Can Syriza be a Beacon for Left Parties in Europe?

Can Syriza be a Beacon for Left Parties in Europe?

By Jason Iliou

Greece turned a major page in its political history electing the first radical left party in parliament after years of center and right-wing governments. Continue reading

The Effects of War-Related Mental Health Issues on Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Transitional Justice

The Effects of War-Related Mental Health Issues on Post-Conflict Reconciliation and Transitional Justice

by Alexander Miller Tate

Introduction 

A common theme in contemporary post-conflict security and development literature is the instability of states that have recently experienced a cessation of armed conflict. As of 2008, slightly less than half of all civil wars were a result of the breakdown of post-conflict peace [1]. This has provoked a burgeoning literature investigating how a recently post-conflict state can avoid relapse. Common solutions involve processes of reconciliation between oppositional groups, as well as the securing of transitional justice for those wronged, yet this literature and that surrounding the prevalence of mental health issues in post-conflict environments have rarely crossed over.

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The ICC Factor in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The ICC Factor in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By Marianna Karakoulaki

Remaining true to his statements, the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas applied and gained membership at the International Criminal Court (ICC) making Palestine the 123rd signatory of the Rome Treaty. The ICC bid came after a predefined bid for statehood at the UN Security Council in early December which was vetoed by the US. This move is seen as a more direct attempt to re-ignite the Palestinian issue which reached stalemate since the US-led peace talks collapsed in 2014. In return to the ICC bid, Israel withheld the transfer of Palestinian tax money to the Palestinian Authority as a punitive measure.

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Contesting Human Rights: The Legal, The Political, and the Structural

Contesting Human Rights: The Legal, The Political, and the Structural

by Ioana Cerasella Chis

The Effectiveness of Human Rights Norms in Changing State Behaviour

With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, every person has, as stipulated in the document, a set of universal, inalienable rights. Since then, the human rights discourse (and, since 1994, ‘human security’), together with the concept of ‘democracy’ have been invoked much more widely by various actors, becoming what Laclau calls ‘empty signifiers’ (1995:43). For instance, the median use of the term ‘human rights’ by six of the world’s leading media outlets ‘rose 95% from 1986 to 2000’ (Hafner-Burton and Ron 2007:379). Does it mean that human rights have been increasingly respected, or on the contrary, violated more?

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The Cyprus Problem: Evaluating the Momentum of 2014

The Cyprus Problem: Evaluating the Momentum of 2014

by Yiannis Charalambous

In 2014, a combination of external as well as domestic developments gave rise to cautious optimism regarding the solution of the Cyprus Problem.

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Who Buried the South Stream and Why? The EU or Russia?

Who Buried the South Stream and Why? The EU or Russia?

by Ilgar Gurbanov

Zbigniew Brzezinski had once described Russia’s energy policy as an initiative “to separate the Central Europe from the Western Europe”; something able to divide Member States’ solidarity on the EU and NATO’s potential enlargement in the post-soviet space. Therefore, the EU was not happy leading its member states’ ‘preferential relationship’ with Russia, notably on the South Stream.

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The Day after the Torture Report

The Day after the Torture Report

by Marianna Karakoulaki

After a long wait and many delays the US Senate’s infamous ‘torture report’ was released on Tuesday 9th December. The torture report is 528 page document entitled ‘Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program’ written by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The released document is an executive summary of a more than 6,700 page report which analysed more than 6 million memos, statements and other documents and focuses on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme from 2001 until 2009 – when the programme was officially terminated. The gruesome torture techniques used by the CIA remained a well-guarded secret until Tuesday despite a decade full of accusations and rumour games.

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Turkey’s Revisionism in the Eastern Mediterranean (Part II)

Turkey’s Revisionism in the Eastern Mediterranean (Part II)

By Zenonas Tziarras

Source: Today’s Zaman

Part I: Turkey in the Middle East: The Tacit Revisionist

In the previous article, it was argued that Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East “is obviously, yet tacitly, revisionist.” Specifically, examples such as the Syrian civil war were employed to highlight Turkey’s revisionist goals (i.e. regime change) and its efforts to rely on great powers (U.S. and NATO) in order to achieve them without getting too much involved. Continue reading

Before the Law Stands a Gatekeeper

Before the Law Stands a Gatekeeper

By Ioana Cerasella Chis

 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN 1948).

‘Before the law stands a gatekeeper’ – this is how Franz Kafka’s short parable begins. A man from the countryside (K) arrives in front of a legislative building to be admitted to the Law. However, the gatekeeper stands in front of the door, always deferring the man’s admittance. K waits patiently, at times bribing the gatekeeper; in return, he is told: ‘I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything’. The gatekeeper informs K that the latter can try to enter the Law, but he also reminds the countryman of the former’s power to keep him away from the gate: ‘It is possible’ to be admitted, the man is told, ‘but not now’. K waits his entire life before the Law, and dies outside the building. The parable ends here.

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Q&A with Giedrius Česnakas: Russia, and the West

Q&A with Giedrius Česnakas: Russia, and the West

Dr. Giedrius Česnakas, is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy at Vytautas Magnus University

Fuad Shahbazov (FS): Russia has become a strong headache for the North Atlantic Alliance once again, how would you estimate the current relationship between Russia and NATO?

Giedrius Česnakas (GČ): From my perspective, Russia, with its aggressive actions missed an opportunity to become normal regional power, to become a reliable partner of the West against raising China, which form my perspective, is the greatest threat to Russia. Being partner and not an adversary of NATO Russia could “soften” NATO, and make much more impact that it does today. While Russia was cooperating with NATO, threat from Moscow in NATO was perceived as a delusion of the Baltic States. Before the occupation and annexation of Crimea, NATO was losing itself, it was not sure about its role and causes of existence. After Russia’s aggression NATO found the basis for its existence once again, found reassurance in its role, and started to make its military presence in the states that joined after 1999 more noticeable.

It would seem that possibilities for deep cooperation between NATO and Russia are lost for a very long time, however, mutual fight against terrorism could lead to some cooperation, but it would not be deep.

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