6 (French), http://tinyurl.com/2bsm8h (Spanish). This resource manual is designed to enable young women to prepare and facilitate training on a host of issues that are important to them. A joint publication of the World YWCA and UNFPA, the manual was developed by young women and contains modules on young women’s leadership, economic justice, HIV and AIDS, human rights, peace, self-esteem and body image, sexual and reproductive health and violence against women. The issues are complex and the publication has been developed for young women to lead themselves in learning more about the issues through fun and participatory activities and on to action. Trainings and workshops can be designed using the entire manual or pulling out modules of interest for shorter sessions. It was tested in six countries and was launched at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto.
  • Ensuring Bosnia’s Future: A New International Engagement Strategy, http://tinyurl.com/28rv5f. An International Crisis Group report that examines the dangers Bosnia faces in 2007, after a very difficult 2006 and with new tensions looming with the approach of Kosovo’s final status decision. At risk are the survival of a unified Bosnia and the stability of much of the Western Balkans, as the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), responsible for guiding implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, meets on 27 February to decide the way forward.
  • Evaluating Political Reform in Yemen, http://tinyurl.com/29bbpu. In this Carnegie Paper, Sarah Philips, a specialist on Yemeni politics, assesses the significance of Yemen’s limited democratic reforms since national unification and steps that Yemeni and foreign actors can take to promote more meaningful reform. Phillips contends that the regime has built its political survival on the same system that could undermine its future. If Yemen is to remain a viable state, aggressive political and economic reform must weaken the current patronage system and the legal inconstancies that stem from it—which Philip believes are the biggest obstacles to reform.
  • From Rejection to Acceptance: Israeli National Security Thinking and Palestinian Statehood, http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr177.html. A USIP report. “Israeli national thinking on Palestinian statehood has gone from total rejection to broad acceptance. How will this evolving thinking play a role in restarting Israel-Palestinian negotiations? Written by the former Israeli deputy national security advisor and Israeli Defense Forces General Shlomo Brom, the study provides unique insight into the thinking of the Israeli security establishment.”
  • Gender-aware Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR): A Checklist, http://tinyurl.com/yphw2b. Although women may not be directly involved in conflict, they are significantly impacted by decisions made in the demobilisation of men. This checklist provides practical guidance on how to design demobilisation packages for men so that the women in their families and broader communities also benefit.
  • A Guide to Civil Society Organizations working on Democratic Governance, http://tinyurl.com/2tjqza.
  • Guinea: Change or Chaos, http://tinyurl.com/272w4p. An International Crisis Group report that examines the current system under President Lansana Conté and the situation in the country after the January strike, deadly protests and the nomination of Eugene Camara, a close Conté associate, as prime minister on 9 February.
  • Iran: “Weakling” or “Hegemon”?, http://tinyurl.com/25z6ur. A Center for Strategic & International Studies report. “Iran is a state that must be assessed largely in terms of its capabilities, not its intentions. Its political structure is too unstable to predict, and its choice of defensive or offensive options is more likely to be determined by its perceptions of future opportunities and risks than its current policies and strategy. Seen from this perspective, Iran is not a ‘weakling,’ but neither is it capable of major aggression or becoming a regional ‘hegemon’ if it meets effective resistance from its neighbors and the US.”
  • Nepal’s Constitutional Process, http://tinyurl.com/yrucqo. An International Crisis Group report stating that Nepal now needs to write a constitution that permanently ends the conflict and addresses the widespread grievances that fuelled it. The major challenge is to maintain leadership-level consensus while building a broad-based and inclusive process that limits room for spoilers and ensures long-term popular legitimacy. So far, the concentration has been on building elite consensus at the expense of intense political debate and extensive public consultation. Recent violent protests show that providing constructive means to channel popular demands into political debate is not an abstract consideration but an urgent practical imperative.
  • New Governments, New Directions in European Foreign Policies?, http://tinyurl.com/2bgfqz. A working paper by La Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE) “In a number of EU member states, new governments have recently taken office; in others, a change in leadership is imminent. New governments have taken office in the last 15 months in Germany, Italy and Sweden. A new governing coalition is being formed in the Netherlands following elections in November 2006. And, of course, president Chirac and Prime Minister Blair are almost certain to leave office in the first half of 2007. Against this backdrop, six short essays – written by experts from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK – examine how these political changes are changing or are likely to change member states’ foreign policies.”
  • A New International Engagement Strategy for Bosnia, http://tinyurl.com/28rv5f. An International Crisis Group report that examines the dangers Bosnia faces in 2007, after a very difficult 2006 and with new tensions looming with the approach of Kosovo’s final status decision. At risk are the survival of a unified Bosnia and the stability of much of the Western Balkans, as the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), responsible for guiding implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, meets on 27 February to decide the way forward.
  • The Nigerian 2007 Election: A Guide for Journalists and Commentators, http://tinyurl.com/2hj2jt. A Chatham House briefing that examines the upcoming presidential elections in Nigeria in April 2007. It looks at the presidency of Olsegun Obasanjo and lists major incidents of political violence during his presidency. It describes the most important political players in the election campaign and points to the problem of political corruption. The briefing argues that the election will be highly controversial and the winner will face the challenges for an oil-rich but poor and violent Niger Delta region.
  • Nongovernmental Organizations and Democracy Promotion, http://tinyurl.com/295t83. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently sent Carl Meacham, Keith Luse, Jay Branegan, Paul Foldi, and Michael Phelan of the professional staff to selected countries in Africa, Asia, Central Europe, and Latin America to examine the state of democracy, with particular emphasis on programs supported with United States Government (USG) funding, either directly through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), or other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Increasingly, governments around the world have tightened their controls on foreign NGOs by passing laws to restrict their ability to work independently from government approval. In extreme cases, democracy promoters are being harassed by authorities. In some nations, governments have been able to persuade their citizens that the work of NGOs and the financial assistance provided to them by the USG, is a form of American interventionism. Thus, in some countries opposition to prodemocracy NGOs is cast as a re-affirmation of sovereignty.
  • Peace Agreements: Arab-Israeli Conflict, http://www.usip.org/library/pa.html. The U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) Library has just added a section on Arab-Israeli peace agreements to its digital collection of peace agreements signed by the major contending parties ending inter- and intra-state conflicts worldwide since 1989. The Institute’s collection is constantly under development by the Jeannette Rankin Library program as a means to strengthen worldwide access to information on peaceful means to end international conflict.
  • The Putin Era in Historical Perspective, http://www.fas.org/irp/nic/putin.pdf. Report by the National Intelligence Council (via Federation of American Scientists). “Participants in a November 15, 2006 conference sponsored by the National Intelligence Council broadly agreed that Russia has never developed a capitalist culture or the institutional structure of a modern capitalist state; that Russians historically have believed that autocracy is the only viable system for their country because it is too large and ethnically diverse to survive intact under any other form of rule; and that being a great power is a central part of Russia’s historical identity. Given the continuity of these long-held attitudes, change in Russia probably will come only when a leader is willing to confront and transcend the roots of this historical legacy, which the Putin administration is unlikely to do.”
  • Reporters Without Borders 2007 Annual Press Freedom Survey, http://tinyurl.com/26quz6. The survey reports on press freedom in 98 countries and includes the main violations of journalists’ rights in 2006 and regional aspects of media and Internet freedom. The report lists the worst violations in repressive countries, including major culprits North Korea, Eritrea, Cuba and Turkmenistan, but also looks at democracies, where progress needs to be made too,” the organisation says.
  • Towards a people-driven African Union: current obstacles and new opportunities, http://tinyurl.com/28qjyx. “The African Union has already developed a reputation for charting an ambitious pan-African state-building project, yet very little is understood by policy-makers or citizens of how African countries prepare for the summits and their related ministerial meetings, and how they implement decisions and resolutions made in these fora. This report presents research on the preparations for and conducts of African Union summits. It argues that, although significant space has been opened up for greater and more sustained participation by a diversity of interested groups, the promise of a people-driven African Union (AU) remains largely unfulfilled. Inadequate institutional capacity and inappropriate policies and procedures have hindered the realisation of the vision that the AU should build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society.”
  • Trading in Power: The Politics of “Free” Markets in Afghanistans, http://www.cipe.org/blog/?p=385. A report by the Center for International Private Enterprise’s Economic Reform Feature Service. “The limited analysis of Afghanistan’s political economy has not sufficiently addressed informal sector issues. The reality on the ground is that participation in the market is not open to all, benefits are spread unevenly among participants, and the country’s market structures in their current state undermine governance and state-building. These factors have the potential to seriously impede both the democratic and economic development of Afghanistan.”
  • What Islamists Need to Be Clear About: The Case of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, http://tinyurl.com/2f8v2u. The authors responds to the reactions and critiques by Islamists and seek to explain the issues on which Islamist movements need to achieve greater clarity in order to gain credibility in the West. Using the case of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the authors address Western concerns over the Islamist political vision and provide new analysis into the complexity of the Brotherhood’s position on key issues such as Sharia law, religious identity, organization and leadership, universal citizenship, and women’s rights.
  • UNDP and civil society organisations: a toolkit for strengthening partnerships, http://tinyurl.com/28bwjg. This toolkit is aimed at providing practical guidance and essential information in forging partnerships with civil society organisations (CSOs). Targeted at UNDP staff, but widely applicable, it includes examples of innovative country-level mechanisms to build and strengthen collaboration with CSOs. Starting by clearly defining CSOs and their various roles and functions, the guide presents a methodology for mapping CSOs, aimed at assessing the strengths and weaknesses of those working in a particular sector and identifying previously unknown civil society actors.
  • U.S. Department of State 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/. “Across the globe, men and women are pushing for greater personal and political freedom and for the adoption of democratic institutions. They are striving to secure what President Bush calls ‘the non-negotiable demands of human dignity.'” Despite personal risk and against great odds, courageous individuals and nongovernmental groups expose human rights abuses. They seek to protect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, workers, and women, and to stop the trafficking in human beings. They work to build vibrant civil societies, ensure free and fair elections, and establish accountable, law-based democracies. These impatient patriots are redefining the limitations of what was previously thought to be possible. Indeed, in the span of a few generations freedom has spread across the developing world, communist dictatorships have collapsed, and new democracies have risen. The rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are protected more fully and by more countries than ever before. This noble work continues – but it is not yet complete and it faces determined opponents. Not surprisingly, those who feel threatened by democratic change resist those who advocate and act for reform. Over the past year, we have seen attempts to harass and intimidate human rights defenders and civil society organizations and to restrict or shut down their activities. Unjust laws have been wielded as political weapons against those with independent views. There also have been attempts to silence dissenting voices by extralegal means. Whenever non-governmental organizations and other human rights defenders are under siege, freedom and democracy are undermined. The world’s democracies must defend the defenders. That is one of the primary missions of our diplomacy today, and we hope that the Department of State’s County Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006 will help to further this effort. With these thoughts, I hereby submit these reports to the United States Congress.”
  • Venezuela: Hugo Chávez’s Revolution, http://tinyurl.com/yswg92. An International Crisis Group report examining what the overwhelming victory in December and Chávez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” mean for one of the world’s major oil producing countries. After eight years in power and despite his repeated electoral successes, Chávez faces serious challenges: there is growing frustration with spiraling crime, government inefficiency, excessive spending and corruption, and polarisation in the body politic has reached historic proportions. There are also concerns in the region that the ex-colonel is willing to sacrifice democratic principles to advance his agenda. Under the guise of “direct” or “participatory” democracy, Chávez has progressively weakened the checks and balances of the political system.
  • What happened to the women? Gender and reparations for human rights violations, http://press.ssrc.org/RubioMarin/. “What happens to women whose lives are transformed by human rights violations? What happens to the voices of victimized women once they have their day in court or in front of a truth commission? Women face a double marginalization under authoritarian regimes, during, and after violent conflicts. Nonetheless, reparations programs are rarely designed to address the needs of women victims. What Happened to the Women? Gender and Reparations for Human Rights Violations, argues for the introduction of a gender dimension into reparations programs. The volume explores gender and reparations policies in Guatemala, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Timor-Leste.”
  • World Economic and Social Survey 2006: Diverging Growth and Development, http://www.un.org/esa/policy/wess/. “The World Economic and Social Survey (WESS) provides objective analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues, and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policies. The analyses are supported by analytical research and data included in the annex. According to the World Economic and Social Survey 2006, in the industrialized world, the income level over the last five decades has grown steadily while it has failed to do so in many developing countries, thereby causing a rise in already high world inequality. Greater income divergence is partly explained by a rising number of growth collapses. Countries with weak economic structures and institutions and low infrastructural and human development have less capacity to gain from global markets.”
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