Daily Archives: Sunday, June 15, 2014

New Journal Articles (weekly)

  • “Forced displacement generated by organized crime is a little-studied and poorly understood phenomenon. Based on field research carried out in 2013, this article redresses this situation by analysing the broad dynamics of an alarming new wave of forced displacement sweeping El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – the countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America – and Mexico. It focuses specifically on the role played by three of the main types of organized criminal groups in the region – mara street gangs, Central American drug transporters, and Mexican drug cartels – in provoking this displacement. Structural differences between these groups are shown to influence both the forms of displacement that they produce and the resulting patterns of movement by displaced persons. Consideration is then devoted to the implications for scholarship and humanitarian practice of this new wave of forced displacement generated by organized criminal groups. “

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  • “While various studies have already shown that people prefer high- over low-skilled migrants, we know surprisingly little why this is so. This article tries to close this gap by investigating three explanatory models. (i) According to the labour market competition model, citizens oppose immigrants with the same skill levels who are perceived as competitors on the job market. (ii) According to the welfare state model, low-skilled immigrants’ use of public services is disproportionally higher than their contribution to tax revenues contrary to high-skilled immigrants. (iii) According to the deservingness model, high-skilled immigrants are preferred, as low-skilled immigrants are considered as lazy people who would be as well off as natives if they only tried harder. As one of the first studies outside the United States, these arguments are tested by means of an experimental online survey in Switzerland. Respondents were randomly assigned to evaluate low- and high-skilled immigrants. We find that different groups prefer high- over low-skilled immigrants for different reasons: While the labour market competition model does not play a role, the welfare state model only holds for natives who are well off in regions with low taxes. Finally, attitudes on deservingness explain preference of high-skilled immigrants only if the respondents have a high income. “

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  • “This article examines the narratives of 19 East Timorese women who were coerced into sexual relationships with members of the Indonesian security forces during the 24-year Indonesian occupation. Close attention to the key themes emerging from these stories helps to deepen understandings of women’s diverse experiences of the conflict and postconflict periods, and sheds light on the gendered possibilities and limits of truth commissions. By destabilizing the therapeutic assumptions of truth commissions, these women’s narratives also assist in developing a more contextualized, locally grounded and long-term approach to the pursuit of gender justice in Timor-Leste and elsewhere. “

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  • “This article reflects on how Peru’s reparations program is experienced and comprehended by Andean communities in the aftermath of the country’s internal conflict. It focuses on how exhumations are interpreted by war victims’ families in the highland district of Chungui. The exhumation of mass graves, the return of human remains and dignified burials are intended to provide families with a measure of closure. In these Andean communities, the exhumation process is interpreted as intimately linked with economic compensation, provoking confusion as to the responsibilities of each state institution involved in the reparations program. This situation generates mistrust and conflict, and gives rise to questions regarding the extent to which transitional justice mechanisms are experienced positively by families in this district. “

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  • “This article describes the role of Kenyan civil society in two attempts to achieve ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ through a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). The first occurred in 2003, when a change of political leadership led to the creation of a Task Force on the Establishment of a TJRC (TF), and the second occurred from 2008 to 2013, when a postelection crisis led to the formation of a coalition government and the institution of a widely criticized TJRC. In both instances, the fate of the exercise depended in large part on civil society organizations: the alliances they made, the arguments they mobilized, the support and criticisms they provided and their interactions with citizens, media, international donors, state actors and TF or Commission staff. Civil society approaches were also shaped by a combination of their individual and collective understandings of what constituted the most important issues and best practice, and their interpretations of government motivations, and thus by what was deemed possible, and to be feared, in working with such a state-led initiative. The article suggests that truth commissions are not a discrete tool that can be applied with the same effect in any setting, and that transitional justice actors must pay greater attention to local politics and dynamics in establishing truth commissions, including the capacity, concerns and interests of local civil society organizations, which have the power to either bolster or undermine such a project. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “On 31 January 2009, 16-year-old Luciano Arruga disappeared. His case is not an isolated one: more than 213 people were ‘disappeared’ by security forces in Argentina between 1983 and 2012. Certainly, these numbers pale in comparison to what occurred during the last dictatorship, when as many as 30,000 people disappeared. Yet, Argentina has pursued many transitional justice processes to address this past with the goal of nonrepetition or, as the truth commission put it, ‘Never Again’ (Nunca Más). Drawing on interviews as well as media and document analysis, this article analyzes the discursive obstacles faced by actors of social accountability – the media and human rights organizations – when applying lessons from the past to current police violence. I argue that the complex relationship between human rights and security is at the heart of this discursive challenge.”

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  • “Human bodies have assumed centre stage in modern warfare, and few armed conflicts epitomize this more than the war in northern Uganda, where both rebel groups and government forces violated bodily integrity and altered human tissue to communicate messages, humiliate the enemy and their support base, and dominate both people and territory. The injuries and disabilities inflicted during wartime continue to affect people long after the conflict has come to an end. People whose bodies were ‘marked’ continue to embody the war in everyday activities in terms of pain, disabilities and loss of mobility. In other words, the war continues in their bodies. Most marked bodies struggle to conform gender performances to expectations. Furthermore, a decline in the productivity of people with marked bodies and failure to reciprocate mutual beneficial interaction leads to ruptures within social capital networks, resulting in widespread stigmatization and discrimination. Yet, focus on the body seems to be largely missing in peace processes and transitional justice. In the aftermath of armed conflict, where so many bodies have been marked, disability mainstreaming should become a quintessential element in transitional justice. This goes beyond medical interventions, meaning that in all transitional justice thinking and practice, attention is paid to how marked bodies can be included, participate and benefit. To ensure inclusion of marked bodies and other victim groups, more micro-analysis is needed that distinguishes survivor groups in terms of their day-to-day survival concerns, challenges, experiences, needs and aspirations. “

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  • “Transitional justice has become the dominant international framework for redressing mass harm. To date, however, transitional justice has not adequately accounted for past colonial harms and their ongoing effects. How to confront and redress structural harm has been beyond the purview of its framework. Taking ongoing historical and structural harms against indigenous peoples in Australia as a reference point, we draw on the insights of settler colonial theory to propose a new justice model for transitional justice. We argue that a commitment to structural justice will enhance the ability of transitional justice to recognize and address structural injustice in settler colonial and other contexts. By elaborating the concept of structural justice with reference to postcolonial and settler colonial theory, this article sets out to support the development of a more robust theory of transitional justice. “

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  • “At the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council held in March 2014, the Council adopted a resolution entitled ‘promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka,’ which empowers the High Commissioner’s office to:

    Continue to monitor the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and assess progress on relevant national processes;

    Lead a comprehensive investigation into serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in the Sri Lankan civil war, and to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes committed, with the view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability with assistance from relevant experts; and

    Present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its 27th session, and share a comprehensive report at its 28th session, followed by a discussion on the implementation of the present resolution.

    In a previous resolution (A/HRC/22/L.1/Rev.1), the Human Rights Council urged the government of Sri Lanka to conduct investigations into alleged human rights abuses and crimes under international law that have taken place during its prolonged conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The latest resolution comes as the result of the Sri Lankan government’s failure to comply with the earlier resolution and ensure accountability within the domestic legal framework. ”

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  • “The aim of this paper is to provide an exploration of the work–family reconciliation processes of immigrant working mothers in Italy, through the analysis of fifty-six qualitative interviews carried out with Latin American and Eastern European female workers with at least one minor child living in Milan. The study highlights the strategies they followed to manage work and childcare under the unfavorable conditions posed by the intertwining effects of immigration, care, and employment regimes. These, leading to limited social and employment rights, also influence their kinds of participation in the labor market and constrain the geographical mobility of their family members, leading women to enact (over time but also simultaneously) pluri-local care strategies. While these can be interpreted as a further resource available to migrant families, they can also be seen as the outcome of a partial inclusion into the host society, showing new forms of inequality in the access of social care. “

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  • “This article investigates to what extent the challenging questions emerging from the intersectionality literature have been addressed in the process of reforming anti-discrimination legislation in Sweden and Norway. I find that even though intersectionality is presented as relevant for the policy reforms in both countries, the term largely remains abstract and obscure in the policy documents. As a result, other more practical circumstances become decisive in determining the outcome of the reforms. The existing structure of the national equality legislation in particular seems to have had significant consequences for the variation in outcomes of the two reform processes. “

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  • “One of the primary goals of the Dutch civic integration policy is the emancipation of migrant women. Emancipation herein implies both the ability to make choices about one’s personal life and participation in the labour market. However, the content and implementation of the programme fails to meet this goal due to a double bind: migrant women are portrayed as culturally oppressed yet addressed primarily as mothers and voluntary social workers. As such the policy focuses on the former aspects of emancipation while neglecting the later; personal choice and freedom for women are difficult to achieve without financial independence and the sharing of care work between men and women. Using feminist literature on care work and the “adult worker model” of citizenship we show that civic integration needs to be analysed within the Dutch structural and cultural constraints to emancipation that make combining employment and care difficult. Cultural stereotypes of migrant women’s supposed oppression serve to obscure these broader Dutch obstacles to emancipation. This analysis relies on a unique combination of qualitative data consisting of civic integration material, interviews, and non-participant observation in civic integration courses. Our data reveal that within Dutch civic integration efforts to promote independence through labour market participation are subordinate to promoting women’s role in (unpaid) care work. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

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