by Alexander Miller Tate
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 . 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.
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?
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.
By Ioana Cerasella Chis
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 (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.
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.
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.
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 .
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”.