Daily Archives: Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • In Part I of this article, US President, Barack Obama, is reported as saying to his inner circle that their objective in Afghanistan is not to build a Jeffersonian democracy. Part II is about the idea that a more Jeffersonian architecture of rural republicanism in tune with Afghan traditions is a remedy to limits of the Hobbesian analysis of cases like Afghanistan in Part I. Anomic spaces where policing and justice do not work are vacuums that can attract tyrannical forms of law and order, such as the rule of the Taliban. Peace with justice cannot prevail in the aftermath of such an occupation without a reliance on both local community justice and state justice that are mutually constitutive. Supporting checks on abuse of power through balancing local and national institutions that deliver justice is a more sustainable peace-building project than regime change and top-down re-engineering of successor regimes.

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article views Afghanistan less as a war, and more as a contest of criminalized justice systems. The Taliban came to power because they were able to restore order to spaces terrorized by armed gangs and Mujahideen factions. After the Taliban’s ‘defeat’ in 2001, their resurgence was invited by the failure of state justice and security institutions. The Taliban returned with a parallel court system that most Afghans viewed as more effective and fair than the state system. Polls suggest judges were perceived as among the most corrupt elements of a corrupt state. Police were widely perceived as thieves of ordinary people’s property, not protectors of it. While the US diagnosis of anomie in Afghanistan up to 2009 was aptly Hobbesian, its remedy of supporting President Hamid Karzai as a Leviathan was hardly apt. The West failed to ask in 2001 ‘What is working around here to provide people security?’. One answer to that question was jirga/shura. A more Jeffersonian rural republicanism that learnt from local traditions of dispute resolution defines a path not taken.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Although numbers of individuals seeking asylum in the UK have significantly reduced since the late 1990s ( House of Commons, 2007), it remains the case that people continue to flee conflicts, war and other ‘push’ factors, to seek sanctuary in a safer land. At the same time, border controls, particularly in Western countries such as the UK, have become ever more tightly controlled and policed with the apparent aim of excluding ‘outsiders’ ( Bohmer and Shuman, 2008; Friedman and Klein, 2008). The profession of social work has a long association of service to people in need. However, the prevailing academic discourse thus far, particularly in the UK context, largely depicts social workers, usually in the statutory sector, as collaborating with immigration controls that are accused of being inherently racist and exclusionary ( Humphries, 2004a, 2004b, 2004c; Hayes, 2005, 2009). In this paper, we suggest that the reality of social work with adult asylum seekers is much more complex, challenging and potentially transformative than a discourse of social workers as colluders with restrictive immigration controls implies. The authors, both qualified social workers, draw on their experiences of work with adult asylum seekers within a voluntary agency in north-west England. We argue that the approach of the work undertaken provides a useful template for social workers for hospitality-based practice in work with adult asylum seekers. This we feel to be consonant with the values that the profession purports to hold towards the people it serves. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This study explores the epistemological foundations of qualitative social work research. A template-based review was completed on 100 articles from social work journals. Reviewers examined five things: (1) the purpose or aims of the research, (2) the rationale or justification for the work, (3) the populations studied, (4) the presence of four epistemological markers (addressing theory, paradigm, reflexivity, and power dynamics), and (5) the implications presented. Results underscore the exploratory nature of qualitative social work research; authors were most likely to use the word “explore” and least likely to use the term “understand” to describe their aims. The most common rationale given for the research was a gap in the literature (77%), followed by the severity or extent of the problem (50%). Authors emphasized the perspectives of respondents, who were most likely to be social work practitioners (39%) or clients (28%). Among the epistemological markers examined, authors were most likely to mention use of theory (55%) and a research paradigm (51%) and least likely to apply reflexivity (16%) or acknowledge power dynamics inherent in research (7%). Finally, authors were most likely to identify practice implications in their work (90%), followed by research (60%), theory (38%), and policy (29%). “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Turkey has experienced several different internal migration periods since its foundation in 1923. However, the internal displacement of the 1990s brought to the forefront the divergent discussions on whether this wave of internal displacement can be approached from a traditional developmentalist approach or whether critical issues pertaining to the Kurdish Question also need to be addressed, requiring a broader understanding of what peace means to IDPs and different actors. This article studies these two approaches which are taken by the Turkish state, local non-governmental organizations and international organizations. It discusses Turkey’s internal displacement issue and Kurdish Question and analyses these actors’ different perspectives on the policies related to the areas affected by the conflict, and to addressing internal displacement. It argues that internal displacement is an important issue to be addressed in peace processes. Without acknowledging different perspectives presented by different actors neither peace nor development is possible. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “South Sudan’s separation from the Sudan on 9 July 2011 abundantly illustrated the relevance of Randall Fegley’s Beyond Khartoum. Focusing on subnational politics and the consequences of its continuous mismanagement, this monograph sets out to outline political developments in the former Sudan. The first four chapters appear to be based on Fegley’s PhD research. With a case study of the Northern Region as its centrepiece, this part of the book focuses on government reforms in the period 1976–85. Chapters 5 and 7 outline changes in the Sudan’s government structures during the second civil war (1983–2005) and the peace process in South Sudan (2002–10). Political changes within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army also receive attention. A case study of NGO operations in the southern county of Kajo-Keji is the focus of Chapter 6. Short presentations of subnational politics in other … “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “With the approval on 27 October 2011 of Law 18.831, the Uruguayan parliament voted to overturn the 1986 Expiry Law, a law long criticized by human rights advocates because it prevented the criminal prosecution of human rights abuses committed during the country’s military dictatorship (1973–1985). By overturning what many considered the lynchpin of institutionalized impunity in Uruguay, the new law restores the state’s capacity to prosecute human rights violations. Although a number of factors contributed to this surprising outcome, including a more permissible opportunity structure (the successive election of two left-wing governments) and the willingness of some judicial operators to challenge the Expiry Law, this article argues that the key explanatory variable to understanding these recent developments is the persistent demands of civil society groups over time. Civil society groups developed innovative strategies and incorporated new groups that gave renewed strength to the resurgent struggle against impunity in Uruguay. The article concludes with reflections on the significance of Uruguay’s renewed accountability efforts for transitional justice debates. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “At the outset, this article describes in detail how the European Union has replaced the nation-state concept of equality with a transnational idea of equality for all European citizens. It then investigates the extent to which German respondents support the idea of non-discrimination between German nationals and other Europeans. The existing literature argues that the process of opening up the borders of the nation-states will challenge the traditional symbolic code of equality held by citizens, and impact negatively on the existing distribution of resources. In particular, those people who lack economic resources and hold more traditional or right wing political orientations are likely to oppose the notion of Europe-wide equality. However, the empirical results show that the majority of the German population supports the idea that citizens from other European countries should enjoy the same rights as nationals. Most of this paper’s hypotheses are either falsified or correlations are rather weak, and these findings bring us to the conclusion that, at least as far as the German population is concerned, there is no evidence for a strong socio-structural or value-orientated cleavage with regard to equal rights for all Europeans. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “By utilizing the natural experiment of migration, this article attempts to answer whether generalized trust in other people is the result of cultural heritage or institutional quality. Looking at immigrants having migrated from a broad range of countries of origin to destination countries in Western Europe, I examine how their generalized trust is affected by the culture of their country of origin (in terms of the level of trust of this country) as well as institutional quality in the country they have migrated to (in terms of freedom from corruption). The results show that controlling for confounding variables, both factors have a highly significant impact on trust and hence that generalized trust appears to have both cultural and institutional foundations. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Unlike in the case of refugees, there is neither an international convention nor a dedicated UN agency in place to protect internally displaced persons. This discrepancy has, however, not stopped the law on internal displacement from emerging, filling the normative void around internal displacement. The UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of 1998, a soft law instrument on the protection of the rights of internally displaced persons, is a success story, having faced disapproval in the past but now being an internationally recognized standard. Most importantly, the principles have become the point of reference for states developing national laws and policies addressing internal displacement. These national developments across the globe are an expression of the recognized and assumed responsibility of national authorities for the displaced and, although such instruments show shortcomings and weaknesses, their greater good for the better protection of internally displaced persons is undeniable. While national instruments on the protection of internally displaced persons are a still emerging tool of protection, they are also the future of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article takes Italy’s widely-debated 2009 push-backs to Libya campaign as a point of reference to address whether bilateral agreements for technical and police cooperation provide the legal foundation for the forced return of intercepted refugees to countries of embarkation. Through a detailed analysis of both the facts and the texts of the published and unpublished bilateral accords, it concludes that, although push-backs do not have a clear legal basis, the agreements between Italy and Libya constitute a fundamental component of the multifaceted legal and political framework underpinning Italy’s practice of interdiction and return.

    Moreover, by entrusting a non-EU third country with the authority and legal competence for the maritime operations, bilateral agreements for migration control may distance the responsibility (for international wrongful acts) of the outsourcing state. Migrants and refugees are autonomously intercepted by the third country in international waters, or in its coastal waters, before their arrival at the EU’s gateways. By venturing into the labyrinth of state responsibility in general international law, this article considers Italy’s possible liability for ‘aiding and assisting’ Libya, in a variety of ways, in the unlawful containment of irregular migration by sea and the resulting refoulement of intercepted refugees ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article addresses a relatively new area of interest for refugee scholars: the effect on refugee law and policy of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The article explains the paradigm shifts that this Convention represents for persons with disabilities who find themselves displaced by war or persecution. It focuses on the two broad areas of most concern to refugee advocates and adjudicators working with persons with disabilities seeking protection as refugees: status determination processes and the interpretation of the definition of refugee. It considers the threshold legal question of whether the obligations enshrined in the Disabilities Convention are owed in respect of refugees – and thus whether they are relevant to refugee status determinations. The issues surrounding the determination of refugee status at a procedural level are examined, outlining the implications that the Disabilities Convention has for decision makers charged with adjudicating asylum claims. Finally, the article looks at the Refugee Convention to consider how disability can affect a person’s ability to qualify for protection under that instrument. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The European Union is currently in the process of revising the central directives that make up European Union refugee law, a project that will touch on almost every aspect of seeking asylum in Europe. This article will focus on the implementation of one doctrine, the internal protection or internal flight alternative, under the recently recast Qualification Directive. The article will first examine the application of the internal protection alternative, based on the text of the 1951 Convention, and UNHCR and academic commentary. Following this examination, the article will critique the recast Qualification Directive, concluding that, by effectively providing two alternative standards for IPA, it is unlikely to result in greater harmonization in Europe, and that both standards are problematic from the perspective of international law. Despite these shortcomings, recent European Court of Justice jurisprudence has clarified and improved previous interpretations of EU asylum law. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In recent years an increasing number of North Korean escapees have attempted to claim asylum outside of South Korea. One of the principal legal questions that tribunals face when addressing these claims is whether these asylum seekers should be considered as dual North/South Korean nationals, and, if so, whether that would disqualify them from refugee status due to article 1(A)(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention. This states that an asylum seeker who is a dual national must fear persecution in both of his or her countries of nationality in order to be considered a refugee. This dilemma exists because under South Korean law, North Korean escapees are usually considered to be South Korean nationals, as the South Korean Constitution defines the country’s territory as encompassing the entire Korean peninsula. However, South Korean nationality is often viewed as merely theoretical, as it arguably does not automatically provide a right to actually enter or reside in South Korea. This article examines recent court cases from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom dealing with the issue of North Korean asylum seekers’ possible dual nationality. In each country, tribunals have employed different analytical frameworks to come to different conclusions. This article argues that these recent cases represent largely unsatisfying attempts to deal with a challenging issue, and that it would make more sense for tribunals to analyze the potential dual nationality of North Korean asylum seekers using the principle of ‘effective nationality’, which has often been endorsed by commentators but less commonly used by tribunals in recent years. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The case HJ (Iran) and HT (Cameroon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] UKSC 31 was celebrated as a ‘fundamental shift in asylum law’. In this decision, the UK Supreme Court rejects the ‘reasonably tolerable test’ that had been applied in the case of the gay men HJ, a 40-year-old Iranian, and HT, a 36-year-old citizen of Cameroon. On the basis that the claimants could be reasonably expected to tolerate being discreet about their sexual identity in order to avoid persecution, their applications had been unsuccessful. This ‘reasonably tolerable test’, which was fairly well established in case law, was much contested and its rejection was overdue. Yet in their decision, the Justices not only reject this old test, they go a step further and formulate a new approach to be followed by tribunals in asylum claims on grounds of sexual orientation.

    This article argues that this new approach fails to discard ‘discretion’ as a concept in asylum cases as a whole, contrary to the submissions of the intervening parties in the case, namely, UNHCR and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The new test continues to be constructed on ‘discretion logic’ – which is not tenable for a series of reasons. First, the test creates two distinguishable categories, openly demonstrated sexuality and concealed sexuality. Secondly, it assumes that this distinction and the underlying choice are relevant for assessing whether the applicant is at risk of persecution. Finally, the case relied heavily on the subjective element of assessing the ‘fear’ of persecution, which leads to a stricter test than necessary. The assessment of the existence of a well-founded fear of persecution in LGBT cases should instead be made without reference to whether or not the applicants would conceal their sexual orientation. ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This opinion addresses the question of whether international humanitarian law (IHL) prohibits the forced displacement of civilians during armed conflict. It argues that the relevant rules of IHL do not take as their starting point a general prohibition of displacement. Rather, the author contends that the laws of war depart from an understanding of this phenomenon as a sad and often inevitable fact of war. As a result, only certain forms of forced displacement are directly regulated by this body of rules. The opinion is written in a concise format with the non-specialist humanitarian practitioner in mind. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Hearing Date: 10th – 17th October 2012

    Date of Judgment: 12th November 2012

    SPECIAL IMMIGRATION APPEALS COMMISSION

    Before:

    The Honourable Mr Justice Mitting (Chairman)

    Upper Tribunal Judge Peter Lane

    Dame Denise Holt

    MOHAMMED OTHMAN (ABU QATADA)

    Appellant

    and

    SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT

    Respondent

    For the Appellant: Mr E Fitzgerald, QC & Mr D Friedman

    Instructed by: Birnberg Peirce & Partners Solicitors

    For the Respondent: Mr R Tam, QC, Mr T Eicke, QC & Ms J Wells

    Instructed by: The Treasury Solicitor

    Special Advocates: Mr A McCullough, QC, Mr M Chamberlain

    Instructed by: The Special Advocates’ Support Office”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Recalling all previous resolutions on internally displaced persons adopted by the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, including Assembly resolution 66/165 of 19 December 2011 and Council resolution 14/6 of 17 June 2010,

    Recalling also General Assembly resolution 46/182 of 19 December 1991 on the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations, and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement annexed thereto,

    Recalling further General Assembly resolution 64/290 of 9 July 2010 and Human Rights Council resolution 15/4 of 29 September 2010, in which the Assembly and the Council emphasized the right to education of internally displaced persons and in emergency situations, such as armed conflicts or natural disasters,

    Deeply disturbed by the alarmingly high numbers of internally displaced persons throughout the world, for reasons including armed conflict, violations of human rights and natural or human-made disasters, who receive inadequate protection and assistance, and conscious of the serious challenges that this is creating for the international community,

    Emphasizing that States have the primary responsibility to provide protection and assistance to internally displaced persons within their jurisdiction, as well as to address the root causes of the displacement problem in appropriate cooperation with the international community,

    Recognizing that internally displaced persons are to enjoy, in full equality, the same rights and freedoms under international and domestic law as do other persons in their country,

    Reaffirming that all persons, including those internally displaced, have the right to freedom of movement and residence and should be protected against being arbitrarily displaced,

    Noting the international community’s growing awareness of the issue of internally displaced persons worldwide and the urgency of addressing the root causes of their displacement and finding durable solutions, including voluntary return in safety and with … ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “It is difficult to categorize exactly this lively, accessible, topical and obviously well-informed discussion of the current state of play regarding the protection of human rights in the European context. The book comprises a fairly substantial personal/professional reflection (described in the sub-title as ‘viewpoints’) by Thomas Hammarberg, based largely on his experience since 2006 as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and as such presents informative and insightful bite-sized discussions of a range of contemporary issues within the context of the European (and more exactly Council of Europe) protection regime.

    The text is largely based on reports and recommendations written following visits to Council of Europe member states and meetings there with victims of human rights violations and their families, politicians, officials, lawyers, judges, religious leaders, journalists, civil society representatives and inmates of prisons and other institutions. In terms of presentation, a major virtue of the book is its readability and immediate clarity, so that it can be read equally well by more expert researchers and teachers seeking reference material, students at a number of different levels and more general readers looking to be better informed. In this way, Hammarberg’s discussion will complement and add to the systematic technicality of a textbook or the focussed and more penetrating analysis of … ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “‘Where now? Who now? When now?’1

    The very phrase ‘human rights’ became for all concerned – victims, perpetrators, and onlookers alike – the evidence of hopeless idealism or fumbling feeble-minded hypocrisy.2

    Hannah Arendt learned from experience just how hollow ‘humanity’ could sound. She experienced ‘statelessness’ and witnessed the consequences everywhere in her world, just as she knew how cruel and merciless organized political communities could become. When reliance rested on the very thing said to be foundational, people always seemed most vulnerable. She was persuaded that:

    … human dignity needs a new guarantee which can be found only in a new political principle, in a new law on earth, whose validity this time must comprehend the whole of humanity while its power must remain strictly limited, rooted in and controlled by newly defined territorial entities.3

    For Arendt, and many of those within the republican tradition, the ‘new guarantee’ required anchorage in membership and belonging attached to organized communities committed to making a reality of idealized principles. Nationality and citizenship, in their substantive senses, thus assumed fundamental significance as a way of embracing humanity properly. Arendt’s thinking explicitly guides and shapes the critique advanced in Alison Kesby’s impressive book. In particular, Arendt’s notion of the ‘right to have rights’ is subjected to extended consideration, in a work that makes a necessary and substantial contribution to legal scholarship.

    The ‘right to have rights’ has attracted much attention. The jarring nature of the phrase still stands; people think they have them ‘as of right’. Arendt concluded that what really mattered was grounded political community for the purpose of rendering ‘rights’ meaningful – in the general project of building better and secure lives. Wherever she looked ‘humanity’ ended up as a flimsy and inadequate basis for ensuring guarantees and protection.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Exclusion from refugee status pursuant to Article 1F of the CSR51 becomes relevant in only a very small share of cases concerning refugee status; the author estimates that share to be less than half of one per cent of all cases in the countries examined in his study (p 369). Yet, exclusion represents a very important aspect of international refugee law: it plays a vital role in preserving the integrity of the asylum system by denying the benefits accorded by the CSR51 to those who have committed horrendous crimes, while at the same ensuring that fugitives do not escape legitimate prosecution. Exclusion cases often have a high profile and severe concern, if not outrage, is voiced when it turns out that a person who should have been excluded from refugee status managed to enjoy asylum until his or her criminal activity was discovered. What is more, exclusion from refugee status also marks one of the most difficult fields of law for refugee adjudicators due to its inherent connection to international and domestic criminal law.

    Rikhof’s book, a most comprehensive and thorough contribution to the subject, will hence be of great benefit to all those dealing with asylum seekers with a criminal background. After unrolling the historical background of exclusion from refugee status, the author embarks upon a meticulous examination of the law and practice of exclusion from refugee status. With regard to Article 1F(a) of the CSR51, the author first sets out the crimes defined as war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace, … ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This collaborative article examines how two academic institutions and one nongovernmental organization cooperated to map recent trial activity for past human rights violations, applying social science techniques to assist survivors’ and relatives’ groups as well as litigators in making informed strategic choices in their interactions with the formal justice system. The article discusses how methodologically rigorous data collection and data requests to public bodies can be used to advance a proaccountability agenda. The authors show how a range of civil society and state actors have changed justice system outcomes in Argentina, Chile and Peru and highlight some lessons learned about engaged, policy-relevant research. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In the 20 or so years since transitional justice first emerged as a field of practice, its objectives and the contexts in which it is applied have expanded greatly. However, its dual role of acknowledging the commission of past violence and human rights violations and seeking to prevent their recurrence remains central. Recent scholarship has begun to explore the impact of transitional justice in practice and also to critique its purported narrow focus on civil and political rights. Recommendations have emerged that transitional justice should address a broader range of violations, such as violations of economic, social and cultural rights, on the basis that this would more appropriately acknowledge the full ambit of past violence and also provide a stronger basis for preventing a return to the violence of the past. Through the case study of torture, this article suggests that before expanding, stock should be taken of transitional justice’s current contribution to prevention. It suggests that while transitional justice has generally prioritized certain types of torture, it has not taken a preventative approach by failing to identify and analyse the full extent of the practice and the way in which it supports institutional structures. The article assesses the extent to which transitional justice can overcome these deficiencies and proposes a possible framework for doing so. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on Indian residential schools allows us to rethink the scope and bounds of transitional justice. Once we expand our notions of injustice and transition, the Canadian case is not so far apart from paradigmatic cases, which too often overlook structural violence. The article argues for settler decolonization as a path of reconciliation and in so doing directly engages structural violence and instantiates theoretical arguments to more securely anchor the field of transitional justice to positive peace. The article analyzes the decolonizing potential of the TRC in its ability to invoke ‘social accountability’ through its approach to truth and in its grassroots potential. Although the TRC has some capacity to advance decolonization, its progress is hampered by the conservative political environment, its weak public profile and to some degree its own emphasis on survivor healing, which provides a ready focal for settlers to individualize Indian residential schools violence as something of the past. Yet, Indigenous healing is intrinsically connected to structural transformation and reconciliation depends upon remedying colonial violence in the present.

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article considers the case of Timor-Leste, occupied by Indonesia from 1975 to 1999, to elucidate the conditions that bedevil transitional justice processes in the aftermath of massive and long-running political violence, when a perpetrator state enjoys impunity because its wartime strategies facilitated denial of its responsibility, political violence was organized through the militarization of local society and individuals operated between the state and the resistance. The continuing social memory and knowledge of such conflict coupled with its judicial invisibility have significant consequences for rebuilding everyday lives. International agencies and processes have not only failed to attend to these dynamics in Timor-Leste but also replicated and perpetuated them, making the restoration of trust on which social reconstruction depends even more difficult. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This is an interrogation into what an international(ized) court can hold. Expressivism teaches us that by trying those responsible for mass losses, criminal courts send moral messages on the value of the rule of law that strengthen community attachments. In this performance of ritualized grief and condemnation, the court must hold the victim: the dead victim who remains in images inside and outside the court; the surviving victims whose desire to bear witness stands in tension with the constraints of the legal process in victim participation; and the communities whose victimization is the court’s focus as they are engaged through outreach programs. In this article, I question whether expressivism is a viable rationale for international criminal law by examining victim appearance at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. I argue that expressivism relies on simplified representations of victimhood that do not adequately address victims. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Memorials remain a relatively under-investigated dimension of transitional justice. Seeking to address this gap, this empirical article focuses on the Croatian town of Vukovar to examine whether war memorials can aid postconflict reconciliation, defined as the restoration and repair of relationships and the rebuilding of trust. It argues that Vukovar’s numerous war memorials are obstructing reconciliation between the town’s Croats and Serbs in two main ways. First, they are encouraging selective memory through the erasure of Serb victims. Second, they are contributing to a problem of too much memory, which is preventing society from moving forward. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “How do memorials shape who we think we are? And how are our identities involved when we debate, create and interact with memorials? This article engages in a conversation with scholarship on intersectional identities and memorial practices in Berlin. Intersectionality scholarship, with its roots in US critical race feminism, has much to offer for thinking about the complexity of identities, yet it does not consider the role of memory, time and temporality. The scholarship on memory and memorials, in turn, does not sufficiently consider the complexity of identities of those who are memorialized and of those who visit memorials. The article asks how two different memorials for Nazi victims in Berlin allow for or facilitate the memory of complex identities, illustrates that memorial practices can be crucial in contemporary identity politics and social movements and calls for a more self-reflexive approach to the role of identities and complexity in memorial scholarship and practice. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “There has been considerable and protracted debate on whether a formal truth recovery process should be established in Northern Ireland. Some of the strongest opposition to the creation of such a body has been from unionist political elites and the security forces. Based on qualitative fieldwork, this article argues that the dynamics of denial and silence have been instrumental in shaping their concerns. It explores how questions of memory, identity and denial have created a ‘myth of blamelessness’ in unionist discourse that is at odds with the reasons for a truth process being established. It also examines how three interlocking manifestations of silence – ‘silence as passivity,’ ‘silence as loyalty’ and ‘silence as pragmatism’ – have furthered unionists’ opposition to dealing with the past. This article argues that making peace with the past requires an active deconstruction of these practices. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The rapid growth of transitional justice, in both scholarship and practice, has generated an increasing interest in explanatory and evaluative studies of transitional justice dilemmas confronted by transition elites.1 In particular, postcommunist encounters with transition witnessed the emergence of various practices of lustration, criminal trials and truth commissions. Thus, it is not surprising that the region’s diverse historical and political experiences provide rich ground for the study of transition. The books reviewed here build upon a long tradition of scholarly engagement with postcommunist transitional justice to provide political science perspectives on dilemmas of transition that taken together provide important contributions to transitional justice scholarship through context-rich and lucid multicountry case studies.2

    To be sure, both Brian Grodsky’s and Roman David’s texts are ambitious in scope. Grodsky’s Costs of Justice provides cross-national case studies that attempt to address two underlying weaknesses in transitional justice scholarship identified by the author: a tendency to focus on single-country case studies and a narrow focus on transitional justice dilemmas that does not take into account the broad range of policy challenges facing transitional elites, from establishing new institutions of governance to economic restructuring. David’s Lustration and Transitional Justice, like Grodsky’s text, presents multicountry case studies. Unlike Grodsky, however, David seeks to explain the emergence and effects of lustration in particular and offers policy-relevant advice as to how to deal with the legacy of inherited personnel.3″

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “At the outset, this article describes in detail how the European Union has replaced the nation-state concept of equality with a transnational idea of equality for all European citizens. It then investigates the extent to which German respondents support the idea of non-discrimination between German nationals and other Europeans. The existing literature argues that the process of opening up the borders of the nation-states will challenge the traditional symbolic code of equality held by citizens, and impact negatively on the existing distribution of resources. In particular, those people who lack economic resources and hold more traditional or right wing political orientations are likely to oppose the notion of Europe-wide equality. However, the empirical results show that the majority of the German population supports the idea that citizens from other European countries should enjoy the same rights as nationals. Most of this paper’s hypotheses are either falsified or correlations are rather weak, and these findings bring us to the conclusion that, at least as far as the German population is concerned, there is no evidence for a strong socio-structural or value-orientated cleavage with regard to equal rights for all Europeans. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “With the approval on 27 October 2011 of Law 18.831, the Uruguayan parliament voted to overturn the 1986 Expiry Law, a law long criticized by human rights advocates because it prevented the criminal prosecution of human rights abuses committed during the country’s military dictatorship (1973–1985). By overturning what many considered the lynchpin of institutionalized impunity in Uruguay, the new law restores the state’s capacity to prosecute human rights violations. Although a number of factors contributed to this surprising outcome, including a more permissible opportunity structure (the successive election of two left-wing governments) and the willingness of some judicial operators to challenge the Expiry Law, this article argues that the key explanatory variable to understanding these recent developments is the persistent demands of civil society groups over time. Civil society groups developed innovative strategies and incorporated new groups that gave renewed strength to the resurgent struggle against impunity in Uruguay. The article concludes with reflections on the significance of Uruguay’s renewed accountability efforts for transitional justice debates. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Large numbers of migrants daily decide to undertake an often risky and protracted journey to leave their country, escaping from violence and poverty, in an effort to reach their ultimate goal: building a better life. Although extensive evidence shows how pre- and post-flight experiences can significantly threaten migrants’ wellbeing, little research investigates the impact of the flight itself and the way migrants cope with these flight experiences while ‘on the way’. The study took place in the waiting rooms of the police station near the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, where intercepted migrants stay for some time. Because of the constraints inherent in the study setting, we relied on the messages that migrants themselves chose to leave—in their mother tongues—on the police station’s walls and furniture. A discourse analysis of 179 inscriptions made by intercepted migrants revealed how these migrant communities show great solidarity, agency and resilience in dealing with their feelings and experiences in a political and social context that is marginalizing, depersonalizing or criminalizing them. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Turkey has experienced several different internal migration periods since its foundation in 1923. However, the internal displacement of the 1990s brought to the forefront the divergent discussions on whether this wave of internal displacement can be approached from a traditional developmentalist approach or whether critical issues pertaining to the Kurdish Question also need to be addressed, requiring a broader understanding of what peace means to IDPs and different actors. This article studies these two approaches which are taken by the Turkish state, local non-governmental organizations and international organizations. It discusses Turkey’s internal displacement issue and Kurdish Question and analyses these actors’ different perspectives on the policies related to the areas affected by the conflict, and to addressing internal displacement. It argues that internal displacement is an important issue to be addressed in peace processes. Without acknowledging different perspectives presented by different actors neither peace nor development is possible. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Sexuality and Gender Politics in Mozambique is a fascinating and important book that spans three decades of ethnographic research in northern Mozambique. It is especially rich in empirical evidence of women’s perspectives on matrilineal society and the initiation rituals by which female-bodied persons become social women who hold considerable authority (and sexual autonomy). It also offers thoughtful reflections upon the contested meanings of feminist activism and scholarship in Africa, written in an easy and engaging style. Fourteen chapters are introduced by beautiful reproductions of local examples and, in many cases, pertinent details of the author’s personal research experience that contextualize the questions and analysis.

    The two stated goals of the book are to contribute to African feminist theory and to shed light on a much-neglected topic in African ethnography. Matriliny has tended to be interpreted as a somewhat puzzling but not especially significant form of patriarchy. Arnfred convincingly shows how appearances of men’s public authority are paralleled by female-controlled institutions and rituals through which real decisions are made in consultation with ancestral spirits. Those working towards women’s empowerment today could benefit from a better understanding of the ways that traditional society supports mature women’s self-confidence and autonomies. ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “I Say to You is a timely book, a must-read as Kenya heads into a critical 2013 election. A rich, historically rooted account of the politics and politicking of Kenya’s ‘big men’ from Kalenjin-speaking communities, it offers a strong analytical narrative that helps explain the roots and contemporary manifestations of ethno-nationalist sentiments in the region. It also explores how the Kalenjin political class has experienced, harnessed, and debated these ethno-nationalist and related territorial agendas over time. This illiberal politics in Kenya’s breadbasket, along with other factors, could still push the country into civil war – as it nearly did in 2007–8 when Kenya experienced murder, rape, massacre, and mass displacement.

    Drawing on fieldwork, historical analysis, and a fairly extensive review of past scholarship, Lynch sets out to get to the roots of Rift Valley politics. She persuasively applies a widely accepted view about the complex and contingent nature of identity and the way politicians feel pressure from and draw on genuine sentiments of loss, exclusion, and fear in their mobilization strategies.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

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