Online Publications:

10 04 2007

  • 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights Released by U.S. Department of State, www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/.
  • Anti-corruption capacity building initiative: training toolkit, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADH615.pdf.
  • Asian century or multi-polar century?, http://tinyurl.com/2oyup2. World Bank Policy Research Working Papers. “The “rise of Asia” is something of a myth. During 1990-2005 China accounted for 28 percent of global growth, measured at purchasing power parity (PPP). India accounted for 9 percent. The rest of developing Asia, with nearly a billion people, accounted for only 7 percent, the same as Latin America. Hence there is no general success of Asian developing economies. China has grown better than its developing neighbors because it started its reform with a better base of human capital, has been more open to foreign trade and investment, and created good investment climates in coastal cities. China’s success changes the equation going forward: its wages are now two to three times higher than in the populous Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam), and China will become an ever-larger importer of natural resource and labor-intensive products. Developing countries need to become more open and improve their investment climates to benefit from these opportunities. China itself faces new challenges that could hamper its further development: unsustainable trade imbalance with the United States, energy and water scarcity and unsustainable use of natural resources, and growing inequality and social tension. To address the first two of these challenges, good cooperation between China and the United States is essential. The author concludes that we are more likely to be facing a “multi-polar century,” than an Asian century.”
  • Building independent media in Afghanistan, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PDACI368.pdf. Internews’ “Building Independent Media” in Afghanistan has seen a unique blending of the local and the national. Local correspondents from around the country contribute to Internews’ national information program, BaKhabar, and both local and national stations independently broadcast locally produced programs. Internews has also managed to encourage inter-regional exchange of news and information amongst journalists and station managers.
  • Central Asian Pocketbook on Freedom of Expression”, in English www.article19.org/pdfs/tools/central-asian-pocketbook.pdf and Russian www.article19.org/pdfs/tools/central-asian-pocketbook-ru.pdf. The Pocketbook is a key resource for anyone with an interest in promoting freedom of expression, particularly in the Central Asian republics, but also more widely, including journalists, politicians, activists, judges and media lawyers. Written in a manner that is accessible for non-experts, the Pocketbook contains a wealth of important information on standards and reference material regarding the right to freedom of expression in international law, including the recommendations of leading international bodies, experts and NGOs.
  • The Changing Scope of U.S. International Broadcasts, http://tinyurl.com/234dgu. A Council on Foreign Relations backgrounder, “U.S. funding for non-military international broadcasting has surged since 9/11, with a special emphasis on reaching audiences in the Muslim world. The board that oversees such broadcasting is seeking about $670 million for the next fiscal year, part of which would go to expanding broadcasts to such crisis-prone states as North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan.”
  • Chinese Economic Coercion Against Taiwan: A Tricky Weapon to Use, http://tinyurl.com/ypo6gs. This book analyzes the political impact of mainland China and Taiwan’s rapidly growing economic relationship and evaluates the prospects for Beijing to exploit it by employing economic coercion against Taiwan. The author evaluates Taiwan’s potential economic vulnerability to efforts by the Chinese to cut off or disrupt key aspects of the cross-strait relationship and analyzes the challenges that China has faced in its efforts to convert this potential economic influence into effective political leverage.
  • Civil Society in Serbia Suppressed During the 1990s – Gaining Legitimacy and Recognition After 2000, http://tinyurl.com/352pr6. “The Civil Society Index (CSI) report for Serbia was produced by the CIVICUS CSI country partner, the Research and Analytical Center ARGUMENT in collaboration with the Center for the Development of the Non-profit Sector (CDNPS). The CSI assessment is the first ever empirical study of the state of civil society in Serbia. The study has revealed that today’s civil society in Serbia is still affected by the consequences of the war against the regime of Slobodan Milosevic and is operating within an environment marked by institutional weaknesses in the political system, high levels of crime and overall insecurity for the Serbian people. The report reflects on the decline of citizen participation particularly in the late 90s, which has severe implications for civil society associations and social movements. The CSI participatory assessment generated action oriented recommendations targeting civil society, the state and other relevant stakeholders. These recommendations aspire for a more vibrant Serbian civil society sector.”
  • Construcción de consensos y gobernabilidad democrática en Bolivia (Spanish), www.idea.int/publications/cbdg_bolivia/index.cfm. “As Latin American countries have emerged from political conflicts, politicians and citizens have realized that consensus and dialogue are both requisites for democracy and a reflection of democratic practice. While no two situations are alike, the solutions are often similar, and much can be learned from each experience. In this publication, five participants in Peru’s National Accord, which began amid the political crisis of 2000, discuss the lessons from that process that are relevant to Bolivia’s political reform. During a mission to Bolivia in September 2005, three months before the elections that would put President Evo Morales in office, the Peruvian National Accord participants discussed their experience with Bolivian political and civic leaders as a contribution to Bolivia’s efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and develop a socio-political pact for representative, inclusive and sustainable governance. This volume contains their presentations and the responses of Bolivian leaders who participated in round-table discussions in four major Bolivian cities, La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.”
  • Democracy, Conflict and Human Security: Further Reading (Vol 2), www.idea.int/publications/dchs/dchs_vol2.cfm. “This book, a companion volume to Democracy, Conflict and Human Security: Pursuing Peace in the 21st Century, addresses the nexus between democracy, conflict and human security in a way which recognizes that this is highly political, not technical terrain. It places at centre stage the fundamental need for democratic practice, and reminds us that in every society, North and South, the democratic project is a long-term, ongoing one. This book is part of International IDEA’s efforts to contribute to a major ongoing debate and to the strengthening of a democratic practice that responds to the quests for human dignity and development. This publication contains specific studies which were contributed to the debate, from diverse experiences and contexts. This volume complements and enriches the first volume in two ways: by providing perspectives by leading scholars, analysts and policy makers, and by offering a more in-depth look at critical themes and case studies.”
  • Dialogue on business, peace, development and human rights in Colombia, www.iblf.org/docs/ColombiaEventsEng.pdf. This report summarizes discussions among numerous stakeholders on how business can play a role in helping to mitigate the impact of Colombia’s armed conflict on the vulnerable and socially excluded, and encourage conditions for lasting peace and greater prosperity.
  • Digital Security and Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, www.frontlinedefenders.org/manual/en/esecman/. “This publication is dedicated to all human rights defenders, continuing their difficult and honest work, also on the Internet. Some of these people are in prison due to their activities on the Internet.”
  • Economic Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America, http://tinyurl.com/26gk2a. With an increasing interest in the role of indigenous peoples in the economy, the World Bank’s Latin America & Caribbean division has created this 55-page report on that very subject. Published in February 2007, this report is primarily concerned with the fact that more than 80 percent of Latin America’s indigenous population still lives in abject poverty. Some of the results from the paper include the finding that many indigenous persons tend to be concentrated in few occupations, and that they mostly work in the informal economy. The report’s authors, Emmanuel Skoufias and Harry Patrinos, do have a number of policy suggestions, including designing development programs that improve infrastructure in areas where indigenous persons live and also raising the general awareness of the needs of indigenous people at the national and international levels. For persons with an interest in this region and public policy issues, this report will be a most valuable read.
  • Electoral Management Design: The International IDEA Handbook, www.idea.int/publications/emd/index.cfm. “Building trust and professionalism in the management of electoral processes remains a major challenge for Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs). Electoral management is not only about administrative efficiency but also about promoting public confidence in the management of electoral processes. The higher the quality, accuracy, integrity and responsiveness in administrating electoral processes, the more likely these processes will be perceived as credible. Electoral Management Design: The International IDEA Handbook was developed for electoral administrators, electoral administration designers and other practitioners involved in building professional, sustainable and cost-effective electoral administrations. A comparative study, it shares best practices and expertise from around the world on the financing, structuring and evaluation of electoral management bodies.”
  • Georgia After the Rose Revolution: Geopolitical Predicament and Implications for U.S. Policy, http://tinyurl.com/37rcu5. By the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College. “The attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, enhanced the importance of both the Transcaucasus and Central Asia to American security. Overflight rights through the Caucasus to Central Asia and Afghanistan are vital components of the ongoing military effort there by both U.S. and NATO forces. But this region has multiple conflicts and fault-lines. As multiple recent crises show, Russo-Georgian tensions connected with South Ossetia and Abkhazia could erupt into open violence at any time. The author outlines the possibilities for conflict in this region and the qualities that make it strategically important, not only for Washington and Moscow, but also increasingly for Europe.”
  • Global trends 2007: vulnerability and human security in the 21st Century, http://tinyurl.com/2h9rkd. “[This publication] explores some of the key challenges arising in the first decade of the 21st century, drawing on the latest research findings and a wealth of statistical data. It combines factual information with well-structured analysis and recommendations for policy action.” “The work focuses primarily on global vulnerabilities and human security – issues explored in depth by the editors in their comprehensive introduction. The English edition also contains selected articles from the subject areas: World Order and Peace, World Society and Development, World Economy and Natural Resources, Environmental Change and Transnational Spill-over Effects.”
  • ICT Policy: Beginner’s Handbook, www.apc.org/books/policy_handbook_FR.zip (French). Created by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), this publication is now available in French. “[This publication] is for people who feel that ICT policy is important but don’t know much about it, e.g. a government official worried about a gap in her technical knowledge of how the internet works, a human-rights worker concerned that his need to send secure email is being challenged by national government policy, a citizen fed up with paying exorbitant rates for dial-up internet access. It is not a map of the ICT policy terrain but it is a compass. The French version is part of APC’s efforts to make French its third full official language before the end of this year. It is based on the original English version of 2003, which means that some sections do not entirely reflect the state of play in 2007. This is particularly true with the short section on internet governance which, despite being somewhat outdated, remains an accurate reference to the situation four years ago.” An English version of this titled can be found at http://www.apc.org/english/rights/handbook/index.shtml.
  • International Crisis Group Annual Report 2007, www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4343&l=1. The International Crisis Group has just published its Annual Report for 2007, reviewing their activities in 2006 and mapping out their plans for 2007. The report provides an overview their projects across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
  • Insurgency and credible commitment in autocracies and democracies, http://tinyurl.com/2zr3p9. A World Bank Policy Research Working Paper. “This paper suggests a new factor that makes civil war more likely: the inability of political actors to make credible promises to broad segments of society. Lacking this ability, both elected and unelected governments pursue public policies that leave citizens less well-off and more prone to revolt. At the same time, these actors have a reduced ability to build an anti-insurgency capacity in the first place, since they are less able to prevent anti-insurgents from themselves mounting coups. But while reducing the risk of conflict overall, increasing credibility can, over some range, worsen the effects of natural resources and ethnic fragmentation on civil war. Empirical tests using various measures of political credibility support these conclusions.”
  • Killing the Messenger, www.newssafety.com/stories/insi/KillingtheMessenger.pdf. “One thousand news media personnel around the world have been killed trying to report the news over the past 10 years – that’s almost two deaths every week, according to a new report released today. The statistic is one of the main findings of the world’s most comprehensive inquiry into the deaths of journalists and other news media professionals. The survey was conducted between January 1996 and June 2006 by the International News Safety Institute (INSI) – a coalition of media organisations, press freedom groups, unions and humanitarian campaigners dedicated to the safety of journalists and media staff.”
  • A kleptocrat’s survival guide: autocratic longevity in the face of civil conflict, http://tinyurl.com/36v6zk. A World Bank Policy Research Working Paper. “Autocratic regimes are quite often short-lived kleptocracies formed and maintained through force and used to appropriate wealth from subjects. Some of these autocracies collapse after only a year or two of plundering while others manage to survive for 15 or 20 years. This paper asks why some autocratic regimes survive while others fail. A database of political regimes from 1960 to 2003 is introduced and accompanies the paper in an appendix. A model of political survival suggests that autocrats exchange constraints on their executive power for their continued survival. The relationship between payouts from successful rebellion and ease of rebellion determines how willing kleptocrats are to extend the political franchise and protect their power. Results show that extremely oppressive regimes and great expenditures on security are likely to accompany the most difficult environments for defense of the state. The model is used to identify the costs of pervasive political conflict and to decompose the “civil peace dividend” enjoyed by inclusive democracies that do not suffer from the malady of kleptocratic rule. Finally, the model suggests that slow democratization pushed by the autocratic elites to guarantee their survival, accompanied by stable development, may be the best path toward a democratic future for many fragile states.”
  • Misfortunes of War: Press and Public Reactions to Civilian Deaths in Wartime, http://tinyurl.com/2ceam8. “This book analyzes media and public reactions to civilian casualty incidents to determine whether these incidents affect media reporting or public support for military operations. Using case studies of incidents of civilian deaths over the last decade (the 1991 Al Firdos bunker bombing, the 1999 Djakovica convoy and Chinese embassy attacks, the 2002 Afghan wedding party attack, and the 2003 Baghdad marketplace explosion), the study team examined U.S. and foreign press, public, and leadership responses to these incidents.”
  • Monitoring and analysis of political, social and economic development in countries affected by conflict, http://tinyurl.com/2ucxpv. A report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. “This report provides an appraisal of the impact of conflict and political turmoil on the political, social and economic dynamics of the Western Asian region, covering the period between 1 January and 30 June 2006. The report examines conflict trends in the area, focusing especially on Iraq, Lebanon, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).”
  • National Human Development Report 2006 Liberia, www.lr.undp.org/NHDR%2706_web.pdf. A report by the Human Development Report Office of UNDP. This report provides a conceptual framework and a practical platform through which the government and its development partners can articulate a capacity-development strategy for Liberia. It illustrates the magnitude and complexities of the human development dimension and the challenges facing the government in rebuilding post-conflict Liberia. Additionally it focuses on the need for creating individual, institutional and societal capacities as prerequisites for the rebuilding exercise and to ensure long-term improvement.
  • Nuevas normas de derechos humanos: aprendiendo de la experiencia (Spanish), http://tinyurl.com/2hbrqh. This report by the International Council on Human Rights Policy examines the unpredictable history of past standard-setting and the options available to those who advocate new standards in the future. It considers when new standards are needed, the forms they take, where they can be negotiated, and who is involved. As new gaps in protection continue to emerge, the political environment in which standards are negotiated changes all the time. In these conditions, mechanical approaches are unlikely to be effective – but judgment, persistence, alliance building and patience are essential components of success. The Spanish version was launched at Republica University in Montevideo Uruguay during the seminar “Latin America without fear and extreme poverty” convened by the Inter-American Platform of Human Rights, Democracy & Development, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defence of Women’s Rights (Clandem), Habitat Coalition and SERPAJ Latin America. The meeting convened activists from all Latin American and Caribbean countries. The Inter-American Platform distributed 500 copies of the report in 15 countries in the region. In addition, Conectas-Sur, an organization based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, distributed the report together with Sur Journal.
  • La Politíca Importa – Democracia y desarrollo en América Latina, (Spanish), www.idea.int/publications/dem_dev/sp.cfm. “The spread of democracy over the past two decades in Latin America has contributed significantly to ensuring fundamental political freedom, civil liberties and human rights. Democracies in Development makes it clear that a legitimate and effective democracy is also essential for sustainable economic and social development. The book analyses the effects of institutions on democratic systems, identifies regional trends in democratic reform, and assesses efforts to enhance governance. Chapters focus on the quality of democratic politics; citizen support for democracy and electoral participation; presidential democracy; political part systems; the balance of power between the executive and legislature; the authority of accountability agencies; and mechanisms to facilitate more direct citizen participation. Appendices outline the institutional structures of the region’s democracies and examine voter turnout since 1978. The accompanying CD-ROM features country-by-country election results for presidential and legislative elections.”
  • La Política y la pobreza en los países andinos, (Spanish), www.idea.int/publications/politics_poverty_andean/. “The impact of the effectiveness of political organizations on policy and life in the Andean countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela) is examined in detail in this study published by International IDEA and the Transparencia Civil Association. The study recommends various areas of action on which political organizations and international cooperation agencies should focus, including strengthening parties to play an effective role in policy development for reducing poverty and inequality, public financing and electoral transparency, thresholds and other measures for creating stronger parties and coalitions, greater party cohesion in Congress to make legislatures more effective and responsive, and reinforcing the ability of political organizations and policy makers to develop and implement pro-poor policies at the national and local levels. Emphasis is also placed on promoting mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation among parties and with other sectors of society.”
  • Monitoring Government Policies: A toolkit for civil society organizations in Africa, www.internationalbudget.org/MonitorGovPol.pdf. Developed by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), Christian Aid, and Trocaire, this resource provides civil society organizations (CSOs) with the tools to monitor policies through data collection and evidence-based advocacy, ensuring that government policies are effective and that civil society has a stake in their implementation. Visit the website of the International Budget Project for more information and resources.
  • Nigeria’s Economic Reforms: Progress and Challenges, http://www3.brookings.edu/views/papers/20070323okonjo_iweala.pdf. A Brookings Institution paper. “This paper reviews Nigeria’s recent experience with economic reforms and outlines major policy measures that have been implemented. Although there have been notable achievements under the program, significant challenges exist, particularly in translating the benefits of reforms into welfare improvements for citizens, in improving the domestic business environment, and in extending reform policies to states and local governments. Consequently, we argue that the recent reform program must be viewed as the initial steps of a much longer journey of economic recovery and sustained growth. This paper concludes by outlining a number of outstanding issues that future Nigerian administrations must address.”
  • Nigeria’s Elections: Avoiding a Political Crisis, www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4741&l=1. The latest report from the International Crisis Group that analyses the approaching vote, which is one of the most important challenges the country has ever faced. Success would offer Nigeria the first opportunity to achieve a genuine constitutional succession from one civilian administration to another since independence in 1960, thus consolidating democracy. Failure could provoke violent rejection of the results by wide sections of the populace, denial of legitimacy and authority to the new government, intensification of the insurgency in the Niger Delta and its possible extension to other areas, with potential for wider West African destabilization.
  • Pakistan: Discord in the Northern Areas, www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4748&l=1. The latest report from the International Crisis Group that examines the growing tension in the Federally Administered Northern Areas, where an institutional void has developed, leaving room for religious organisations with extremist tendencies to expand their influence.
  • Pakistan: Karachi’s Madrasas and Violent Extremism, www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4742&l=1. The latest report from the International Crisis Group that examines the negative role these religious schools continue to play five years after President Pervez Musharraf promised a full reform of the sector. Deplorable public schools, the sectarian tilt of state institutions, the marginalisation of moderate voices and military government’s reliance on religious parties for political survival have led to the growth of madrasas at an explosive rate over the past two decades. They are either unregistered or registered under laws that have no effective implementation.
  • Pioneering Women’s Voices: A Celebration of Women’s Journalism across the Globe, www.article19.org/pdfs/publications/2007-women-s-day.pdf. On the occasion of 2007 International Women’s Day (8th March), ARTICLE 19 celebrates women’s journalism through profiling four pioneering examples of women journalists from Guatemala Iraq, Malaysia and Sudan.
  • Political Warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. Capabilities and Chinese Operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB766.pdf. A Strategic Studies Institute report. “Domestic and international terrorism aside, the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), are vying for influence over African governments and people. Not unlike the Cold War, the primary means of exerting influence in Africa is through the use of nonviolent instruments of grand strategy. The author considers one nonviolent instrument of grand strategy in particular, political warfare. He suggests that the PRC has used political warfare as its leading grand strategic instrument in Africa and offers a concise, detailed overview of U.S. capabilities to conduct political warfare in Africa in four of its nation-states.”
  • Securing Tyrants or Fostering Reform? U.S. Internal Security Assistance to Repressive and Transitioning Regimes, www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG550/. By Seth G. Jones et al. “Does U.S. assistance to the security forces of repressive states improve the effectiveness of internal security forces in countering security threats? Does it improve the accountability and human rights records of these forces? This book addresses these questions by examining the results of U.S. assistance to four states: El Salvador, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The authors identify several factors critical for success: the duration of assistance, viability of the justice system, and support and buy-in from the local government (including key ministries).”
  • Slum wars of the 21st century: the new geography of conflict in Central America, http://tinyurl.com/3asm8t. This paper analyses conflict in Central America, specifically in Nicaragua. The paper argues that there has been a shift in the landscape of conflict in Central America from ‘peasant wars’ to ‘urban wars’. Although past and present forms of brutality initially seem very different, present day urban violence can be seen as a continuation of past struggles in a new spatial context. The dynamics of these contemporary ‘slum wars’ suggest that this ongoing conflict is becoming more intense into the 21st century, largely as a result of this new spatial context.
  • User’s Guide to DG [Democracy & Governance] programming, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNACU640.pdf. This publication describes how USAID Missions and bureaus can contact staff in the DG Office and access the technical services it provides. It presents an overview of the DG Office, information on staff and current team assignments, and useful descriptions and contact information on each implementing mechanism, which missions and regional bureaus may access.
  • U.S. Interests in Central Asia and the Challenges to Them, www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=758. A Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College report. “The author assesses the interests of the United States in Central Asia and the challenges to them. These challenges consist of the revival of the Taliban, Russo-Chinese efforts to oust U.S. strategic presence from the area, and the possibility of internal instability generated by the regression of local regimes form democratizing and liberalizing policies. The author then recommends policies designed to meet those challenges to American policy in this increasingly more important area of the world.”
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