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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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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Senate Strikes A Blow at the Heart of the US Criminal Justice System

Senate Strikes A Blow at the Heart of the US Criminal Justice System

by Ross Kleinstuber

It is rare that the US Congress can do anything that gets me riled up anymore.  I have come to expect so little from the institution, but today, the US Senate, by denying Debo Adegbile’s appointment to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, struck a blow at the heart of the American criminal justice system.

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Framing Environmental Degradation as a Security Issue: A Theoretical Inquiry

Framing Environmental Degradation as a Security Issue: A Theoretical Inquiry

By Ioana Cerasella Chis

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For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game,

but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.

– Audre Lorde

The sentiment expressed by Lorde[1] (made in the context of fighting different forms of oppression) is a sentiment that is shared by the argument developed in this paper. Whilst it is acknowledged that there is a lot of debate within security studies, as to its conceptualization of events, it is argued here that the whole paradigm of securitization is fundamentally misconceived. This argument is made in relation to securitization debates and practices concerning environmental degradation.

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Obituary: Italian Parliamentary Democracy

Obituary: Italian Parliamentary Democracy

By Sebastiano Sali*

Almost 60 days after the national elections, Italy still does not have a government. Certainly, very far from Belgium’s 543 days world record, but nonetheless not reassuring at all. Italian politics and Italian politicians (statesmen in Italy do not appear in sight) have been so much confused about forming a new government after February 24/25th polls that have decided not to decide, setting forth the end of the Italian parliamentary democracy.

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Habemus Papam (Gaudium Magnum?)

Habemus Papam (Gaudium Magnum?)

by Sebastiano Sali

Yes, the world has a new Pope! Indeed a very quick one. Some even argue, in spite of the absence of official records from the early Conclaves about a thousand years ago, that this has been the quickest Conclave ever. Statistics aside, it is true that most likely the biggest surprise of this papal election is not so much Francesco (careful not the 1st, but simply Francesco), but rather that (arguably) an outsider has been appointed in less than 24 hours and with only five rounds of polls. Plus, differently from the Pope-Michel Piccoli in Nanni Moretti’s famous film ‘Habemus Papam’, which involuntarily predicted the resignation of the Pope emeritus Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, Josè Mario Bergoglio seemed quite happy to have been chosen as the successor of Saint Peter. He greeted the mass in St. Peter’s square in Rome smiling and with a gentle and simple ‘Buonasera’, then asking the crowd to pray for him, to bless him as he is a normal, simple believer, like them.

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Gay Marriage and HIV Increase?

Gay Marriage and HIV Increase?

by Javier Betancourt

On February 16th 2013, a series of articles were published in the British media regarding the findings of a study conducted by the Health Protection Agency and the University College London on HIV, that mentions among their conclusions an increase in HIV among homosexual men caused by a fall in condom use.  The research paper in question was published in February 15th, 2013, and used data from 1990-2010 to demonstrate trends shown in the HIV in the United Kingdom Report 2012. This research came into light after the House of Commons approved the Marriage Bill on February 5th, and is currently on the Committee Stage .

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The Image of the “Undesired Citizen” in Turkey: A Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis of Hurriyet and Zaman Newspapers

The Image of the “Undesired Citizen” in Turkey: A Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis of Hurriyet and Zaman Newspapers

by Begüm Burak

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Introduction[1]

Most nation-states since their inception have had some kind of an “imagined” good or desired (acceptable, palatable) citizen profile. This concept of imagined good citizen has its constitutive others too. Thus, while on the one hand the nation-state endeavors to construct a good citizen; on the other hand and simultaneously, it tries to assimilate or dissimilate the identities that it sees unfit to its good citizen imagination. The nation-states have not only used coercive or physical tactics such as forced migration or population exchange to achieve this, but have also used several Gramscian instruments to manufacture such citizen and negatively represent and even vilify its others. The media has been one of the powerful apparatuses that the nation-states have enthusiastically used.

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Public Protest as a Road to Democracy?

Public Protest as a Road to Democracy?

by J. Paul Barker

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Introduction

The most vivid picture of a collapsing authoritarian regime  is a large mass protest, a public square full of chanting protesters  banners calling for freedom and the removal of a cruel leader. From riots outside government buildings in Tunisia and the thousands that filled Tahrir square in Cairo, to the protests in Benghazi, Libya and the “Days of Rage” that were organized in Syria and other countries across the Middle East and North Africa, 2011 has been marked by large-scale public protests. These events led Time magazine to name “The Protestor” as its person of the year.

The protests have largely proved effective at removing authoritarian leaders from power. Multi-decade authoritarian rule in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia were toppled during the year. The question remains, however, what will be built in its place? Will the public protests result in democracy and political freedoms or will they flounder in chaos and ultimately fall back into some form of authoritarian rule? What does history have to tell us as a guide for the future?

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The Curse and Misconceptions of Democracy

The Curse and Misconceptions of Democracy

by Javier Betancourt

What is Democracy? A question that seems rather rhetorical in the beginning has caused a lot of controversies and sparkled discussion over the years.

Democracy is a common word in daily speech and the fact that its meaning is different for each one of us should come as a surprise.

Many people tend to give the same answer: democracy is the right to vote. Others may answer that democracy is the right to choose our governors. While this is part of democracy, it is not democracy in itself. Some other people tend to recite Greek etymologies “demos”=people, “kratos”=power, so it is the “power of the people”; others say that “Democracy is freedom”.

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