Special Report: Food Security
Castration in the Czech Republic: A Drastic Measure to Punish Repeat Offenders
Responsibility to Protect:
The UN principle applied to Libya and Syria
The IR Review is an undergraduate student publication written and edited by members of the Boston University International Affairs Association.
INDEX 6 The Misapplication of R2P in Libya and Syria
The United Nations’ relatively new principle of “responsibility to protect” faced its first international challenge, as some say it justified international intervention in the Libyan and Syrian conflicts. Others believe the situations are more complex. By Abbie Gotter, CAS ‘14
9 The Intertwined Fates of Sudan and South Sudan
The oil crisis threatens peace between Sudan and South Sudan, whose symbiotic economies operate on the oil production industry. The peace process, revolving around this commodity, is wavering. By Zachary Crawford, CAS ‘13
Photo by Bethany Saul, CAS ‘14 The Matterhorn from Zermat, Switzerland.
10 Unite or Fail
Europe must decide on the manner in which it will unify politically. Not unifying will be the cause of the region’s downfall economically. By George Pitsakis, CAS ‘13
19 Failed Intervention in the Congo 21 Choosing a Charity Intervention as a tool of instituting peace by the United Nations is rarely successful. The Congo is a notorious case, where UN forces have been unable to stop the rape endemic that defines this violent conflict. By Rachel Yocheved Bicky, CAS ‘13
12 Castration in the Czech Republic
The only country that practices this procedure claims it is a successful deterrent. The archaic procedure of castration continues to be used in the Czech Republic to punish sex offenders. Jennifer Guay investigates the rationale for the procedure. By Jennifer Guay, COM ‘13
15 Ticking Time Bomb
Terrorism generates enmity in the US and worldwide, as they threaten to destroy western powers. Combating terrorism, however, generates ethical dilemmas for the international community. By Rachel Tesler, COM ‘13, CAS ‘13
17 What Are Our Rights?
Universal human rights often reflect values of western culture, as these concepts have been constructed by western nations. However, the universality of these rights often clashes with rights of cultures distinctly different from the West.
Since many NGO analysts agree that administrative costs are not an accurate way to judge an aid organization, a donor must ultimately select an NGO based on its ability to remain effective and transparent, rather than by its administrative expenditures. By James Reid, CAS ‘13
Special Report: Food Security
Food security is always an important issue around the world and affects many of the decisions made by the UN and national governments. Boston University students report on food security across the globe. Crafting Continental Policy
James Reid argues that future international and domestic policies should coordinate migration, food security and health security, acknowledging their innate integration. By James Reid, CAS ‘13
GMOs in Europe
European attitudes toward Genetically Modified Foods staunchly differ from US attitudes towards GMO foods. Differences create rifts in agricultural trade between the two western regions. By Maggie McLaughlin, CAS ‘13
Tanzania Food Security
For the last half- century, Tanzania has pursued both a comparative advantage approach to agriculture and a food-first strategy. Through the close study of maize and corn crops in the country, it is clear that a comparative advantage approach is not providing for the small African nation. A food-first policy, on the other hand, could provide lasting food security to its millions of citizens. By Shannon Johnson, CAS ‘13
The International Relations Review
INDEX 36 What’s in a Currency
The adoption of a single currency in the Eurozone has been a culturally contentious issue. For some states, it is not worth giving up a symbol of their nation, especially to a corrupt system. True European integration would benefit these states, but only once reliable political institutions are established and acceptance of a new European identity takes place. By Rachel Tesler, COM ‘13, CAS ‘13
39 Northern Ireland Resolved
Although violence between opposing groups in Ireland has long ceased to be an issue, social tensions continue to persist between opposing groups resulting from underlying feelings of antagonism. In order to fully eradicate this problem, the country has instituted policies aimed at the younger generations in order to unify the education systems and promote cross-community interactions. By Zachary Martin Schwartz, CFA ‘13, CAS ‘13
43 Realism vs. Liberalism Alexandria Kirkland explores the implication of US foreign policy in Turkey using international theories of realism and liberalism. Ultimately, she argues that the US should practice liberal policies in Turkey to create a better chance for sustainable peace in the Middle East. By Alexandria Kirkland, CAS ‘15
46 The Malian Coup d’État and Its Aftermath
After the staged coup d’état ousting President Amadou Touré, the future of Mali has been unclear. Diving into the heart of this conflict, Alexandra Knowles identifies key problems and why negotiations for peace have thus been unsuccessful. By Alexandra Knowles, CAS ‘13
48 Book Review: An Enchanted Modern, by Lara Deeb
A reader who has any familiarity with the typical Western gaze towards Islam and women (particularly Shi’a Islam) will immediately be confronted with a portrayal that defies such notions of social, political and religious backwardness. By Eliza Berg, CAS ‘14
50 Geneva Internship Program
IR Review staff member, Jatnna Garcia, reflects on her experiences studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland. Jatnna is currently interning with the Honduras Mission to the UN and will return to the IR Review this Spring. By Jatnna Garcia, CAS ‘14
Historic changes have been sweeping across the Middle East for the past year, but within just the past month, the region was rocked once more by monumental events. In Egypt the youth movement arose in protest of the president, reminiscent of the 2011 Revolution, while Palestine gained the status of non-member observer state in the UN. These changes are not only meaningful for the region, but represent a global shift in state alliances and influence.
Photo By Micky Bedell, COM ‘13
The International Relations Review
With the extensive austerity measures instituted by Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s economy continues to plummet as unemployment rate surpassed 25 percent in October for the first time in the country’s modern history. Although the threat of Catalonia seceding from Spain seems to have waned with the relative defeat of the pro-secessionist party, there still exists widespread pro-independence sentiment from Catalonia, calling into question Spain’s future political stability.
Photo by Rahat Bathija CAS ‘14
In Dhaka, thousands of protestors have flooded the streets in response to a devastating fire that killed 111 people and left 150 others injured. Several U.S. companies, such as Wal-Mart and Sears Holdings Corp, are under fire because their goods were found in the charred remains of the factory that reportedly exploited its workers and did not maintain basic fire safety measures. These companies have denied any knowledge of their products being manufactured there. Survivors of the fire have reported that managers and supervisors of the Tazreen Fashions factory stopped workers from leaving the building after the fire alarm went off. Subsequently, three employees of the textile company have been arrested because of their neglect of fire safety laws, and investigations are underway to root out the cause of the fire. Two other incidents at factories in the Dhaka region have raised concerns that the industry is under attack, which is complemented by the increasing evidence that the fire was started by arsonists.
Vidal Vega, the leader of a landless peasant movement in Paraguay, was shot dead early on Sunday, December 2nd in his home in Curuguaty. Vega was involved in an investigation of the death of 11 of his supporters and 6 police officers in June and was expected to testify at the trial, which revolves around a 50-year-long land dispute between the Paraguayan government and the displaced farmers. The peasant farmers claim the land was taken illegally from them in the 1960s during the rule of General Alfredo Stroessner and dispersed among his allies.
On Nov. 27, former Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s body was exhumed from his mausoleum in the Palestinian presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The 75-year-old icon of Palestinian opposition to Israel died in 2004. Some say he died of natural causes, but others believe Arafat was poisoned. Current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas approved the exhumation in order for forensic scientists to get samples of the body, which was reburied later that same day. Tests are currently being performed on those samples for the presence of polonium, a radioactive element found on some of Arafat’s personal belongings earlier this year.
President Obama recently paid the first visit to Myanmar by an acting commander-inchief to the emerging democracy, presumably with the intention of recognizing Myanmar’s importance to the United States and heralding the spread of democracy around the world. It has been speculated that this visit was prompted by China’s ever-growing influence in East Asia and represents a sort of “push-back” by the American government. With increasing economic dependency and ever-rising tensions, who knows where the future of the nation and its relations with its neighbors and allies lie?
Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto took the oath of office Dec. 1 amid mass protests in Mexico City. Protestors numbered in the hundreds, throwing firebombs, smashing plate glass windows and smashed windows of stores. Police arrested protestors, and others were hospitalized as a result of clashes with police. Peña Nieto is a member of the country’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. After a more than 70-year hold on power in Mexico, the party is returning from a 12-year hiatus.
egypt Following President Mohammad Morsi’s declaration of sweeping new powers, mass demonstrations were held in Cairo in protest against and in support for the revolutionary President. Last week, the President declared no authority could revoke his decisions, judges cannot dissolve the constitutional assembly, and he also authorized himself to take any measures to protect the revolution and national security. Soon after, the President claimed his new powers are limited, but many continue to call for a retraction of the decree.
After a protest in Western China, five Tibetans have self-immolated, five are in critical condition and five are being treated following the demonstration’s break up. The protests were geared towards equal rights for minorities and the freedom to use Tibetan language. In total 86 people have set themselves on fire in protest since 2009, and 22 this month. Foreign press has been barred from traveling to sites of such selfimmolations by the government.
United Nations On Nov. 30, the UN General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine’s elevated status from that of observer to non-member observer state. France was the first major European nation to openly support Palestine when Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that it would vote to accept Palestine’s nonmember status at the UN. This increase in status also calls for reconsideration of Palestine’s bid for full statehood.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
United States The political divide over the possible secretary of state nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice continues to deepen as Republicans increasingly question her aptness and Democrats continue to defend her. Republicans are especially concerned over Rice’s recent statements about the September 11 Benghazi attacks because she neglected to recognize the attack as an act of terrorism. She has insisted that she was not trying to mislead the American people, and Democrats see no reason for these statements to disqualify her for the nomination.
M23 Rebel leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are sending mixed messages to the international community. After claiming they have planned to withdraw from Goma, rebels have shown no indication that this will actually occur. In addition, other rebel leaders have stated that withdrawal would not occur unless the Congolese government meets their demands. These include releasing political prisoners and convening a conference of opposition leaders and the Congolese diaspora. The rebels are expected to withdraw from Goma eventually, given that their numbers are insufficient to control the large city and all the other holdings they have acquired, but compromise will be difficult given the rebels’ mistrust of the president of the Congo, Joseph Kabila.
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The International Relations Review
The Misapplication of R2P in Libya and Syria Why These Protracted Conflicts Do Not Require International Intervention By Abbie Gotter, CAS ‘14 The Arab Spring rapidly brought the attention of the international community to the changing political landscape of the Middle East and North Africa. While some revolutions, like those in Tunisia and Egypt, were entirely homegrown and supported, others slowly devolved into a fight for governmental power. The Libyan and Syrian rebellions have been particularly brutal, with protesters picking up arms to forcibly remove their despots. These protracted conflicts raised the question of the international community’s duty to ensure freedom and human rights for all. The United Nations voted to involve NATO in the conflict in Libya but has yet to take binding action in regards to Syria. These two situations are touted as the world’s opportunity to act on the responsibility to protect, or R2P, a relatively new international principle that obliges states to involve themselves when another state fails to protect its population from international humanitarian law violations. The problem with implementing R2P in both Libya and Syria is that a consistent application of the emerging legal principle is not tenable. Military intervention is inadvisable because the situations in Libya and Syria are conflicts that do not supply solid ground for the creation of clear and consistent laws. The legal principle itself is not fully developed. The evolution of the belligerent positions of Libya and Syria and the conflicts’ designations as civil wars make military intervention politically difficult and possibly illegal. With R2P as a relatively recent principle, the standards for intervention have not yet been fully developed or accepted by the international community. The definition of R2P remains a bit unclear because there has not been a consensus on what constitutes appropriate action in the occasion of a state failing to protect its population. As Carsten Stahn of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says, “The concept of responsibility to protect is treated differently in the four documents associated with its genesis,
namely, the report of the Commission on State Sovereignty and Intervention, the High-Level Panel Report, the Report of the Secretary-General, and the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit.”1 Given the newness of R2P, the principle lacks real-world scenarios to serve as a normative foundation for future action. It was conceived after “[t]he successive humanitarian disasters in Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Kosovo, and now Darfur, Sudan,”2 and Libya and Syria presented some of the first opportunities to put this idea into practice. For a principle to gain legitimacy, it is necessary to have substantial, clear-cut cases that fit exactly within the parameters of appropriate behavior: a norm cannot exist in the abstract only. However, inconsistent application in situations that are confusing and hard to define doesn’t give any credibility to R2P. The cases to which R2P is applied,
therefore, must contribute to the finetuning of the principle, rather than take away from its clarity. It is essential to see whether the cases of Libya and Syria have the capacity to crystallize this principle.3 The crisis in Libya went through a small evolution. It began in February 2011 with protests calling for more political freedoms. After peaceful protests were repeatedly interrupted by government forces, the movement grew in size and violence, with rebels using the eastern city of Benghazi as a stronghold and gradually bringing more territory under their control. UNSC Resolution 1970 addressed the crisis at the beginning of the conflict, which mainly involved abuses by government forces on the peaceful protesters and thus was directed towards the Libyan government. Less than a month later, UNSC Resolution 1973 was passed, and already
Photo by Caitlin Leczynski CAS ‘14 The United Nations Offices at Geneva, Switzerland is the second largest of the four global UN Headquarters, and primarily serves as the center for humanitarian, human rights and economic missions.
the situation had changed. Rather than addressing the Libyan government directly to cease the use of force against protesters, Resolution 1973 addressed hostilities in general, indicating that reciprocation in force had occurred. It demanded, “the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians.”4 That the Security Council had changed the direction of the resolution within the span of a month demonstrates how rapidly the situation fluctuated from solely excessive government force to an armed civil war, with both sides committing international law violations. By mid-summer, abuses by the rebel forces were exposed by the Human Rights Watch: “In four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces.”5 Human rights abuses by rebel forces complicate the evaluation of whether or not to intervene. The Libyan authorities could argue that they were trying to protect the bystanders to the war by fighting the rebels that were committing war crimes, thus invalidating intervention by demonstrating state responsibility, which takes primacy over international responsibility.6 However, the UN did take multiple steps before resorting to military intervention, demonstrating some of the criteria for R2P. Military force was used as a last resort after multiple arms embargoes, asset freezes, and the no-fly zone.7 Only after these failed were international forces deployed, conforming with the Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which explains, “We endorse the emerging norm that there is a collective international responsibility to protect, exercisable by the Security Council authorizing military intervention as a last resort.”8 The conflict in Syria is similarly inconsistent and changing. Protests against the government began in March of 2011, with government forces being deployed in April. Since then, the Free Syrian Army has organized itself as the main arm of the opposition, headquartered in Turkey until recently and led by defectors from the Syria regime, though the Syrian National Council is the political body of the opposition.
The UNSC, while unable to pass legally binding resolutions, has addressed the conflict through Presidential Statements. In August of 2011, the first statement was released, in which “[t]he Security Council calls on the Syrian authorities to alleviate the humanitarian situation in crisis areas by ceasing the use of force against affected towns, to allow expeditious and unhindered access for international humanitarian agencies and workers, and cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.”9 However, by the time the UNSC was able to create a plan for addressing the conflict with a Joint Envoy led by Kofi Annan, then-secretary general, the fighting had spread. This made it necessary for the international community
systematic.”11 As is the case in Libya, this greatly complicates intervention on the basis of R2P by having multiple aggressors that are violating international law, both of whom are unwilling to protect the civilian populations. Besides sheer complexity, the other obstacle to intervening with R2P is that the conflicts in Libya and Syria could be classified as civil war. In both countries, the conflict began over the question of the determination of the government structure, which is entirely an internal affair. In the case of Syria, the Security Council acknowledged this with a Statement from the President, stating, “It stresses that the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led
“Human rights abuses by rebel forces complicate the evaluation of whether or not to intervene.” to address the behavior of both the Syrian government and the opposition forces: “Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties.”10 However, the Annan plan has not been renewed after the failure of the plan’s ceasefire, which was a result of both the government and the rebels continuing their battles in the midst of civilian populations, thus not allowing access to affected communities. While the government has committed atrocities against the Syrian population, which is the main justification for intervention, the Syrian opposition has also been accused of war crimes, including extrajudicial executions and torture: “Armed opposition groups have subjected detainees to ill-treatment and torture and committed extrajudicial or summary executions in Aleppo, Latakia, and Idlib. Torture and extrajudicial or summary executions of detainees in the context of an armed conflict are war crimes, and may constitute crimes against humanity if they are widespread and
political process, with the aim of effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the population which will allow the full exercise of fundamental freedoms for its entire population, including that of expression and peaceful assembly.”12 The initial actions taken by the Syrian opposition were with a goal of enacting political change and enhancing political freedoms. In the Nicaragua Case in 1986, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that intervention for political ends did not justify the use of force: “The Court considers that in international law, if one State, with a view to the coercion of another State, supports and assists armed bands in that State whose purpose is to overthrow the government of that State, that amounts to an intervention by the one State in the internal affairs of the other.”13 While this case was decided before the creation of responsibility to protect, current understandings of R2P do not necessarily justify political ends: “[I]n in the event of genocide and other large-scale killing, ethnic cleansing or serious violations of international humanitarian law which sovereign Governments have proved powerless or unwilling to prevent.”14
The International Relations Review
The Intertwined Fates of Sudan and South Sudan How the oil industry is crucial to the peace process By Zachary Crawford, CAS ‘13
Photo by Bethany Saul, CAS ‘14
Similarly, with NATO’s intervention in Libya, the states involved may also have overstepped their legal boundaries granted by UNSC Resolution 1973. While this resolution allows for states to use “all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,”15 arguably the intervening countries involved themselves politically by only using force against government—the no-fly zone and naval blockade only affected government capabilities. Thus, the intervention to protect may have gone beyond humanitarian protection into political determination, which is not covered under the responsibility to protect principle. This is not to say that serious violations of international humanitarian law had not occurred; they simply are not universally applicable in the conflicts. Since these humanitarian violations do not comprise the conflict itself, humanitarian solutions will not end the civil war, they will only solve one facet of the crisis. In these instances, military intervention is not justified under responsibility to protect, but limited humanitarian intervention is covered under
other international laws. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 directly addressed many of the humanitarian crises that have occurred, including massacres, starvation, and deprivation of medical care. Part IV of Protocol 1 explains precisely what constitutes a civilian population and what protections they are offered, including protection from indiscriminate attacks,16 starvation,17 and protection of infrastructure.18 For the sick and wounded, the belligerents are obligated to allow an organization like the ICRC access to help the civilian population. The details of the rights of the sick and wounded are contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention: “The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.”19 Under these few articles, the violations that have been committed could be brought before the UNSC and referred either to the ICC or to an independent tribunal, like that for the former Yugoslavia. Since breaches of the Geneva Conventions are treaty breaches, states are not protected by sovereignty, and the Security Council may act as it sees fit to remedy the threat to peace (Articles 39 and 41).20 This would include the siege of Homs and Houla massacre in Syria, and the siege of Misrata in Libya. The war
crimes committed by the Syrian rebels in their summary executions are violations of the Third Geneva Convention prohibiting “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.”21 While officially the Syrian rebels are not a state, as individuals they are still liable under current international law. What differentiates the use of the Geneva Conventions from R2P is that the UNSC is not as likely to approve military intervention for the breach of a treaty, given that the UN Charter specifies that states “settle their international disputes by peaceful means,”22 including adjudication through the ICJ or other tribunals. The cases in Libya and Syria are not ideal for legitimizing responsibility to protect. The most essential intervention in Libya and Syria is in response to humanitarian crises, which can be justified under previously existing international law. In these situations, R2P offers no unique benefits over current law. It would be more detrimental to the principle to haphazardly apply it to situations that will not clarify and crystallize the law into customary law. Consistent application is necessary for a norm to become law, and that opportunity is not present in the current conflicts.
In July 2012, after long negotiations, the governments in Khartoum and Juba signed into agreement what was hoped to be a significant step toward peace between the newly separated states. Forged out of economic necessity, the agreement called for the resumption of oil production in South Sudan, which halted earlier in the year in response to Sudan and South Sudan narrowly avoiding war. The enmity stems from the fact that South Sudan’s independence ceded not just land but 75 percent of the known oil reserves as well. Left strapped for cash and resources, Khartoum has grown desperately reliant on duties taken from South Sudanese oil travelling through Sudanese pipelines to the Mediterranean. Today, oil production is still at a standstill with promises from Juba, the capital of South Sudan that oil shipments will resume by the end of the year. Undoubtedly, the oil crisis has had vast implications for both countries that generate most of their national income from oil revenues, including cross-border violence, soaring food prices, economic vulnerability and diplomatic tension. Such is the immediate and medium-term future for both countries, whose symbiotic economies−hampered by lack of oil revenues and border and territory disputes− will define the peace process that moves forward. With economic strains stemming from violence along the border, and as this violence continues to justify political stagnation, Sudan and South Sudan’s crisis is looking more and more cyclical and threatens to plunge both nations further into chaos and discord. The issue of oil is central to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. It was the cause of the Second Sudanese War (1983-2005), when President Nimeiry declared Sudan an Islamic State and invaded the south for oil fields, thereby terminating
the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region. This was ultimately a violation of the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement, which ended the First Sudanese Civil War. Oil, then, was the driving force behind the dissolution of internal agreements and civil war, is currently doing more of the same. Just this summer, oil production in South Sudan was shut off because of mutual accusations of agitating political developments through proxy forces in the other’s country. Almost all of the violence, instability and refugees sit atop known oil fields in historically disputed areas. The UN considers these “outstanding issues” between Sudan and South Sudan. South Sudan faces other challenges in addition to its control over 75 percent of Sudanese oil. Stationed in the Juba Mountains and across South Kordofan,
“...[these] symbiotic economies will define the peace process ...” Sudan, is the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N), displaced from their host organization in the south by an international border. Violence flared in these areas this summer, and the SPLA-N’s presence continues to be a point of tension between the two countries. Juba has been hesitant to criticize the SPLA-N, adding to the friction. The militia group also intends to participate in the political process in Khartoum, although still technically part of the broader Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan. This duplicity adds to the unpredictability in the region, especially since the SPLA-N has
been implicated in numerous skirmishes within Sudan. Another focal point of violence and instability is the disputed Abyei region. Jointly administered as part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Abyei holds rich oil fields, despite its small size. The UN Security Council established the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to deter the fighting and act as a buffer so as to facilitate negotiations on Abyei’s final status. For now, it is a demilitarized zone occupied with peacekeepers and once again put on the back burner for future negotiations. In addition to the UN providing a peacekeeping mission for the small region, the African Union has been asked to intervene as well in the hopes of facilitating a peaceful settlement. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has encountered difficulties in maneuvering toward peace as well. Initiated as a complementary mission to the government in South Sudan, UNMISS continues to appear a less effective means toward nationbuilding, given the outstanding issues of inter-communal violence, inadequate disarmament-demobilization-reintegration (DDR) policies and the lack of political will to reach a comprehensive agreement. The DDR programs have been particularly problematic. For the estimated 150,000 non-SPLA-affiliated combatants in South Sudan, UNMISS along with partner organizations have only established three 50-person DDR sites. UNMISS is also supremely limited in what it can achieve on the ground with regards to military personnel and equipment, especially regarding the lack of desperately needed helicopters. Without the necessary military equipment to facilitate monitoring violence along the border and within South Sudan, UNMISS remains extremely limited in its ability to engage and prevent the problems it has intended to fix. The future of Sudan and South Sudan looks uncertain, and indeed unstable, but ultimately their fates are intertwined both economically and politically, which inherently renders the peace process complex. Only until a final decision is reached on the oil-rich disputed regions will there be a chance for enduring peace between the newly-separated countries.
The International Relations Review
Unite or Fail
were offered interest rates on-par with Germany. A massive influx of money flowed into these countries, as the overconfidence within the market spurred GDP growth through deficit spending. On paper it all looked great. Financiers treated the European Union as one credible unit, rather than realizing the residual fiscal differences between countries. Unfortunately, Europe failed to converge in any other significant way. Fiscal policy still completely lies in the hand of national governments, and true political union is nowhere near fruition. While Greece, Portugal, and Spain continued to borrow at German rates and use a currency based on German competitiveness, public debt skyrocketed. Mid-technology countries, with bloated public sectors, rampant tax-evasion and uncompetitive economies suddenly linked hands with Germany and France and spent most of the money the global financial community could throw at them. Political leaders ignored the fact that very few Eurozone countries actually maintained the Maastricht criteria, and politicians shrugged off further political and fiscal convergence as political-suicide. A storm brewed over Europe. Precautionary measures were habitually avoided and now the euro-zone must live with the consequences. Europe’s leaders have serious decisions to make. At a crossroad, countries can either unite fiscal and political policy under a larger European institution or continue the current path of austerity and watch the monetary union slowly crumble. Without fiscal integration, set policies on public sector size, tax percentage, debt convergence, and economic cohesion, the over-valued euro and competitiveness disparity will continue to plague the Eurozone periphery countries. Without true cohesion, the European experiment will fail. It’s decision time for Europe.
The Eurozone’s Need for Further Convergence By George Pitsakis, CAS ‘13
Photo by George Pitsakis, CAS ‘13 View of Olympia in Elis, Greece, known is ancient times for hosting the original Olympic Games.
On Nov. 7, amidst police and protester clashes, the Greek government passed the next round of austerity measures ensuring another €31 billion in troika-funded aid. The troika continues to plug the holes of Greece’s sinking ship, but the engine room has already set fire and the boiler has exploded. These packages are only stalling the inevitable. Greece’s economy continues to retract, unemployment has hit 25.4 percent, and the
people have begun to vote for more radical political parties, most notably, SYRIZA (the anti-austerity leftist coalition), and, in a much more terrifying case, Golden Dawn. Golden Dawn, Greece’s Neo-Nazi party, polled seven percent of the total vote in the last election. Additionally, the Greek government has failed to enact true reform such as effective tax collection and mitigation of political corruption. With the great social unrest in Greece, waning
economies throughout the euro-zone’s periphery countries, and a growing lack of faith within the global financial community, European leaders must act now or give up on the grand idea of the “European Identity.” Pure austerity is not working. Before the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, members of the Eurozone experienced massive financial benefits. With new monetary cohesion, periphery countries such as Greece and Portugal
Photo by George Pitsakis, CAS ‘13
All citations for articles in the Fall 2012 issue of the International Relations Review can be found online. Visit the Boston University Internaitonal Affairs Association website at buiaa.org/ir-review to accesss the bibliographical information.
The International Relations Review
Castration in the Czech Republic A Drastic Measure to Punish Repeat Offenders By Jennfier Guay, COM ‘13
Photo by Paola Peynetti Velázquez, CAS ‘15 The Astrological Clock in Prague, Czech Republic.
A doctor makes a small incision in a man’s scrotum, and with a swift cut, removes both testicles. The procedure takes under half an hour, but its effects will last a lifetime. Surgical castration—once seen as a logical solution to sexual deviancy across Europe, but taboo since World War II—is the go-to treatment for sex offenders in the Czech Republic. The policy, most recently brought to light by a 2009 Council of Europe report, has been largely ignored both in the Czech Republic and worldwide. In today’s modern world, a procedure that physically mutilates a man and impedes his ability to reproduce seems archaic—part of our history, not our present. For ethical reasons and doubts about its efficacy as a deterrent, the procedure has been abandoned by every
modernized nation save for one exception: The Czech Republic. Beleaguered by a history of foreign occupation, the small Central European country is still coming to grips with its place in the modern world after the 1989 Velvet Revolution and subsequent fall of Communism. The Czech Republic is a haven of majestic castles and fairy tale landscapes untouched by the wars that destroyed its neighbors, but the country is also rife with conflict and bereaved by a stubborn backwardness in policy-making. Czech liberal, laissez-faire attitudes toward sex, religion and gay rights clash with the government’s rampant corruption, biased media, bribe culture and outdated medical practices that range from phallometric testing (a controversial technique used to
measure blood flow to the penis, used in the Czech Republic to determine whether men seeking asylum due to homophobia in their countries are actually homosexuals) to surgical castration. Czech authorities claim that removal of a man’s testes is the most foolproof way to tame sexual urges in dangerous predators who suffer from extreme sexual disorders. “Without treatment, 75 percent of convicted sex offenders will reoffend,” said Ondřej Trojan, a sexologist who runs a private clinic in Prague. Sexologists, who study human sexual behavior, play a key role in determining who is considered a viable candidate for sexual castration in the Czech Republic. “Long-term psychotherapy lowers that number to 20
percent. Surgical castration brings [the] reoffending rate between 2 and 5 percent. The only real alternative is long-term— even life-long—detention in specialized wards with very limited access to the rest of the community.” According to statistics released by the Czech Republic’s Child Crisis Center in 2007, one in four Czech girls and one in seven Czech boys have experienced either sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse. This number is frighteningly high, especially when compared to statistics collected from the same year in the United States: the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System reports one in 68 American children are sexually abused each year. “Castration eliminates that need to commit these atrocities, making it the best possible option, both for the sex offenders and the community,” said Trojan. The procedure, which is also known as testicular pulpectomy or bilateral orchiectomy, is irreversible and always renders the patient infertile. Its goal is to rid the offender of his sexual urges through the reduction of testosterone levels. Article 27A of the Czech Republic’s 1966 “Law on the Care of the People’s Health” states that surgical castration is permissible if the sex offender requests the procedure himself and is informed of all side effects beforehand. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CPT) disagrees. The human rights organization visited the Czech Republic on behalf of the Council of Europe to overview its policies on surgical castration. After its first visit in March 2008, the CPT expressed serious reservations about the country’s use of surgical castration as a method of treating offenders. After the committee released its findings, the Czech government agreed to revise its policy. More specific guidelines were implemented: only adult males deemed a danger to society would be considered for the procedure. All candidates were then required to submit a written application to an expert commission consisting of a lawyer, at least two physicians specializing in a relevant field and two doctors who would not be involved in the operation. Incapacitated patients were only to be castrated with
the authorization of a legal guardian, endorsement by the expert commission and approval by a court. Czech authorities also told the committee that scientific research proves that castration is remarkably efficient, citing four Czech studies that found low or zero rates of recidivism. Unsatisfied by the amendments made and not persuaded by the government’s research, the CPT returned to the Czech Republic in March 2008. They were assured by Czech sexologists and government officials that all procedures
imprisoned sex offenders. Many offenders spend decades in prison without treatment options, including one inmate at Havlíčkův Prison who was behind bars for 19 years before beginning treatment at a psychiatric hospital. Files from Prague’s Na Bulovce Hospital showed that there was usually no lawyer present during application reviews and that often the treating sexologist was also a member of the expert commission. Sometimes, applicants did not appear before the commission in person, and
“Czech liberal, laissez-faire attitudes toward sex, religion and gay rights clash with the government’s corruption, biased media, bribe culture and outdated medical practices...” followed a consistent practice and were only administered under exceptional circumstances. Specifically, committee members were told that castration was never performed on first time offenders, in prisons or on legally incapacitated patients. They found, however, that Czech sex offenders are castrated under starkly different circumstances. The adverse side effects of castration are extensive and include depression, osteoporosis, diminished body hair, oily skin, increased body fat, reduced bone density, higher chance of cardiovascular disease, loss of muscle mass and increased formation of breast tissue. Inmates at Kuřim Prison told the CPT that they were not given any information about the procedure before applying and only through contact with the outside world did they realize just how severe the procedure’s side effects were. Other patients who applied for the procedure did so because the operating sexologist told them that if they were not castrated, they would face a life sentence in prison. In all the cases reviewed, patients pointed out that their application was “at least partially instigated by fear of longterm detention,” according to the CPT. The committee only met two offenders who applied to be castrated independently. According to the CPT, there is an absence of treatment programs for
in interviews, members of Prague’s commission admit they were not equipped to determine whether a sex offender is a viable candidate for castration. “Castration is similar to the death penalty as a deterrent to criminal behavior, and in the same domain as female circumcision,” said Sheila Jasanoff, a Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. “When there are huge moral disagreements about what justice ought to be, the stakes are very high.” The CPT found the number of procedures done difficult to verify; researchers were only allotted access to 5 psychiatric hospitals, whose records indicated that 50 procedures had been administered between 2001 and 2006. However, in April 2008, the First Deputy Minister for Health said that in the last 10 years, 94 sex offenders had been sentenced to sexual castration and according to 2007 statistics from the Czech Justice Ministry around 200 men underwent either chemical or surgical castration last year. The Czech government claims to keep no records of how many castration procedures are done, meaning that there is no centralized source of statistics. Surgical castration was not only applied to re-offenders, as dictated in Article 27A, but also to first-time offenders,
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according to the committee. The CPT found that some of the first-time offenders had even committed non-violent offenses, like repeated exhibitionism. In fact, surgical castration was carried out after a nonviolent offense in half the cases examined. In at least five cases, legally incapacitated offenders were surgically castrated and in all five, the court-appointed guardian had signed the consent form (in two cases, the guardians were mayors of the municipalities). A considerable number of the surgically castrated offenders suffered from significant mental retardation and some were never offered other forms of treatment. “The CPT underlined that surgical castrations are not actually based on free and fully informed consent of the person concerned,” said Maros Matiasko, a lawyer at LIGA, a watchdog organization that addresses human rights challenges in the Czech Republic. Chemical castration, a nonpermanent, less physically invasive version of surgical castration is offered in many modernized nations, including Great Britain, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Canada, Australia and eight American states. Offenders are injected with medroxyprogresterone, an FDAapproved birth control drug that does not produce any lasting physical changes.
Medroxyprogresterone injections reduce levels of testosterone and are believed to diminish sexual desire. California and Florida provide mandatory injections for repeat sex offenders and discretionary injections for first-time offenders, but the law has only been evoked a few times since its 1997 passage. However, chemical castration also poses problems. The medroxyprogresterone injections must be administered once a week, meaning that sex offenders will have to be closely watched to ensure they show up for every injection. Ensuring that rapists, pedophiles and other sexual deviants show up week after week for an unwanted, potentially lifelong treatment may prove difficult. Sex offenders could leave the country and stop taking the drug, or simply reverse its effects with testosterone (which can be easily purchased online). Czech authorities argue for surgical castration as an alternative to prolonged jail time and psychiatric counsel based on studies that find castrated offenders less likely to reoffend. They claim that only one sex offender has ever reoffended after being castrated. However, reconviction data and self-reporting are questionable as methodologies. Over the course of its visit, the committee came across three instances in which sex offenders had reoffended after castration
Fall 2012 and committed serious sex-related crimes, including rape and attempted murder. Studies on the subject have yielded varying results. A Danish study of 900 castrated sex offenders in the 1960s found that the rate of repeat offenses dropped after sexual castration from 80 percent to 2.3 percent, but a 1989 Psychological Bulletin study found that if anything, the recidivism rate for treated offenders tends to be higher than that for untreated offenders. “There’s no legitimate evidence that castration has any effect on sexual behavior or reduces desires,” said Leonard Glantz, Associate Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health. “Sexual desire is in the brain. Rape is not a crime of sex; it’s a crime of the brain. You don’t need testicles to rape somebody. It’s a crude idea.” The CPT concluded that the Czech Republic’s use of surgical castration is degrading and an invasive, irreversible, and mutilating intervention. The committee asked Czech authorities to stop administering the operation immediately. The Czech Ministry of Health released a statement saying it “does not consider the reasons specified by the committee in favor of absolute abandonment [of surgical castration]” and believes a request for the procedure by the patient is sufficient means for castration.
Photo by Colin Rosenow, CAS ‘13 Prague, Czech Republic.
Ticking Time Bomb Ethical Dilemmas in Dealing with Terrorists By Rachel Tesler, COM ‘13, CAS ‘13 Terrorism generates enmity in the U.S. and worldwide. Presently, stateless, alien characters from ‘faraway’ lands are seen as a threat to Western civilization. This current threat is not caused by ancient land battles or quests for world domination, but rather by conflicting ideology. Terrorists espouse from a variety of political turmoil and ethnic origins, but the most publicized contemporary terrorist threat comes from Muslim extremists. In the current ‘War on Terror,’ which has claimed the better part of this decade, it is essential to ask if this war will ever be won. Current state war tactics may not be able to fight these faceless, non-state organizations that call for Western civilization’s destruction at all costs. Furthermore, Western ideology designates certain rights to criminals and ethical management in warfare. But is it ethical to risk lives for enemies bent on our destruction, willing and ready to sacrifice their own lives? States must resort to creative solutions to fight modern terrorism that expand beyond current war tactics. They must shape new ethics to determine the approach to their new enemy. The general definition for terrorism has been identified by journalist Simon Jenkins in his 2005 article in The Guardian. Generally, terrorism refers to surprise acts of violence to cultivate tense fear in a community with the intention of inciting change.1 Terrorism distinctly deviates from random violence in rioting, for example, in its motivation to stir fear and uneasiness in the hopes to induce change. Several traits qualify terrorist acts including generating a sense of panic amongst a population, stripping victims of the ability to engage in a rational response, demanding extreme and nonnegotiable terms, using clandestine and surprise violent tactics and targeting noncombatants. This final factor contributes to the emotionality of this warfare and unwavering anti-terrorist sentiment. One critic of the solid resolve to eradicate terrorism, Virginia Held, acknowledges
the complex nature of the ‘terrorist’, which she argues has become a muddled construct in the public mind. In her book How Terrorism is Wrong, Virginia Held likens the impropriety of terrorism to inter-state war. She asserts that politicians and the media portray terrorism to be unquestionably evil, while wars can be portrayed as unjust to honorable on a spectrum, “In political debates and media discussions…all too often the assumption is made that terrorism is the epitome of evil, which suddenly and inexplicably arises to slaughter the innocent, and that the violence “we” and our friends unleash to fight is unquestionably righteous.”2 She refers to the terrorist tactic of targeting civilians and non-combatants, as a point of contention in the Western mindset and she believes that right-wing politicians and the media exploit this to justify violent responses. Virginia Held and many scholars with similar perspectives remind Western society that ‘evil terrorists’ give different names to their followers, including ‘freedom fighters,’ ‘revolutionaries,’ or ‘rebels.’ In the book The Age of Terror: America and the World After 9/11, one contributing writer John Lewis Gaddis discusses the origins of terrorists, noting that the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1942 and Pancho Villa’s raids in Columbus, New Mexico in 1916 inspired contemporary terrorism. Gaddis distinguishes the Cold War as a form of terrorism in American and Soviet tactic to cultivate fear of attack in their respective enemy’s country. In How Did This Happen: Terrorism and the New War, author Walter Laquer explains that the majority of terrorist activity, mostly guerilla uprisings, derives from left-wing political unrest. For these terrorists, he says, “terrorists were fanatical believers driven to despair by intolerable conditions. They were poor and oppressed, or at least on the side of the poor and oppressed, and their inspiration was deeply ideological.”3 Motivated by the hope for a better life, terrorists have nothing left to lose from
their actions. Terry Sullivan describes the six main classification of terrorism in his text “Types of Terrorism”. The first group he calls separatist terrorists, who seek additional definition and distinction in a community through their violent acts. In Northern Spain, the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) in Basque country seek to differentiate themselves from Spain proper by asserting their independence through terrorist acts. The IRA in Southern, Catholic Ireland associated with separatist terrorism in their desire to break away from British-rules Protestant Northern Ireland. Political terrorists oppose the ruling political government and seek to induce political change. For example, Peruvian rebels el Sendero Luminoso, in the ‘70s and ‘80s lead uprisings against the oppressive
“They must shape new ethics to determine an approach to their new enemy.” government. Cult terrorists like the Aum Shinri Kyo believed their terrorists’ actions would lead to a destructive, yet renewing power as dictated by Shiva, the god of destruction and renewal. Militia terrorists like the White Supremacists in America, see their actions as protectors of the Aryan race and ‘pure’ ideology, such as recent terrorist Anders Breivick in Norway. Islamic terrorists, most publicly recognized in recent media call for jihad (‘holy war’) against ‘poisoning’ Western ideology and non-Muslim entities. State terrorism reflects the authoritarian nature of a government that instills fear in its citizens to maintain control, like Nazi Germany. In eliminating the terrorist threat, states approach each strain of terrorism differently. Laquer acknowledges in his book that “Over the last two decades, changes in targets, weapons, and motives combined to make terrorists more dangerous than ever before.”4 With technological advancements and increased availability
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of powerful weaponry, civilian society is more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. For example, prior to the industrial revolution, the only way for antagonists to eliminate their enemies was to locate and directly target to the enemies’ to assassinate them. The inventions of public transportation, centralized water supplies, shared power sources and overall globalization have made it easier to diffuse mass destruction. Religious and ethnic terrorism have increased in recent decades, which can be attributed to the intensive globalization over the past several decades leading to an inevitable backlash. Following the 9/11 attacks, direct responses to terrorism increased and a growing movement of Islamaphobia swept the Western World. Explanation for specifically the rise of radical Islam combines, perhaps, both old and new terrorist influences. Many rural and lower class Muslim community seek better opportunity in political unrest and many extremist leaders condemn Western civilization as the root of the issues. This convenient enemy, one that endlessly proves their insensitivity and reinforces the demonizing claims through the boundless War on Terror easily becomes a target for this bitter antagonism. The Western World’s controversial response to terrorism led to a heated and diverse debate. In his interviews for the book, Power and Terror Noam Chomsky, a vocal opponent of United States counterterrorism policies, justifies certain types of terrorism as a means to an end. In dealing with terrorists, he notes that the U.S. has committed “egregious human rights violations.”5 He particularly mentions that the Regan administration set the precedent that “terrorism had to be dealt with by force and violence, not by utopian legalistic means like mediation and negotiations and so on, which were a sign of weakness.”6 These actions, in his opinion, created violent foundations for contemporary Western counterterrorist approaches. On the contrary, Chomsky’s great adversary Alan Dershowitz claims in his book Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge, that exceptions can be made for all terrorists if it aligns with that respective person’s self-interests. However, he continues, “All terrorism must be condemned, if condemnation of any terrorism is to have an impact.”7 He makes
the astute comparison to a murderer’s prosecution, “Just as we don’t address the root causes of a bad marriage that may have led a man to murder his wife—we hunt down the murderer and punish him—so too we shouldn’t consider the root causes that may have motivated the violence of the terrorists.”8 If the purpose of terrorists is to
Fall 2012 months and without legal consultation. David Bentley in his article “Hardball with Terrorists” describes the European Convention article 2 that ascertains the human “right to life—and in, particular, article 3: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’”11
“With technological advancements and increased availability of powerful weaponry, civilian society is more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. ” harness fear in a community making them desperate enough to heed their demands, then society must not indulge their intentions; society must fight back solidly and not acknowledge their wishes. This insinuates that terrorism will no longer work as a tactic to attain political goals and peaceful methods will result. According to this view, making exceptions for certain types of terrorism sets a precedent for all terrorists of potential justification. In Hugh Lafollette’s Ethics in Practice, contributing author Joseph Boyle evaluates the ethical response to terrorists in his section “War and Terrorism”. He says the initial emotional response of people affected by the 9/11 attacks incited a “form of retribution to protect themselves from future terrorist attacks.”9 He states that this emotional response evades morality and in order to make a calculated response a full situational assessment is necessary. He elaboartes, “Terrorists actions are undertaken to cause fear and demoralization, and thereby to lead to changes in policy on the part of the terrorized party,”10 therefore, chaos following at attack satisfies a terrorist’s goal, and perpetuates terrorism’s effectiveness. One of the most controversial reactions to terrorists has been the United States’ clandestine detainee center in Cuba. Guantánamo Bay is a U.S. Naval Base established in 1903 after the Spanish-American War. The U.S. has been highly-criticized for the reported unethical treatment of suspected terrorist prisoners, who have been held without trial for many
However, during Blair’s time in office he qualified for the UK that “Should legal obstacles arise, we will legislate further including if necessary, amending the Human Rights Act in respect of the interpretation of the European Convention of Human Rights”12 to accommodate the political climate following the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. domestically responded to the attacks with the controversial Patriot Act, which increased government surveillance to eradicate the terrorist threat. In dealing with suspected terrorists, the U.S. thwarted human rights conventions with loopholes. Rosemary Foot describes in her article “Human Rights and Counterterrorism in Global Governance: Reputation and Resistance” that eliminating the ‘prisoner of war’ title, allowed the U.S. to deny prisoners basic rights “Some U.S. citizens described as “enemy combatants: have been held without trial…in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba but not given prisoner of war status, and few have had their cases reviewed.”13 She argues that the government’s first priority is to display military might rather than protect its citizens. She concludes, “the best and only way to defeat terrorism is by respecting human rights, promoting social justice and democracy, and upholding the rule of law.”14 Foot’s perspective aligns with Kantian philosophy, which dictates that society must abide by its values at all costs. On the contrary, which Foot acknowledges “Governments do, of course, have a duty to protect their citizens
against terrorists who themselves reject the inviolability of innocent human life and who threaten the right to life,” but she qualifies, “that duty does not entail the abandonment of fundamental principles and peremptory norms associated with the protection of human rights.”15 In his book, Dershowitz discusses the perspective of those that advocate the conditional use of non-lethal torture. He postulates that resource rich countries, such as the U.S., possess the power to set a precedent of altering human rights law in an effort to protect its citizens. Dershowitz describes the various views on torture through the ‘ticking time bomb’ dilemma, in which a bomb is scheduled to go off in several areas of the city and with non-lethal torture, it may be possible to extract information to prevent the attacks. He delineates Jeremy Benthem’s utilitarian approach to the ‘ticking time bomb’ conundrum that says
“If the torture of one guilty person would be justified to prevent the torture of a hundred innocent persons, it would seem to follow…that it would also be justified to prevent the murder of thousands of innocent civilians in the ticking bomb case.”16 Essentially, Benthem’s perspective states through the simple cost-benefit analysis it is acceptable to apply non-lethal torture to save a multitude of lives. Dershowitz concludes that the government should issue ‘torture warrants’ to maintain control over torture. Above all, he emphasizes governments should make rational choices in peacetime to avoid irrational decisions that would incur international criticism. Dershowitz asserts that it is undeniable that the torturing of guilty suspects has saved lives, while Foot retorts that very little evidence has supported the use of torture as a tactic to ensure national security. Above all, states have the
What Are Our Rights?
Cultural Relativity Contradicts Universal Human Rights By Samuel Nota, CAS ‘13
Photo by Bethany Saul, CAS ‘14 The United Nations Offices at Geneva, Switzerland.
responsibility to uphold the human rights of its citizens. The government needs to set a precedent of the use of torture in cases of predicted life saving results. Indubitably states have the obligation to uphold their values by abiding the due process of law, rather than prematurely punishing suspects. Especially for this issue of national security, information cannot be shared with the public and under these pretenses we are uncomfortably at the mercy of our government, but must accept they are doing whatever it takes to ensure human security. The ideology of Islamic Extremists in particular poses challenges classic philosophers did not foresee. Under this pretext, the government must seriously devise a cost-benefit analysis on a case by case basis and to openly, yet extremely sparingly use non-lethal torture to ensure the safety of its citizens.
Defining a human right is naturally difficult. Rights are man-made, and thus can vary from place to place, person to person, and culture to culture. In this way, human rights are relative. In such a culturally diverse world, universal human rights will invariably lock horns with cultural rights. The only way this can change is if the world were to become so integrated that there was one global culture, which is far from happening. If human rights were universal, the sovereignty of every nation whose human values differed from the “universal” definition would be infringed upon, placing the right of the individual above the sovereignty of that nation or culture. If human rights were universal, protecting them and enforcing legislation against violators would be easy. Cultures would have the same human values and there would be no cultural clashes. However, this is not the case. A highly valued right in one culture may not be as respected in another. This is especially true when comparing Western values and rights with other countries’ values and rights. Nigerian political scientist Claude Ake explains how Western views of human rights, such as equality and liberty, often clash with other countries’ views . He says, “I have this freedom of speech. But
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where is this freedom, this right? I cannot read, I cannot write. I am too busy trying to survive, I have not had time to reflect. I am so poor I am constantly at the mercy of others. So where is this right and what is it really?”1 According to Ake, the poor and impoverished may “have” a right to be free, but they cannot exercise it. Instead, they have no right to health, education, shelter, or a decent living. Western emphases on rights like freedom of speech are relatively meaningless to countries, such as Ake’s native Nigeria, that suffer from material scarcity. Many Western nations are secure in their material rights, so they push the idea of intangible civil rights on countries that have different values. These impoverished countries cannot practice liberty when they are financially unequal. Another example of cultural relativity can be found in the Middle East. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im questions whether human rights can really be universally applied. According to AnNa’im, there is no way to impose universal human rights on Islamic countries that
any legitimacy. If defined as universal, human rights must be established and recognized as international law, as they are presently. There is no doubt that the language used in present-day legislation, such as the UN Charter, the International Bill of Human Rights, and the Vienna Declaration, is resolute. For example, the UN Charter promotes “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,”5 while the International Bill of Human Rights adopts universal human rights as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”6 However, declarations such as Article 16 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calling for a certain set of marriage practices can be seen as encroachments on national sovereignty. Indeed, this was An-Na’im’s main point. When does the world have the right to tell a government how to treat its people? AnNa’im also described a certain “imperial impulse” when it comes to discussing human rights.7 There is a universal impulse
“Western emphases on rights like freedom of speech are relatively meaningless to countries, such as Nigeria, that suffer from material scarcity. ” do not recognize these rights for women, according to Sharia law.2 An-Na’im contested that the United Nations, or any other international organization, does not have the cultural authority to force Western rights onto these nations. This would infringe on the cultural and national sovereignty of all relevant nations. The concept of universal human rights is paradoxical; universal human rights do not apply to “the reality of permanent and profound differences.”3 To An-Na’im, there is no universal human being on what we are basing these universal human rights, so we must agree that rights will be different across cultures.4 It is this difference that must be respected for international organizations such as the United Nations to retain
to dominate and exploit, and it seems that Western definitions of human rights follow this model. State sovereignty is being attacked by ideas of “universal” human rights just as much as it would be if it were attacked by foreign troops. International law varies in regards to state sovereignty. The UN Charter explicitly upholds the notion of state sovereignty, yet also allows the UN to violate this principle in order to “maintain or restore international peace.”8 The fact of the matter is that the United Nations can declare whatever it would like to, but if it truly represents the family of the human race then it cannot disregard the national sovereignty nor interfere in the domestic affairs of its members unless there is a real threat to international peace.
Intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations have more flexibility when it comes to human rights issues. IGOs, such as the European Court of Human Rights, NATO, and UNICEF are not bound by the strong wording of United Nations declarations, so they have more room to work with citizens and governments. Many NGOs and IGOs, through treaty negotiations with governments, seek to establish universal standards for state behavior. They seem, however, to face the same opposition that the UN does on questions of state sovereignty and domestic affairs. If there is any hope in standardizing human rights, NGOs, since they also provide humanitarian aid, will be at the forefront of negotiations. NGOs were instrumental in achieving the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.9 They will continue to work with IGOs and governments to do what the governments themselves cannot: document and investigate human rights violations from within various countries. To protect human rights, the international community must first define them. This is one of the biggest obstacles that individual cultures and the United Nations face. Universality of human rights will most likely not occur in the near future. For example, the Golden Rule is a universally accepted principle reflected in every major religion in the world; “treat others the way you would like to be treated.” However, even this rule is relative and can be applied in subjective ways according to the culture. In Christianity it is “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” in Confucianism it is, “do not unto others what you would not have done unto you,” in Islam it is “no one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself,” and in Judaism it is, “what is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man.”10 To quote An-Na’im once more, “I would take universal human rights to be those rights which I claim for myself, and must therefore concede to others.”11 A major challenge with human rights protection is being able to accept our differences instead of bending to the definition of others. Challenges to human rights protection come from the highly contentious world that we live in, a world of cultural conflict and isolationist societies and nations.
Failed Intervention in the Congo UN troops use weak tactics in an attempt to establish peace By Rachel Yocheved Bicky, CAS ‘13
Photo By Eve Cheri Krassner, CAS’14 Women in Africa live life under harsh circumstances, but are still surprisingly resilient.
On July 30, 2010, just down the road from where dozens of UN peacekeepers were stationed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, four male armed rebels barged into an eighty-yearold woman’s hut and repeatedly raped her before moving on to other huts down the road and continuing to gang rape an estimated 200 more women. These horrific crimes continued for three more days, while the UN forces stood idly by at their bases only a few miles away.1 How is it possible
that the UN troops, who possessed nearly a decade of experience and had invested several billion dollars in the safety of the people in this province, were unable to stop and prevent this massive rape epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo? After analyzing the UN’s current actions as well as many international relations scholars and theories, it is apparent that UN intervention in the Congo is failing because intervention is generally a weak policy that is unable to solve the many problems of conflict.
It is important to address the issue of why the UN has been unsuccessful in preventing the massive rape epidemic in the Congo because it can provide insight into the very complex process of staging an intervention. For the purposes of this paper, intervention will be defined as a process that must incorporate the use of military power, a degree of political restructuring, and the absence of consent from the country where the intervention is being staged.2 By analyzing the UN’s current presence in
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the Congo and the great difficulty it has in ensuring the safety of the citizens living under its military control, one can better understand why intervention, particularly in the Congo, is failing; why intervention is a weak policy in general; and what key factors must be involved in order to lead or carry out a successful intervention. Although there are currently several other atrocities occurring in the Congo, the significant rape epidemic continues to far exceed even the worst of expectations, according Atul Khare, assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations.3 It has been reported that within the past year over 15,000 women, ranging in age from one-month old infants to 110-year-old grandmothers,4 have been victims of rape attacks in eastern Congo, leading the UN to declare the Democratic Republic of Congo the “rape capital of the world.” The UN stated that the attacks, committed by Rwandan and Congolese rebels, have been occurring in parts of the country considered to be pro-government but with a great absence of army or police protection. The women of these provinces
explains that many of the rebels attacking women and committing these violent acts of rape are “people who were involved with the [Rwandan] genocide and have been psychologically destroyed by it.”6 As a result of living through many traumatic events in Rwanda, many of the militiamen have what Bourque calls “reversed values” that cause them to constantly act out in severely violent and inhumane ways.7 Therefore, it is clear that the utilization of military force to put down the rape attacks is merely an attempt to treat the symptoms of the conflict, but not the causes of the ongoing attacks.8 Thus, the UN’s intervention in the Congo is not a sufficient method to correct the psyche of these violent militiamen, yet another factor as to why intervention is not a strong enough approach to put a final end to conflict. The degradation of women is so prevalent in the Congolese culture both in and out of conflict that the UN has been unable to solve the problem of assault of women in the Congo. In Stephanie McCrummen’s article, “Congo’s Rape Epidemic Worsens
“...violent rape attacks stem from many psychological and cultural issues, the only way to combat this problem is with an approach founded in emotion...” are living in constant fear of these rape attacks, knowing that their rights are not being adequately protected, and they have described the current situation as one in which “a dead rat is worth more than the body of a woman.”5 Although the UN has invested many resources in stopping the ongoing conflict in the Congo, these efforts have proven insufficient in ending the rape of thousands of Congolese women. According to Jeffrey Gettleman’s New York Times article, “Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War,” the problem of the rape epidemic is far more complex and psychological than mere military aggression. In his article, Gettleman speaks of André Bourque, a Canadian consultant for aid groups in eastern Congo, who
During U.S.-Backed Military Operation,” Madelena Ngalya, a 56-year-old widow who was raped on her way to work, shares the norm of Congolese culture: “according to our custom, even though he’s your husband, when he needs sex, he doesn’t have to ask your permission… in this territory, men take women like an instrument that doesn’t have any value.”9 Furthermore, when a Congolese officer was asked about his perspective on the ongoing rape attacks, he responded by saying that he has no qualms in helping himself to any woman that he sees passing him.10 It is evident that the indignity of women is an ideology tightly wound into Congolese culture, only made worse in times of chaos and conflict. Therefore, it is clear that UN intervention, which focuses on policing the
Fall 2012 actions of the people and the politics of the land and not on changing the cultural conditions in the region, is not enough to stop the constant violation of women in the Congo.11 The actors involved in creating the hostilities of the country in conflict are usually aware of the UN’s great lack of concern for victorious intervention. Therefore, opponents often only need to utilize a small amount of force against the stationed UN troops in order to eradicate the foreign security presence in their region, as was the case in Portau-Prince, Haiti. Thus, the failure of the UN’s peacekeeping troops in the Congo to protect citizens from constant rape attacks can be attributed to their weak dedication to seeing an immediate end to the constant string of brutalization currently occurring there.12 Falk also presents the notion that, “nonintervention is intolerable, but intervention remains impossible.”13 This statement implies that in many cases, states feel obliged to intervene and send military units to regions of conflict. However, these states may not have genuine concerns as to whether the intervention is successful because in many cases triumph is improbable. This appears to hold true in the Congo evidenced by the New York Times report that according to leaked e-mails from the UN, the UN was made aware of numerous attacks underway in the Congo but did not react to those aggressions until several weeks afterwards.14 Thus, since the UN chose to ignore these early signs of conflict, Falk’s theory of states intervening mainly out of deontological pressures can be accepted. States will only have strong motivation to succeed when something is either at stake for them or if they can greatly benefit from a strong course of action.15 However, based on the UN’s reluctance to intervene in the Congo, its lack of determination to rapidly end the conflict and the inefficacy of its intervention policy are clear.16 By utilizing a realist perspective one can understand the lack of a successful policy in the Congo, since it is not of vital national interest to many states. This issue was addressed in an interview hosted by Michael Martin from NPR with UN Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, Margot Wallstrom. In this interview Martin asked Wallstrom
whether “part of the problem in mobilizing attention for this issue is that it’s perceived to be an African problem and it doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the world.”17 Wallstrom agreed and stated that, “it’s important to realize that it is not [in fact] an African problem. It is not cultural [either], it’s criminal.”18 Therefore, it is clear to see that a realist approach is able to best describe why intervention is a weak policy in the Congo: since states are only motivated to act regarding their own self-interests, and since the conflict in the Congo is not found to be a great threat to the security of their state, they find no urgent need to put down the unending attacks in the Congo.
Since it is apparent that these violent rape attacks stem from many psychological and cultural issues, the only way to combat this problem is with an approach founded more in emotion than national self-interests. One way to go about this would be to utilize the main theory presented in Alexander Wendt’s essay “Anarchy is what States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics.” Wendt states that humans attach meaning to objects in our lives and that those meanings are socially constructed under the influence of the state. In order to eradicate threats or objects that may appear dangerous to us, we should re-associate new meanings with these objects.19
Choosing a Charity
How Donors can Determine if an NGO is Trustworthy By James Reid, CAS ‘13
Photo By Helena Carpio, CAS’14 Impact Community NGO is based in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Although the current methods and incentives for an intervention are too weak to terminate the hostility and brutality of the militiamen, we must remain open to the possibility of new policies. With each increase in the number of rape victims, we must also increase the urgency of finding a successful method to put down these inhumane and horrendous attacks. The attacks in the Congo are attacks on human rights that all people share as citizens of the world, and we therefore need to make this an issue of concern to everyone and continue spreading awareness of this cause.
As non-governmental organizations (NGOs) become increasingly important actors in international peace and development they are increasingly scrutinized from the international community. As donors are forced to navigate through a growing number of NGOs, one must wonder what makes a charity “good”. If donors look beyond their personal attachment to a particular cause, charity watchdog organizations such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Watch point to administrative expenses as a major factor in determining that “the charity spends its funds honestly, prudently and in accordance with statements made in fund raising appeals.”1 However, are overhead costs an effective way to judge the quality of a non-profit organization? It is important to examine how non-charitable expenditures for administration, management, and fundraising affect charitable expenditures of an NGO and how donors can choose an effective charity. Since many NGO analysts agree that administrative costs are not an accurate way to judge an aid organization, a donor must ultimately select an NGO based on its ability to remain effective and transparent, rather than by its administrative expenditures. NGOs engage in a wide variety of social and humanitarian functions, including development, human rights, and government monitoring. Although these organizations are not affiliated with governments, they receive funding from a wide range of sources that may include both public and private donors. In the United
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States, registered NGOs fall under the Internal Revenue Service’s exemption in section 501(c)(3) “for charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.”2 The IRS expands that the term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and “includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.”3 Federal tax exemptions, such as IRS 501(c)(3) in the U.S., may leave NGOs particularly vulnerable to corruption and malpractice. Since NGOs cover a wide range of areas and represent an increasingly large segment of society, their actions must be closely monitored. Organizations such as Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Watch serve as NGO monitors that point to administrative costs as major indicators of honest and efficient business practice. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has formed Standards for Charity Accountability. These standards state, “total service expenses…should be at least 65 percent.”4 According to the BBB, this standard ensures that funds are being
spent “honestly and prudently.”5 Similarly, Charity Watch offers tips for giving wisely, which tell donors to find where [their] dollars go as a tip second only to Know Your Charity or what the NGO stands for.6 According to Charity Watch “60 percent or greater (of funds) is reasonable for most charities. The remaining percentage, ideally less than 40 percent, is spent on fundraising and general administration.”7 Although these two monitoring organizations have different methods and standards for assessing NGO quality, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Watch are examples of NGO watchdogs that push donors to examine the percentage administrative expenditure as a major factor choosing their charity. Nevertheless, is this a good measure of NGO quality? Many donors may perceive lower administrative costs as a sign that an organization is maximizing its charitable impact. However, maintaining high administrative costs is not a prudent business practice. In order to maximize long-term sustainable impact, not just short-term program expenditures, NGOs should reallocate funds from programs to fundraising when donors are more generous and reduce fundraising expenditures when donors are less willing to provide funding.8 Since NGOs operate within the dynamic free market and varying levels of charitable need, they must constantly adjust their business strategy over time. Unchanging administrative cost ratio standards like the ones promoted by NGO watchdogs Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance
and Charity Watch represent imprudent business advice. Despite common standards, administrative costs are an inaccurate measure of financial performance. Administrative costs should be understood as the non-charitable expenditures for administration, management, and fundraising. However, as Charity Watch admits, “It is difficult to find out the real percentage of donor dollars spent on program services due to the inconsistent quality of charitable self-reporting.”9 To many donors it makes sense that lower administrative costs mean a higher amount of money is going directly to charity. However, this is not necessarily the case. Since the borders between administrative and program expenses are often unclear even within an organization, these figures are fungible. As prominent donor advisor Saundra Schimmelpfennig points out, “aid agencies know they are being rated on [non-charitable expenditures], so they quickly learn how to massage the numbers.”10 Percentages of non-charitable expenditure are thus an oversimplification of NGO financial performance, and subject to manipulation. Encouraging donors to examine NGO administrative costs constitutes misguided advice, which perpetuates unwise spending practices. While NGOs must continue to be monitored, reductive advice only serves to undermine charitable initiatives and support inaccurate financial records. Unfortunately, a growing number of donors believe that they should consult
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administrative costs. Evidence of the proliferation of this advice can be seen in a Wall Street Journal article, which expounds on the importance of investigating nonprofit spending “on programming versus administrative expenses”11 as a means “smarter giving.” Donors seeking lower administrative costs put pressure on NGOs. Erroneuos donor advice leads to the constant drive to minimize administrative costs, which cause “chronic underinvestment in key capacities that could serve to improve performance.12 Too much focus on reducing administrative costs is negatively affecting NGOs. Because external funding drives the entire non-profit sector, donors must ultimately take the lead in changing misconceived aid practices. Donors must become aware of the reductive nature of administrative cost ratios when examining an NGO. The Stanford Social Innovation Review points out that a vicious cycle begins with “funders’ unrealistic expectations about how much running nonprofit costs results in nonprofits’ misrepresenting their costs while skimping on vital systems.”13 These acts perpetuate donor beliefs and leave nonprofits “so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations—let alone serve their
organization, however the organization differentiates between the administrative expenses of NGOs based on type; for example food banks are expected to have lower administrative expenses than fundraising organizations.15 This differentiation between types of NGOs reflects the need for charity monitors to recognize that the non-profit sector is diverse. Each type of organization requires a different standard of analysis, just like businesses in the for-profit sector. As part of joint statement released by seven charity watchdog organizations in 2009, Ken Berger, President and CEO of Charity Navigator, underscored the “need to consider more than just financial ratios when choosing charities” and pledged a commitment to creating and maintaining a rating system that that emphasized “effectiveness and transparency.”16 Determining the effectiveness, or the overall impact of spending, is a far better measure of NGO quality than simply examining administrative costs versus program costs. The Maxwell School at Syracuse University makes a crucial point about differentiating NGO effectiveness from business effectiveness: “Since NGOs do not generate income by selling products, an excessive focus on overhead costs skirts
“...a donor must ultimately select an NGO based on its ability to remain effective and transparent” beneficiaries.”14 This cycle can only end if donors understand that the analysis is of an NGO is far more complex than an administrative cost ratio. Watchdog organizations can support donor initiatives by formulating more detailed means of analyzing NGOs. Charity Navigator serves as an example of an organization that considers fundraising expenses, fundraising efficiency, accountability, and transparency in the complex rating of an NGO. Charity Navigator also examines administrative expenses in determining financial efficiency and calculating the rating of an
the question of what kind of activities and programs are actually having an impact.”17 When asked to define the conception of effectiveness, an overwhelming number of NGO leaders stated that being effective involved evaluating and achieving organizational goals, and maintaining prudent financial management.18 Although the impact an organization constitutes a more difficult way to measure quality, it is a far more reliable method of analysis than a simple comparison between administrative and program costs. Donors can more easily determine the effectiveness of an NGO if the
organization is accountable and transparent. Accountability and transparency largely depend upon the willingness of NGOs to release information about internal practices and their operational impact. As NGOs operate within a relatively unregulated sector of society, the international community must ultimately come together through international organizations, watchdog organizations, and states to promote standards that enable legitimate and effective NGOs to succeed. Self-regulation standards must be promoted through voluntary or certified adherence to codes of ethics and conduct. Independent NGO governing boards must be encouraged to operate within clearly defined, monitored, and transparent procedures to ensure that NGOs are operating within their legal obligations and organizational objectives. The international community must support standards and methods for disclosing public reports. Standards and methods of distribution for tools such as annual reports, program evaluations, external evaluations, and regular communication will enable donors to receive more reliable and consistent information about the organization’s financial management, impact, and work. NGOs must be encouraged to invite active participation from donors, charity beneficiaries, watchdog organizations, international organizations, and states in order to remain as effective and accountable. While these recommendations may be largely non-binding, adherence to standardized forms of accountability and transparency will give NGOs an advantage when seeking funding in comparison to other, less forthcoming NGOs. As non-for-profit nongovernmental organizations represent an increasingly large portion of the global effort to support peace and development, they must be held increasingly accountable for their actions. Many NGO watchdog organizations such as Better Business Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Watch encourage donors to fund charities judiciously through considering how administrative costs compare to program costs, but this advice ultimately proves to be a reductive measure of financial management and is detrimental to charitable initiatives.
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The International Relations Review
Crafting Continental Policy Discovering Links between Migration, Food Security and HIV/AIDS By James Reid, CAS ‘13 There are more than 200 million international migrants in the world today.1 International and internal migration creates serious security challenges, especially in terms of food security and health security. Understanding the complex linkages between migration, food security and health security is essential to international development. Recently, there have been particular threats to health security caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Case studies from Southern and Eastern Africa indicate that migration can both help and hinder food security, that HIV/AIDS and food insecurity exacerbate each other and that HIV/AIDS is both a cause and effect of migration. These links prove that future policy should have strategies that include all three issues together, rather than separately. Migration, the movement of a person or group across an international border or within a state,2 includes the migration of refugees, displaced persons, economic migrants and persons moving for other purposes, including family reunification or health issues.3 Migration is most commonly understood in context of an individual freely making the decision to migrate to “better their material or social conditions and improve the prospect for themselves or their family.”4 Food security primarily refers to an individual’s access to food. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”5 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the concept of food security is defined “as including both physical and economic access to food that meets people’s dietary needs as well as their food preferences.”6 Food security centers around having available food, having sufficient resources to access food, and having basic knowledge on nutrition,
care, and sanitation.7 Health security is an increasingly recognized challenge to state stability. According to the WHO, “Governments at all income levels are increasingly prepared to cooperate to prevent the emergence and spread of infectious disease and provide public health security.”8 Health security should be understood as “the provision and maintenance of measures aimed at preserving and protecting the health of the population.”9 Although there is no universally accepted agreement on the scope of this security issue, health security should be understood in general terms. Basic threats to health security include the spread of infectious disease and health risks associated with non-communicable diseases, environmental degradation, conflict, and a lack of potable water. This paper will focus on health security in terms of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Understanding the relationship between migration, food security and health security in terms of HIV/AIDS is important
because of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Africa remains the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic with 25.8 million people living with HIV.10 Despite the fact that Africa is home to just over 10 percent of the world’s population, two thirds of people living with HIV are in Africa.11 Southern Africa has the highest rate of HIV in the world with 30 percent of all citizens living with HIV/AIDS.12 Eastern Africa has lower adult infection rates than Southern Africa, but still high when seen on a global scale.13 Migration in Southern and Eastern Africa is primarily rural to urban movement motivated by a desire to increase economic opportunity. Migration to urban centers is one strategy available to rural households as a means of “diversifying their economic base.”14 Studies indicate that from the perspective of rural individuals, there is a declining per capita agricultural output due to environmental stress caused by high population growth rates in Southern African.15 Rural to urban migration can be internal, cross-border, and/or circulatory.16 Sub-Saharan Africa is urbanizing faster than any other continent. Based on current trends, “more than 50 percent of SubSaharan Africa’s population should be living (permanently or temporarily) in urban areas by 2030.”17 This urban transition has been relatively recent,18 meaning cities are often unable to keep up with the population in
Photo By Amrita Singh, CAS ‘14 Children in Ghana enjoying some spaghetti.
Photo By Eve Cheri Krassner, CAS ‘14 Locals in Tanzania.
terms of urban planning and the distribution social services. Rapid urbanization in Africa contributes to serious threats to food security and health security. Migration can both help and hinder food security in rural areas. The effect of migration on food security in rural areas is highly dependant on the context of “seasonality of movement, educational levels of migrants, the length of time spent away, assets, and social structures and institutions allowing for migration.”19 Recent studies from Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Kenya show that links between urban and rural communities are strong.20 Links between communities are maintained through urban-to-rural remittances.21 This has been the primary direction of cash transfers, benefiting the rural household economy. However there is also now increased rural-to-urban food transfers in this region.22 A 2006 study from the Regional Network on HIV/ AIDS, Livelihoods and Food Security (RENEWAL) on Southern and Eastern Africa indicates that if migration deprives rural areas of labor and impacts negatively on agricultural production, then it is likely “to increase the food insecurity of rural populations.”23 However the effect of rural-
urban migration is complex. The absent migrants may decrease “the pressure on the consumption levels of the household,” and migrants who are employed in urban centers “commonly send remittances home.”24 But some evidence shows that remittances from urban to rural areas are declining. Studies on six countries in the Southern African Development Community indicate that remittances are often not invested in the development of rural agriculture and other productive income generating activity, but rather consumption.25 So although migration may support short-term food security in rural areas, the long-term positive effects of migrant remittances are questionable. Migration can also have mixed effects on food security in urban areas. Rural-urban migration generally improves the personal food security of the individual migrant, depending on the employment status of the individual.26 For example, jobs in fields such as mining and plantation agriculture provide regular, nutritious meals as a way to supplement wages.27 On the other hand jobs in construction or industry may require individuals to spend a disproportionate amount of earnings on
food. There is an increasing possibility that migrants cannot find work.28 Though migration to urban areas can often to increase economic opportunity, “rates of rural-urban migration have greatly exceeded rates of urban job creation and swamped the absorptive capacity of both informal-sector industry and urban social services.”29 If there is strong pressure from “home” to send remittances, there is a higher likelihood that the urban migrant will not have enough money for their own food.30 Rural-urban migration can be a means of alleviating and accumulating poverty and food insecurity. Migrants pursue multiple strategies to cope with food insecurity. Urban migrants are now receiving an increasing amount of food transfers from rural areas.31 There has also been an increase in urban agriculture as a means of obtaining food security since the late 1970s.32 Maintaining a strong link between rural and urban areas is essential to maintaining individual food security after migration. Food security in rural areas is often maintained through remittance transfers. Food transfers are equally vital to food security in urban areas. Studies indicate that “migrants with weak ties to
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Photo By Alexis Hicks, CAS ‘14 A typical meal for families in Fez, Morocco.
trural families and without access to rural land to cultivate, including the poorest urban households and some female headed households, are the most vulnerable to severe food insecurity.”33 Migrants are forced to pursue diverse strategies to maintain food security for themselves and their families. Food insecurity and HIV/ AIDS exacerbate each other. The disease works alongside malnutrition, since HIV “compromises nutritional status and this in turn increases susceptibility to opportunistic infections [and] malnutrition...exacerbates the effects of HIV by further weakening the immune system.”34 In HIV-affected households, there is often increased food insecurity and malnutrition because infected individuals are unable to work and incur more health care costs.35 HIV/AIDS diminishes the ability of migrants to pursue coping strategies in urban centers, such as urban agriculture.36 Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) requires additional dietary support. A 2009 study on South Africa shows that, “respondents identify food insecurity as an obstacle for adhering to ART.”37 This means food insecurity creates a cyclical process of HIV progression and further food insecurity. In some cases food insecurity also leads the spread of HIV/AIDS, since “food insecure
women are likely to engage in risky sexy practices.”38 HIV/AIDS is therefore directly linked to food insecurity in a cause and effect relationship. Beyond the link between HIV/ AIDS and food insecurity on an individual level, the disease also contributes to food insecurity on a societal level. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the 42 million people with HIV/AIDS could have an impact on agriculture for 160 million people globally.39 The agriculture industry could be greatly undermined because of sickness and mortality, which will lead to a lack of household labor, lack of hired labor, loss of farm specific knowledge in rural communities, and increase of inherited debt.40 Mortality rates lead to greatly decreased agricultural production. For example, a study conducted in Zimbabwe indicates that in small farms that experienced an AIDS-related death, production “decreased by 29 percent for cattle, 49 percent for vegetables and 61 percent for maize;” the decreased production of corn contributed to the increased production of cassava, a food easier to farm with less nutritional value.41 This situation follows a common trend of HIV/AIDS. The disease reduces human capital, which reduces food
availability and nutrition for the whole community. HIV/AIDS can reduce food security by undermining the social fabric of a community, entrenching groups in chronic impoverishment. The Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) asserts, “this weakened social fabric means that families cannot recover previous levels of social functioning, and may even resort to strategies that imperil them further, because the negative consequences of such remedies are not immediately apparent.”42 Aggregate food insecurity is thus a symptom of the breakdown of social functioning because of HIV/AIDS. Migration causes the spread of HIV/AIDS in Southern and Eastern Africa. According to Case Studies in Namibia, South Africa, and Ethiopia “migration itself fuels the rapid spread of HIV in the region.”43 There are four key reasons why migration can increase HIV/ AIDS rates. First, there is a higher rate of infection amongst migrant communities, “which are often socially, economically and politically marginalized.”44 Second, migrants are attached to multi-spatial social networks, which allow for mobile sexual networking.45 Third, migrants are often in situations where they are more likely to engage in sexually risky behavior.46 Fourth, migrants are “more difficult to reach through interventions, whether for preventive education, condom provision, HIV testing, or post- infection treatment and care.”47 Mobility is clearly the major link between migration and HIV/AIDS. The process of migration often leaves individuals more vulnerable to infection. Traveling increases the risk for infection. Empirical evidence shows that in Sub Saharan Africa “HIV has been found to be higher near roads, and amongst people who either have personal migration experience or have sexual partners who are migrants.”48 Itinerant traders, truck drivers, and individuals living in boarder towns are more likely to have HIV/AIDS.49 Because migrants form short-term relationships that are economic, social or sexual, they are more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior, including purchasing sex.50 Women are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation, harassment, and assault while traveling, leaving them at a higher risk of infection.51 The process of migration is a reason for the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Settling in new areas bring migrants into a higher risk of infection. A 2009 study of internal and international migrants in Johannesburg supports the theory that rural-urban migrants are often healthier than the urban population upon arrival. The 487 individuals interviewed “are not reporting sickness events over the year preceding the household survey, and perceive themselves to be in good health” and indicated that they would not bring someone sick to Johannesburg.52 Settling in economically and socially marginalized migrant communities may increase the risk for infection. Migrants often form separate communities that spread HIV/AIDS. For example, the regulated, single-sex labor migrants in the South African mining industry have formed a “migrant culture;” this culture has a particular focus on sex and sexuality in the form of “transactional” sex, heterosexual, and homosexual sex “in addition to sex with a female partner at ‘home.’”53 Migrant culture in this situation means that individuals residing in an economically and socially marginalized community were more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior. Settling brings migrants to urban centers with increased rates of HIV/AIDS. Although migration spreads HIV/AIDS, the disease is also a cause of migration. People with HIV/AIDS are often likely to return to family remembers to obtain care and support.54 This may include urban migrants returning to their homes in rural areas. People with HIV/AIDS may also migrate to obtain health care; this may “involve cross-border movements to a country perceived to have better health care facilities.”55 The loss of income due to sickness or death encourages other family members to migrate to seek other job opportunities.56 Similarly, sickness or death due to HIV/AIDS increases food insecurity and puts pressure on individuals to migrate to find work elsewhere. The loss of labor as a result of HIV/AIDS also motivates other individuals to migrate into an area to fill these positions.57 The link between HIV/AIDS and migration is therefore a two way street, working in a cause and effect relationship. This direct link between migration and the spread of HIV/AIDS may tempt policy makers to increase regulation of population movement and further alienate migrant communities in an attempt to reduce
the spread of disease. However, this policy would only serve to worsen the epidemic. While it may seem logical and even easy for policy makers and politicians to crack down on migration, a review of the links between HIV and migration indicate that “[s]uch a reaction is short-sighted and likely to prove counter-productive. Encouraging xenophobia further marginalizes alreadyvulnerable migrant communities and exacerbates the socio-economic conditions that contribute to the spread of HIV.”58 Since laws cannot stop migration, policy must instead work to reduce social and economic marginalization. Migrant communities need to be given a range of social services, including education, prevention, testing, treatment and care in order to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Migrant communities must be recognized as diverse entities with needs that differ depending on their circumstance. For example, individuals with multiple “homes” must be given social services in both urban and rural locations; truck drivers must be given services at places that match their movement, such as a truck stop.59 Due to the strong links between migration, food security, and health security, marginalizing or ignoring migrant populations would only lead to the increased spread of HIV/
AIDS and further undermine food security for the aggregate population. Migration, food security and HIV/ AIDS must be addressed together in order to maintain state stability. Studies from Southern and Eastern Africa show that migration can both help and hinder food security. HIV/AIDS and food insecurity feed off each other both on a household and societal level. HIV/AIDS works in a cause and effect relationship with migration. Because HIV/AIDS creates short term and long term intergenerational impacts to society, it is crucial that policy’s responses adapt to the constantly changing nature of the epidemic. As the continent of Africa becomes increasingly globalized and urbanized, it is imperative that policy reflects a contemporary understanding of the social, economic and health factors surrounding migration in order to adequately address these security concerns. The links between migration, food security and health security and the magnitude of these issues prove how important human security is to the survival of the state. If attention is not put into developing and maintaining the health and food security of migrants, states, particularly those in Southern and Eastern Africa, are in grave peril.
Photo By Amrita Singh, CAS ‘14 East African cuisine made at Moyo’s Restaurant in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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GMOs in Europe How Differing Attitudes Across the Atlantic Create Conflict in Agricultural Markets By Maggie McLaughlin, CAS ‘13 Genetically modified (GM) foods are a major point of contention in today’s agriculture markets, scientific studies and increasingly in public discussion. The benefits and risks of genetically modified foods have not been clearly discovered and so the debate has taken on a strong moral and cultural component that fills in for reason in the absence of concrete evidence. The conversation is notably divided been western powers, namely the United States and the European Union. The EU holds a view far less accepting of GM foods and while varied from nation to nation, the member states generally show a high level of distrust and skepticism. As a result, GM foods are very limited within the European Union, both as imports and local produce. In direct contrast stands the United States, where public opinion is far less concerned with GM foods and most food contains some level of modified organisms. Precautionary Principle: Public Driven The EU and U.S. do not approach ingredients and food products in the same manner. In Europe, the view toward genetically modified foods is called the precautionary principle.1 The name is fairly telling; Europeans choose not to widely accept food that they do not know much about, instead engaging in risk-oriented discourse. The cause of European attitudes can be traced back to cultural themes and historical events, namely, the food scandals, which plagued Europe in the 1980s and 1990s.2 The most notable was Mad Cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE), which proved fatal in Great Britain in the 1990s. After the outbreak, a ban was placed on British beef for a period and subsequent skepticism has remained in the memories of Europeans. Precautionary principles have developed in a transatlantic rift between food cultures. One study proposes fast
food as a symbol of U.S. dominance and influence in Europe. Research shows that risk-oriented discourse and dread risk are related to a feeling of invasion.3 In the face of Europeans’ dread risk, the precautionary principle has held up and evolved into an anti-GM food movement. The movement has expanded from NGOs to governmental and economic policy, all stemming from a strong public opinion and discussion. According to public opinion poll Eurobarometer 295, from 2008, 58 percent of Europeans opposed the use of GMOs, while only 21 percent were in favor of GMO use. The remaining 21 percent either did not know or had never heard of GMOs.4 With about one in five in favor of GMOs, the lack of support and lack of information was clear. Oppositely, U.S. polls do not ask whether the public approves or opposes GM foods, instead they focus on demands for special labeling. In a following 2010 poll, Eurobarometer 341, results reconfirmed the high level of dread risk over GM foods
among EU citizens. Sixty-one percent agreed, “GM food makes you feel uneasy.” This format of question also better takes into account those who may not be well informed, yet have developed opinions from surrounding culture. Similarly, Eurobarometer 341 found that 59 percent of Europeans did not believe that “GM food is safe for [one’s] health and [one’s] family’s health” and 58 percent did not believe that “GM food is safe for future generations.” Public opinion maintains the precautionary principle and likewise does not see an economic benefit from GM food either. Less than a third (31 percent) agree that GM food is good for the national economy.5 While economics are often a deciding factor in EU opinions because of the powerful single market, consumers are unmoved by economic-fueled discussion. An Exclusively European Food Culture The research on European attitudes is consistent with the idea of a select European food culture. This exclusive identification is further proven by examining European responses to GM food elsewhere across the globe. Surveys show that two in five Europeans agree that GM food is helpful to developing countries, while only 21 percent approve of GMOs for Europe. The discrepancy between the positions on GM food is telling of the difference between the EU and the U.S., along with other nations.
Photo By Kat Sorensen, CAS ‘14
Photo By Kat Sorensen, CAS ‘14 Fish are sold at local markets in Bergen, Norway.
Arguments about developing countries both support and attack the European position. Some argue that developing nations look to Europe and may mimic their anti-GM food policies and overlook the fact that GMOs are better options for countries with low soil quality. Others suggest that developing countries refuse GM crops for fear that they will lose business with Europe, to the detriment of their own populations.6 While no certain conclusions can be drawn about the long-term effects of GM crops, short-term benefits (namely economic benefits) have been observed. In a report from 2009, $392 million was seen in savings by GM maize crops. Ninety percent of these savings were due to cost saving and the remaining 10 percent resulted from increased gains from fewer weeds.7 The same report showed a significant reduction in the volume of pesticides used on GM crops across North and South America. Opinion polls may capture general sentiments, but these feelings of distrust and skepticism are also clearly reflected in government policies and EU leadership. From 1998 until 2004, a de facto moratorium on new GM foods arose, with France
leading the movement. The ban resulted from lack of consensus across Europe over labeling and other qualifications. During this time, nations also established the right to ban food from certain zones under their jurisdiction.8 In 2004, when the moratorium ended, the EU developed agreements on labeling and traceability. By 2004, 0.1 percent of U.S. corn exports were going to the EU, at a severe loss to U.S. farmers. The moratorium and subsequent labeling standards were dramatic for U.S. farmers because of differing processes. In the U.S., products (in this case, corn) are not traced through each step of their processing. As a result, they are unfit for EU regulations because they are often in contact with GM corn. In Europe, special procedures are taken to ensure crops remain untainted at every stage, while U.S. standards simply look at final products.9 In addition, the EU has only a 0.9 percent threshold level for nonGM items, while most of North America uses a 5 percent threshold.10 Regarding this issue, the United States brought a case against the European Union to the WTO in May 200311 and while the ruling favored the U.S., implementation of the ruling has been difficult and the labeling regulations
of Europe exclude many U.S. products. U.S. vs. EU Regulation and Industry Influences As GMOs entered labs and global markets, Europe and the U.S. took opposite trajectories. Public experience and opinion was strikingly different in the two zones. Another source of the EU-U.S. dissimilarities is the structural elements of the respective governments and health bodies and the populations’ trust in these bodies, including the FDA. In 1992, the FDA ruled swiftly to allow GM foods into the market without labels because the new foods did not break existing rules. This definitive move by the FDA prevented an increase in concern and negative opinions about GM foods in the U.S. Instead of incorporating new foods into old rules, the EU chose to create new rules for the new foods. This was a major institutional and political move and thus it is unsurprising that public opinions remained skeptical. The biotechnology industry holds a different amount of influence in the EU versus in the U.S. In the U.S., GM farming is big business. Beyond public opinion and regulatory approval, the business aspect of GM foods in the U.S. has become very
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Tanzania Food Security: Strategies for Maize and Coffee How a Food-First Strategy Is More Pliable than a Comparative Advantage Model By Shannon Johnson, CAS ‘13
Photo By Kat Sorensen, CAS ‘14 Street vendors making food fresh for their customers in Camden Yard in London.
influential.12 The biotechnology interests in Europe also suffered from the grand task of harmonization across dozens of member states. With only one FDA in the U.S., the big biotech firms had a much better chance at expediency and approval. While it seemed that the food biotech industry might benefit from EUlevel lobbying in the 1990s, a lack of urgency over the topic at the supranational level resulted in a decline of influence again. In 1996, the EU decided on a “biosafety treaty that emphasized ecological precaution over trade interests.”13 The decision was seen as the opposite of American industry-driven policies of the same time period. Without economic payouts, the public opinion has been able to direct the discussion of GM foods in Europe and ultimately, policy followed suit. Conclusions The EU’s relationship with GMOs has not been a favorable one since the beginning. Despite a case with the WTO,
mounting evidence for farmer savings and an American immersion in GM crops and foods, the EU has held out. Europe-wide and nationwide polls and studies have shown that the public largely disapproves of GM foods and finds them unnatural. The strength of public opinion is truly exemplified on this issue. The WTO did rule in favor of the United States in the 2003 case, but labeling regulations have kept GM products off European shelves and out of most ingredients. The history of food scares and an intense culture of food has partially developed this anti-GMO identity. It has also arisen out of opposition to American invasion and literal or symbolic hegemony. Although within member states the belief causes are varied, the EU shows a strong front position on health for the international community. Economic incentives have not yet turned down the influence of public opinions. For the strong political and social groups that have taken on the issue of GM foods, the topic promises to be a popular
issue with great sentiment and ultimately it unites European people, whether for votes or just to set a different precedent for the global community. Until science gives a conclusion, the European single market appears strong enough to exist without competing in international food biotech, and as a major importer the EU can influence the crops of farmers elsewhere who depend on EU markets. GM food policy can be viewed as a triumph for the EU because of its international recognition that contributes to a mounting legitimacy in global policy and trade. Even as scientific discoveries are made, Europeans are likely to remain skeptical of unnatural foods and the public is likely to demand continued policy based on opinions, as they have experienced their impact in the case against GM foods so far. The EU citizen as a consumer has been able to partially determine policy and contribute to a European stance on culture and regulations.
Political and Economic Background Twenty-two percent of children were undernourished in Tanzania from 2003-2009.1 As of this year Tanzania is ranked 54 in the global hunger index with approximately one million people food insecure and 42 percent of households with inadequate food. Eighty percent of Tanzania’s population relies on agriculture as their primary economic activity.2 However, agricultural and economic policies have fluctuated. In the early 1980s Tanzania’s economy plunged due to the oil crisis, commodity price collapse and the breakup of the East African community. As a result, Tanzania turned to the IMF and World Bank for loans and investment. They adopted structural adjustment programs, including the Economic Recovery Programme One (ERP I), ERP II, Economic and Social Action Plan (ESAP) and the Priority Social Action Plan (PSAP). These policies were meant to alleviate poverty by increasing income, and therefore food security. The structural adjustment programs privatized previous government endeavors and cut taxes. These programs were a practical application of the neo-liberalist economic philosophy based on comparative advantage. In other words, larger and more efficient production was, in their view, better. At the turn of the century, Tanzania’s GDP began to grow at a rate of 6.6 percent per year from 19982007, made possible by large agriculture and manufacturing sectors.3 However, malnutrition and food insecurity remained as they did pre-1986 in most rural poor communities. Agricultural growth was focused in the Western, Northern and Eastern regions of Tanzania that grew sugarcane, tobacco and cotton. The policies did not lend aid to the Southern regions, where small hold farmers produced maize. According to Joe L. P. Lugalla of the University of New Hampshire,
real income of most households, social services and food production relative to population declined while population expanded.4 National poverty indicators fell only 2.1 percent from 2000 to 2007. This poverty inevitably led to food security and malnutrition issues. As of 2008, 17 percent of children were still underweight and 4 out of every 10 children were stunted due to malnutrition. The comparative advantage approach implemented by the structural adjustment programs increased economic growth, but failed to increase caloric availability at the household level. Largescale agriculture expansion, therefore, had little effect on households’ access to food and ability to acquire food.5 As a response to the food crisis in 2008, Tanzania again flipped their food policies and instead began to pursue foodfirst policies. Rising prices of maize, rice and beans 40-50 percent of their five-year averages, combined with lack of sufficient rainfall meant food shortages in Tanzania.6 The government began implementing social programs and deprivatizing the country’s resources. Tanzania provides an interesting case study to see the results of both extremes— the comparative advantage and food-first
strategies to ensure food security. Maize: Staple Crop Tanzania’s main staple crop is maize, accounting for 32.77 percent of harvest land in Tanzania in 2007.7 Subsistence farmers also grow maize on a small-scale, but it accounts for less than one percent of the large-scale farm share. Although one would expect an increase in maize production during the period of economic and agricultural growth, maize production grew insignificantly compared to population and other crops. From the 2000-2007 period of structural readjustment, wheat and barley production grew 8.49 percent and maize a mere 2.08 percent. While the agricultural investment in wheat contributed significantly to a greater GNP, 100 percent of wheat production was part of large-scale agriculture. Similarly, a greater emphasis was placed on the growth of cotton, the leading export-oriented crop, which grew at almost 10 percent each year.8 The agricultural investments show the impact of structural adjustment programs that only focus on large-scale agriculture while overlooking the rural, small-scale producers.
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Fall 2012 for an increase in rural household incomes and poverty reduction. Otherwise, the differential prices could enhance a growing income inequality between the two kinds of coffee producers.
Photo By Caitlin Lesczynski, cas ‘13 An Indian man sells local produce, a common practice in the rural villages outside Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
The urban poor improved their welfare 40 percent more than the rural poor during this time.9 Along with the shift in policies and approaches to economic growth and food security, the policies surrounding maize drastically altered after the 2008 food crisis as they pursued the food-first strategy. Tanzania banned the export of maize and removed the duty on cereal imports. In addition, social programs arose and the government distributed more than a thousand tons of maize at subsidized prices to 400,000 vulnerable people. Prior to the ban of exports, Tanzania actually increased their maize imports, which reduced availability when prices rose. Their food-first policy was an attempt to alter this. Since 2008, Tanzania has declined their wheat production, which was solely large scale, and has instead increased their maize production in an attempt to rectify the earlier inequalities of income and food security.10 Coffee: export-oriented crop Coffee has an interesting history in Tanzania as a cooperative crop. It was
first introduced in the early 20th century, became a smallholder crop, and then it was only grown in co-operatives and later villages due to government initiatives to push export-crops in 1963. By the late 1960s, there were 12,200 hectares of coffee in just 172 coffee estates alone accounting for 10 percent of total coffee production. However, coffee estates declined by the 1990s and only accounted for 5 percent of total coffee production. The government largely controlled coffee production during this time until privatization in the 1990s as a result of structural adjustment programs and the comparative advantage approach that took the production of coffee away from the cooperative unions and stopped the coffee auction. Finally, in March 1992 chemical input markets were open to private traders and were eventually able to receive 100 percent of their export earnings in foreign currency.11 As shown by the chart, 40 percent of coffee was produced in large-scale agriculture by 2007. Coffee production declined slightly during the early 2000s because of a decrease in its
world price. Coffee’s contribution to the total exports also dropped, due to rising exports in other sectors such as mining.12 Since the food crisis in 2008, Tanzania shifted their hands-off approach to coffee production back to government control. There is once again a coffee auction run by the Tanzania Coffee Board. They use a ‘bidding game model,’ which aims to ensure fair play. Approximately 95 percent of coffee exports go through the coffee auction instead of being sold as direct exports.13 As of 2012, 90 percent of total production of coffee is done by smallscale farmers with the exception of estates. Approximately 4 percent of coffee production is consumed internally with an alternative method of consumption than Europeans. Tanzanians boil the ground coffee beans for flavor. They produce two kinds of coffee, Arabica and Robusta, which have different prices and implications. At auction in 2011, Arabica yielded $4.66/60 Kg bag while Robusta only yielded $1.75/60 Kg bag.14 This trend creates an incentive for coffee producers to grow Arabica beans, which would allow
Food-First vs. Comparative Advantage Tanzania has alternated between pursuing a comparative advantage approach to now a food-first strategy. It was apparent that food security was not improved by the comparative advantage approach, as shown by the historical political economy of Tanzania and the close study of maize and coffee. As Joe L. P. Lugalla states, “Ever since colonialism, policies adopted have emphasized the exploitation of the countryside by insisting on production of cash crops instead of food crops. As a result, Tanzania’s economy has always been externally oriented and is not able to satisfy internal demands. Policies which emphasize the improvement of rural conditions of life have been very rare.”15 The comparative advantage approach increased income inequality because it favored large agricultural shares and ignored the majority of the rural population that relied on agriculture, particularly maize agriculture, to generate income and feed themselves. It increased imports and exports of maize, which should have increased food access by lower prices. However, the lower prices only reached the urban poor, not the
majority rural poor. In short, economic expansion in the agricultural sector was not given context through the comparative advantage approach. Therefore, it failed to provide food security for the majority of the population and was detrimental when food prices rose in 2008. The failure of the comparative advantage approach led to the foodfirst policies where governments took back control of the coffee sector through auctions, gave maize away to the rural poor, and banned the export of maize. These policies were created to increase food security and keep Tanzania somewhat independent from the volatility of world food prices. Implications for the Future The food-first policies and investment in small scale agriculture have the greatest potential to increase food security and decrease household poverty. However, the food-first strategy of completely banning all maize exports does not provide for agricultural development. Export bans could reduce private sector confidence in Tanzania’s agriculture, which means they are less likely to invest in research or higher yield production.16 With climate change or a year of inadequate rainfall, this foreign investment could make a significant difference in food security. Furthermore, land ownership is necessary in Tanzania because while more than 90 percent claim
land ownership, only 10 percent have official documentation.17 Along with investing in smallscale agriculture instead of large scale, there also needs to be increases in productivity through investment in research and foreign investment, particularly in maize.18 With higher productivity, households could make enough to ensure food security and then export the rest for economic growth. In regards to agricultural expansion, Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt argues that there is always a need to contextualize growth. In other words, just investing in maize production at a national level does not necessarily alleviate poverty at the local and regional levels. There should always be the questions: “Is agrarian growth concentrated to an elite stratum of households? Is a broad class of smallholder entrepreneurs emerging? Have these processes been inclusive? And finally what village and individual dynamics can be connected to such processes?”19 One possible avenue to boost income and address poverty through coffee is with sustainability labels, a growing niche that could generate income for coffee growers. The government auction for coffee could create a dialogue with coffee producers to see if sustainability standards could be met so that they could tap into that new world market. Some examples of these labels include Fair Trade, Utz Certified, Organic and Rainforest Alliance.20
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What’s In a Currency
National Pride an Obstacle of a More Perfect Union By Rachel Tesler, COM ‘13, CAS ‘13 The infamous Euro crisis currently plagues Europe and taints the future of the European Union (EU). The EU staunchly differentiates between the Eurozone—countries that subscribe to the Euro—and countries within the EU that have chosen to retain their own currency. While “Euroskepticism,” suspicion of the progress of the EU as well as anticipation of its failures, has kept several member states out of the Eurozone, obligation to individual national currencies affects this as well. For example, the United Kingdom’s will to preserve the pound sterling contributes to the country’s refusal to use the Euro. This signifies a major cultural division between Britain and continental Europe that cripples the EU. According to Edgar Schein, there are several factors that contribute to a collective nationalistic feeling, including common stories, ceremonies, heroes, language and symbols associated with national identity. In “Regional Dynamics in Europe,” Anssi Paasi discusses how symbolic shaping galvanizes national identity: “Symbolic shaping refers to the process of naming and the creation of additional symbols that normally both express and strengthen the idea of the existence of a specific region and regional identity.”1 Cultural distinctiveness between regions develops through cultural identifiers like common folklore and shared food as a way for individuals to define themselves. Money is a symbol of national unity, both because of what it represents and the iconography that is depicted on it. In her article “The Significance of National Pride and National Identity to the Attitude toward the single European Currency: A Europewide Comparison,” Anke Muller-Peters deduced that “for all of the other countries [in Europe], the currency is apparently a part of the national culture and as integral to cultural-historical pride as language or history is.”2 The need for demarcation allows countries to existentially define themselves and to inform others of their
Photo By Margarita Diaz, cas ‘13 European Union Parliament.
existence and importance. The existence of a single market on a single uniform currency cauterized all of Europe after two treacherous wars. Jacques E.C. Hymans’ article “East is East, and West is West? Currency Iconography as Nation-Branding in the Wider Europe,” asserts that money is an easy tool for public relations from the government, a constant reminder of power. “Cash money is not only a medium for exchange and a store of value; it is also a vehicle for state propaganda.”3 In the article “Striking Stories: A Political Geography of Euro Coinage” the authors term currency as an “ideological messenger.”4 State officials
select careful imagery to illustrate their nation’s story. The exchange of currency is a metaphorical exchange of the idea of the country. In an attempt to develop its own national character, the Euro bills particularly “depict the openness and inclusiveness of a supranational entity in an almost extreme sense: Europe as ‘all around us’—and nowhere in particular.”5 The cartographic imagery on the Euro coins depicts a “unified Europe without frontiers.”6 European currency crafters carefully limited national symbols and state heroes that divide states but hand-selected an equally mixed smattering of state icons
The state-perpetuated ideas of unified European culture, or rather the lack thereof, reveals the cultural instability of the state, which has real consequences, as seen in the Euro crisis. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 aimed, in addition to officially establishing the current EU, to foster a single market currency in an effort to establish their own national symbol and a source of major economic reform. After the Cold War, prosperous economic conditions allowed Europe to take chances introducing the Euro, as did the collapse of the Bretton Woods system and the oil crisis in the 1970s.7 Though the EU initially saw success, growth retarded in the late 1990s and early 2000s. France and Germany commenced prioritization of their own interests and shifted focus from the European single market advancement. More recently, the Euro crisis illuminated issues with the Maastricht Criteria. Many countries’ economic strife was overlooked in the application process to the Eurozone and the issues did not resolve themselves upon accepting the Euro. EU officials expected that the surge of economic growth as a result of the single currency would catapult the weaker economic countries into the black, but their economic troubles continued due to sustained poor internal economic policies. Critics and Euroskeptics alike cite this as a major cultural division that inhibits progress. Britain claims that if it hypothetically did not qualify to use the Euro, it would commit to the hard work required to make them eligible should they ever intend to join the Euro. However, Greece understands this economic union as one in which the economically stronger countries would strengthen the weaker countries. Deep in economic distress, the more powerful countries, such as Germany, did not intend this cooperation. If they bailed out Greece, they would have to do the same for the other weak countries, encouraging the states to perpetuate this behavior and resulting in a vicious cycle, which would devalue the Euro and affect Germany’s own national interests. Certain countries hesitate to join the Euro because of the poor planning and corruption, but many apply for membership in the EU and look forward to accepting the Euro as their own currency.8 Corruption and cultural differences
complicate induction of the Euro into a new country’s economy. Muller-Peters ascertained that nationalistic citizens experienced negative feelings toward the Euro initially: “Replacement of the national currency by the Euro is certain to result in loss of an essential symbol of national demarcation.”9 For many, the Euro engendered excitement for a new era of European cooperation but also regretful obligation to maintain national identity. In one study cited in “The Euro Between National and European Identity,” a participant remarks “By using Euros instead of national currencies, we feel a bit more European than before.”10 Europeans acknowledged the currency as not merely an economic or financial tool, but as a nation-state building mechanism. According to studies cited in Thomas Risse’s article “The Euro Between National and European Identity,” many European citizens with strong national identities do not find it conflicting to identify themselves as Europeans.11 However, the attitude toward the Euro differs in different states. For example, Italy embraces the EU and the Euro whole-heartedly. According to Risse, “Italian citizens seem to identify with Europe as something to aspire to and to escape their own political problems at
home. The prevailing identity construction concerning Europe and the EU is one whereby Brussels appears to be a cure for Rome’s problems.”12 Many nations regard Brussels as a faceless home for overpowering bureaucrats, the cause of lost national sovereignty and an interventionist entity in domestic affairs. Italians disregard this and hope that if they fall, which their economic policy inevitably permitted, Europe will catch them. Germany maintains a conflicting opinion of the Euro. A symbol of German nationalism, a tainted concept with a murderous past, the Deutsche Mark perpetuated the hyperinflation that incited tensions inside Germany, indirectly leading to the rise of Hitler. While the Deutsch Mark miraculously withstood and even recovered splendidly from the fallout of two devastating world wars, it represented the enemy. Risse describes the discordant ideals of remaining German while longing to shed the tainted German image: “To be a ‘good German’ meant to be a ‘good European’ and to wholeheartedly support European integration efforts.”13 Europeans expected Germany to assert a reliable economic policy of low inflation and controlled budget deficits. Despite the unanimous acceptance that to preside in peace meant to submerse German
Photo By George Pitsakis, cas ‘13 Tear gas quickly spreads through a protest against the current economic crisis in Greece.
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patriotism, the Deutsche Mark was much stronger than the fledgling Euro. German leaders needed to appeal to Deutsche Mark supporters by branding the Euro as a Europeanized form of the Deutsche Mark, which Germany would control. Unfortunately, officials communicated this message to the German public poorly, resulting in a nation-wide indifference to the Euro. British suspicion of the Euro, paired with a healthy obsession with the pound sterling, barred the country from subscribing to the Euro. British currency emerged from trade in the fourth century BC, when bartering became inconvenient and forefathers chose to carry representations of value—money. During Roman imperialism, Britannia produced coins to exchange within the Roman system. Notably, Britannia’s leader King Offa of Mercia manufactured coins with his name, a practice en vogue at this time with many regional leaders. AngloSaxon territories mimicked this coinage trend through the development of the royal British monarchs, who emblazoned their images on the currencies of the day. British coinage is riddled with historical messages of the state; the initials F.D. on the edges of coins stand for Fidei Defensor, or Defender of the Faith, dating back to Pope Clement’s endorsement of King Henry VIII, who warned Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, of Martin Luther’s poisonous Protestantism.14 Many of these messages connect British
currency to shared common history and thus, national identity, inhibiting the United Kingdom’s interest in the Euro. Risse discusses Britain’s fervent opposition to Europeanization, despite their friendly membership within the EU: “British public opinion is the ‘odd one out’ in almost all attitudinal categories concerning European integration and the Euro and these attitudes are closely linked to understandings of national identity.” Borneman and Fowler say that “proponents and “Euroskeptics” agree that what is at stake is sovereignty: the ability to control the relationship between politics and identifications at the national, European or global levels.”15 British citizens maintain an innate sense of “Britishness” detached from the rest of continental Europe.16 Churchill best describes the British mentality when he says, “We do not intend to be merged in a Federal European system…we are with them, but not of them. We have our own Commonwealth and Empire.”17 A stable political system is the foundation for a strong monetary union, and arguably the EU lacks power and political leadership in leaders like President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and inexperienced High Representative of Foreign and Defense Affairs Baroness Catherine Ashton. The relatively weak European political institutions and mechanism for law enforcement further threaten the accountability of the Euro.
Photo by Bethany Saul, CAS ‘14
Many countries initially accepted a monetary union’s conditions and when it no longer benefited them, they disengaged with no penalty. In “International Monetary arrangements: The EU and the Euro” Mary Stanek analyzes the introduction of the Euro explaining, “each arrangement was characterized with escape clauses and optional cooperation loopholes.”18 Institutionalizing the Central Bank in Frankfurt and establishing the Maastricht convergence criteria as conditions for Eurozone membership were meant to ensure responsible membership, although now it appears the criteria were foregone and these mistakes now haunt the Euro. Many maintain that currency unions improve business and if the Euro can withstand the economic strife of the recession as well as practicing and reinforcing better business methods, they may overcome the Eurocrisis In “Explorations in Economic History,” Boerner and Volckart conclude that wellintegrated monetary systems expedited transnational trade. The inevitable next step in the process of globalization is a unified market. However, a single currency is an important facet needed to fully mobilize the single market. When nation-states can displace national identity from currency this may be possible. At this time, the EU must maintain the Euro in order to keep their economic union and ultimately the entirety of the EU afloat. Though “unified Europe” supporters desperately attempt to erase Europe’s treacherous past from history books, reality diverges; as new conflicts arise with the forced unity, they expose previous issues. Shared history bonds nations and divides them. Reminders of a broken past are everywhere, even in mundane tools of exchange like currency. Recently, Greece insisted Germany repay the war reparations owed to them from the German occupation and slaughters from World War II; the Greeks are fraught with desolation in their economic conundrum and resorted to desperate measures to guilt Germany into aiding them. When Europe can acknowledge the past, share culture rather than try to create a new one and develop respectable, supranational institutions to uphold the ‘new Europe,’ Europeans will commit, as the Euro symbolizes, to European unification.
Northern Ireland Resolved
Raising a Tolerant Generation Through Education and Community Efforts By Zachary Martin Schwartz, CFA ‘13, CAS ‘13
Photo By Sarah Miller, CAS ‘13
The conflict in Northern Ireland is right on the cusp of being resolved and staying unresolved. Since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, several major public moves toward conflict resolution have occurred: the setup of a sort of a legislative system, handshakes between British prime ministers and American presidents, Martin McGuinness (the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and a former head member of the Irish Republican Army) becoming one of the “chuckle brothers” alongside the Reverend Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party, visits between Queen Elizabeth II and the Irish president, and most recently, an incredible handshake shared by the Queen and McGuinness.
The Northern Ireland conflict seems to have finished, especially with the abatement of fighting and efforts at disarmament by the IRA. Yet in the Northern Irish communities that are still deeply divided between Protestants and Catholics, these actions are not enough to signal an end to the dispute and allow the parties to truly pursue a course of reconciliation. Contact theories, methods and data behind reconciliation as well as the comparison of a similar situation after internal conflict in the United States affirms that complete conflict resolution in Northern Ireland can and will only be obtained through the emergence of a full generation of children raised with an unbiased moral compass
toward the conflict. The first step in conflict resolution requires an understanding of the deeply rooted psychological basis for conflict and for resolution. Should the initial psychological patterns behind conflict be altered, a more steady and permanent peace may be found. When two or more parties are embroiled in a crisis, dispute or armed conflict, the result is conflictive ethos. This frame of mind, characterized by negative orientations toward social beliefs, is the true manner of thought that permeates the entire conflict. Although peace agreements may be shaped and fighting may cease altogether, societies cannot completely resolve the underlying
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Photo By Sarah Miller, CAS ‘13 Having suffered 33 bomb attacks during the Troubles, The Europa Hotel has been dubbed “Europe’s Most Bombed Hotel.”
tensions until a change of belief has truly occurred, resulting in peace ethos. Several principles in the minds of the people must be addressed, defined by Daniel BarTal as a series of eight societal beliefs regarding the justness of one’s own goals, security, positive self-image, one’s own victimization, delegitimizing the opponent, patriotism, unity and peace. Once an enduring conflict such as that in Northern Ireland has led to an accumulation of animosity, hatred and prejudice, goals and perspectives must be redefined to establish a peaceful mindset. Each party must relegitimize its enemy, resist further selfglorification and must justify reasons for peace between the groups. The case for children’s education as the final step in the resolution process stems from this desire for peace Education can importantly “socialize the whole young generation to live in peace with the past enemy. It can transmit the contents of the societal beliefs of the peace ethos and establish them in the students’ repertoire.” Ideally, this occurs through a system of
education reforms and practices that can be divided between indirect and direct groups. Direct peace education deals with addressing the actual parameters of the conflict, and therefore potentially aggravating old wounds, whereas indirect peace education can encompass reflective thinking, tolerance, ethno-empathy, human rights, and conflict resolution. Ideally, these methods could be implemented in the classroom, creating a new perception of conflict for children at an early age. For any sort of education to take hold in the minds of children and for lasting positive relationships to be formed, contact between the groups must be established. Bernadette Hayes and her fellow researchers (2007) cite Allport’s (1954) research on the “contact hypothesis,” which rather forthrightly “proposes that intergroup conflict can be reduced by bringing together individuals from opposing groups.” Ideally, four conditions must be met for successful, healthy dialogue and relationship building to grow out of this contact: equal status
between the groups in the situation, common goals, no competition between groups, and legitimization of the contact situation through institutional support. For intergroup contact to be successful, certain conditions must be met so that institutional logistics can promote the peace and contact agenda: ministerial support from the highest authority, which would create the necessary incentives for the culture to immerse itself in peace education; a well-defined education policy to redefine the short and long-term goals of the educational system and establish new curricula; and finally the authority and devotion to carry out the aforementioned peace. However, the majority of the Northern Irish education system is still religiously divided, limiting this fourth aspect of the contact hypothesis. Although peace education and beneficial contact can be undertaken without all of the above criteria satisfactorily met, challenges in implementation will almost certainly occur without the complete underlying framework.
Since Northern Ireland’s establishment in 1921, the country has had two separate and distinct education systems; one state-controlled system for Protestants and a voluntary system for Catholics (state-financed, but controlled by the Church and known as the ‘maintained sector’). Reforms toward a unified educational system were introduced early with the first Education Act of 1923. However, the act was so loathed by both churches that it led to a de facto segregated system as early as 1930. Although there are some children who cross the religious divide to attend schools based in the other religion, to this day roughly 93 percent of Protestant children and 91 percent of Catholic children attend schools controlled by their respective religion. Even with the 1990 introduction of a voluntary unified curriculum, students attending schools based on either of the respective religions read different books, practice different cultural rituals, and even learn different histories of Northern Ireland. Catholic children learn Irish history, whereas Protestant children are instructed in history with heavy nationalist overtones. This can be referred to as “school ethos,” the educational practices that lead the respective systems to hold different beliefs, connecting them to the aforementioned conflictive ethos. This has led to the notion that history serves as a divisive tool: Northern Irish children are raised with the idea that history is something which happened to other cultures and societies – people different from themselves in both cases. While students may be able to make advances in the realm of Bar-Tal’s objectives of indirect peace education, namely tolerance and ethno-empathy, the varying histories taught between Catholic and Protestant schools do not provide a common foundation on which to coexist and build. In a similar vein, the United States had to make formidable strides in education in pursuit of common ground. Coming out of the Civil Rights tensions and reforms of the 1960s, the education system in the United States began to reform. As legislation was passed and the general public began to come to terms with the major changes in society, school-aged children began to mix. This brought newfound attitudes to school-aged
children–a common history taught through events that bring together a diverse culture to share a collective American identity (demonstrated by the frequent use of we and our in historical narratives)–which has led to Americans holding more open-minded views toward an integrated society. In an interview, a child described the benefits of learning about the Civil Rights movement in history, stating that “[It] was important ‘so that we’ll understand how and why we are now.’” Although integrated schooling has progressed and improved race relations exponentially in the United States, Northern Irish schools remain divided. The first Catholic/Protestant integrated school, Lagan College, was founded just
similar American schools. Since all of the aforementioned theories on contact hypotheses and peace education were formed after much American integration, Northern Irish schools “explicitly aim to fulfill all of Allport’s optimal conditions” for contact. Students in the United States who have grown up under completely integrated umbrellas and without active practices of integration look to these theories and practices from a hindsight perspective. The Northern Irish have made considerable, intentional progress over the last decade to bring children together through community activities, even without any argument toward complete educational integration of Protestants and
“The first step in conflict resolution requires an understanding of the deeply rooted psychological basis for conflict and for resolution. Should the initial psychological patterns behind conflict be altered, a more steady and permanent peace may be found. ”
thirty-one years ago in 1981 by parents who wanted to see their children grow up with a united ethos. As of 2005, only 58 schools, accounting for a mere 5.3 percent of the student population, were integrated. While these schools do theoretically work with a unified curriculum and surely provide healthy intergroup contact among even the small minority of students in the system, there remain issues of direct peace education. Northern Irish “social grammar” designates that people do not speak about religiously charged political issues in mixed religious company. This could hinder additional understanding of the roots of the conflict. It should be noted that Northern Irish schools inherently approach the issue of integrated education through a different historical perspective than
Catholics. Northern Ireland’s community events have worked to bridge the divides in everyday social relations. A tremendous amount of research and analysis has been carried out by the Young Life and Times (YLT) Survey, a daughter survey of the Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) Survey, which collects data from Northern Irish youth for use in comparing the past and present intercultural relations between different social groups. In the categories of community relations and cross-community contact, 16-year-olds are surveyed on a wide range of topics, including current perception of the Protestant/Catholic relationship, preferences on integrated education, which aspects of life have impacted respective views on the other religious group, and frequency and quality of cross-community contact, among many
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others. Comparing community outreach projects to international governance, Northern Irish community relations have been improved by NGO equivalents. Four particular community organizations were recently part of one survey by the YLT: Culture Crosslinks, an artistic performance initiative based in Belfast; the Voice Project, another program of creative workshops and performance;
“In a conflict where physical violence has almost completely subsided...cultural and psychological changes must now take priority...” R.E.A.C.H. Across, based in L/Derry, a group encouraging shared weekends of outdoor, fun activities; and The Ulster Project, an initiative to send Northern Irish students to America, including a weekly activity called ‘Discovery,’ a “session solely to discuss matters that participants felt important in relation to sectarianism in Northern Ireland and racism in the USA.” While highly active, the scope of these programs could certainly be broadened; the 2011 YLT showed that 65 percent of those surveyed had participated in crosscommunity projects. These community outreach organizations that do exist have contributed to fascinating and inspiring results of the data from the 2011 YLT survey: 50 percent of children surveyed rated community relations as being better than five years ago, compared to 39 percent saying about the same, and only six percent feeling the relations had soured; 51 percent of those surveyed report favoring integrated education, versus 38 percent who are opposed; 66 percent play sports at least
‘sometimes’ with the other community; and 66 percent have at least two or more friends from the other community. In keeping with the notion that contact will at the very minimum encourage tolerance, the most crucial statistic may be the changes in the quality of contact in just the last few years. The 2003 to 2005 YLT survey data reported that among those who had participated in one of the cross-community projects, 75 percent described intergroup contact as positive or very positive, with four percent as negative or very negative. The 2011 data from the same question yielded 84 percent responding either positive or very positive and only three percent as negative or very negative. These results certainly support the possibility of a correlation between the integrated interactions and community relations. The hope remains that with increased optimism and improved community relations, such as those shown by the YLT, children in Northern Ireland
will be able to eventually enjoy an even greater level of integrated schooling. Although cross-community outreach is an invaluable resource, children must also have the formally upheld and funded structure of unbiased history and education. Data from the 2011 YLT survey show that 15 percent of youths report that their schools have been the most important influence on their views. This compares to the 55 percent who answered ‘my family,’ the 16 percent who answered ‘my friends’ and the six percent who responded ‘my church.’ This indicates that parents have the largest amount of power in promoting their children’s access to community programs, that social interaction and contact are incredibly important, and that the churches are holding much less traditional power in society. If education could be improved, future generations of parents who as children had access to both integrated education and cross-community projects will continue to promote the values of
Photo By Micky Bedell, CAS ‘13 Several houses in Northern Ireland have murals depicting themes of the Troubles. The Red Hand of Ulster is a symbol used in heraldry to denote the province of Ulster.
indirect peace education to their children, and so on. The construction of tolerance will build upon itself. The development of solid community trust is most essential at the foundation. In a conflict where physical violence has almost completely subsided with the exception of the occasional protest, cultural and psychological changes must now take priority from
the ground up. Gandhian satyagrahastyle conflict resolution holds as its third norm a transformative approach to final conflict resolution. In the case of Northern Ireland, efforts should be made toward the permanent betterment of the relationship between the Protestant and Catholic communities. Although the country still has a daunting task with educational integration, cross-community interactions have had a
significant impact on the relations between the Catholic and Protestant communities. While peace accords and positive publicity certainly do not hurt the peace process, full conflict resolution will require an integrated generation of children with a tolerant, cooperative mindset to rise as leaders of their nation. With this in mind, it seems that Northern Ireland has started down the correct path.
Realism vs. Liberalism
Determining America’s Future Policies Towards Turkey By Alexandria Kirkland, CAS ‘15 The history of Western involvement in the Middle East is a bloody and complex tale of religious, social and cultural clashes. For hundreds of years, Westerners feared the mighty Turkish Ottoman Empire. However, the Ottoman Empire met its end during World War I. While the Arab peoples were being divided among the colonial powers, Mustafa Ataturk synthesized the ashes of the Ottoman Empire into a new mold for the Middle East: a Muslim population with a secular, democratic state that would become crucial in the 21st century. Modern-day Turkey is a valuable ally to the United States, but competing mindsets propagate different motives and visions for the symbiotic future of Turkish-American relations. For realists, power is primarily seen through a military lens and Turkey’s strategic military advantages provide for an alluring alliance. Liberals foresee a future international system in which Turkey is a key player to maintaining collective security. Realists, like Machiavelli, state that Turkey’s main concern in the coming years will be its own national security and as a result, the nuclearization of the Middle East will prompt Turkey to become a stabilizing regional leader. The underpinning of realism is that war is inevitable; the rise of nuclear weapons is a foreign policy priority for Turkey since Iran’s expanding nuclear program rests on Turkey’s Eastern border. In the interest of its own security, Turkey will not want a rouge state in possession of powerful
nuclear weapons. To realists, this fear of regional insecurity incited by Iran’s nuclear weapons will provide a strong incentive for Turkey to participate in the international community’s discouragement of Iran’s nuclear program. Turkey has already taken steps towards protecting itself and the region from nuclear warfare with Iran. In September of 2011, Turkey allowed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to build a missile shield on Turkish soil. The shield is only 435 miles from the Turkish-Iranian border and indicates that the Turkish government is concerned about a nuclear attack by Iran on Israel or other Western
military strategy. The planned withdrawal of American troops from portions of the Middle East is a weakening of American military power in the region in a realist perspective. Realists support expanding bases and weapons arsenals in Turkey to protect U.S. military interests in the Middle East and Southern Europe. Realists argue that if the U.S. intends to capitalize on Turkey’s security concerns, American diplomats should negotiate further missile defense systems and military bases in Turkey. The U.S. has already moved towards aiding the empowerment of Turkey’s military in November 2011, the Pentagon sold three high tech attack helicopters to
“Turkey’s diplomatic neutrality, value to collective security and role as a successful Muslim model for democracy makes Turkey an attractive ally...” interests. The Turkish Foreign Minister elaborated that the missile defense radar would strengthen the Turkish “national defense system.” In this aspect, realist theorists predicted Turkey’s foreign policy correctly: one of Turkey’s top concerns is its national security, especially its security against nuclear weapons. Realists explain the NATO missile shield not only in terms of Turkish national security but also in relation to American
Turkey. Turkey plans to protect itself in an increasingly unstable region and the U.S. hopes to protect its Middle Eastern assets and maintain military influence in the region. Turkey’s geographic location and political alliances have led to a beneficial military alliance between Turkey and the United States. Ultimately, realists see Turkey as a hub of future military strength and predict that its national security will align with the
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Photo By Fatima Mohie-Eldin, CAS ‘15
U.S. interests in the region. What remains to be seen is the effect of Turkey’s internal political synthesis of foreign policy. Kemalists advocate a strictly secular state, after modern Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk. The opposing majority party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), is an Islamist challenge to secularism. Turkey is undergoing a bitter struggle between the Kemalists and the AKP over the direction of Turkey’s future. According to regional expert and Boston University professor Stephen Kinzer, Turkey stands on the edge between authoritarianism and democracy. Foreign policy moves like the sale of the U.S. attack helicopters exhibit the effort the United States is putting into keeping an alliance with Turkey, regardless of which party prevails. However, the political and religious direction Turkey takes in the near future could largely shift its alliances away from the West and if so, the United States would lose a valuable ally in Turkey. While realists may support military aid to Turkey to support U.S. interests in the region, neorealists explain
the advantages of an alliance with Turkey in terms of a balance of power in the Middle East. The theory of neorealism contends that the distribution of relative power is the most important aspect of international relations. The authors of neorealism argue that international structure and distribution of power will determine war or peace in a region. A state’s survival “depends on its having more power than other states.” Neorealists contend that either a new hegemon will emerge in the Middle East, one that could easily be Turkey with its democratic history and peaceful transitions of power. The alternative neorealist outcome is the chaos of a multipolar system that could lure the Middle East into armed conflict. Therefore, neorealists would support aiding Turkey in becoming the major Middle Eastern power in an effort to stabilize the region and prevent a volatile, multipolar Middle East. To summarize the realist and neorealist viewpoints, America should continue to pursue an alliance with Turkey for several reasons. First, Turkey’s primary
interest will be its national security. By supporting Turkey’s national security, the U.S. can also protect Israel, Southwestern Europe, and American interests in the region. Second, Turkey’s geographic position is a prime strategic military zone between the West and the Middle East. Should the United States need to invade Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or any other potentially hostile countries, Turkey is a tactical point to launch an attack. It is a major deterrent to potential hostiles to know that the United States can deliver crushing blows to almost any point in the region safely from within Turkey’s borders. Lastly, the neorealists see the rise of Turkey as a more peaceful alternative to a multipolar Middle East after the United States withdraws its military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. The realist’s treatment of Turkey relies on the assumption that war is inevitable; liberals fundamentally disagree. Liberal theory is based on the idea that “human nature is basically good” and that “societal progress [is] possible.” War,
according to liberals, can be avoided through international institutions and free markets. Unlike realists, liberalists believe that the state represents multiple interests in terms of government and society. They do not believe that a nation’s primary interest is necessarily national security. With these beliefs in mind, liberals support an alliance with Turkey that serves significantly different purposes and policies than the realists and neorealists. For liberals, Turkey’s location is strategic because it can serve as both a diplomatic buffer between the Middle East and the West and it can participate in collective security measures. Turkey has an “approachable neutrality” in that Syrians, Iranians, Americans, and Egyptians alike all want to engage in diplomatic relations with Turkey whenever a regional dispute needs to be resolved. Since liberals place emphases on international institutions, like the United Nations, this diplomatic maneuverability increases institutional effectiveness. Liberals hold that the capabilities for negotiation that Turkey provides the world are the key to avoiding future war. The governing concept behind
these international institutions is collective security, which introduces the idea that rogue states like Iran will be less likely to attack a specific country if Iran knows that an attack on one NATO country will elicit a response from all NATO countries. By building a NATO missile shield in its territory, Turkey has proven itself willing to cooperate in collective security measures and international institutions, thereby helping to secure the world from an attack by a rogue Middle Eastern state. In terms of liberal ideals, American policies towards Turkey are a utilization of Turkey’s diplomatic abilities. When the United States needs to engage a country with whom they do not have official relations (like Iran), American diplomats should allow Turkey to become politically powerful enough to facilitate peace in situations like these. In order for Turkey to be an effective negotiator, the United States may be forced to allow an increase in Turkey’s power within the United Nations. In an interview entitled “A Look At the Future of Turkey and the West”, Professor Kinzer suggests that the United States ought to surrender its
Photo By Fatima Mohie-Eldin, CAS ‘15
Cold War-era unilateral policies in favor of cooperation with Turkey on Middle Eastern matters. Though the U.S. may need to cede some of its sovereign rights to unilateral action, Turkey could provide the world with invaluable mediation services. The most convincing argument in support of U.S.-Turkey relations falls within the purview of the liberal’s Democratic Peace Theory, which claims that democracies do not go to war with other democracies. Therefore, as more of the world’s governments transition to democracies, there will be fewer incidents of war. In accordance with this theory, liberals encourage Turkey’s government to encourage other Middle Eastern states, including those who are anti-West, to adopt a democratic system similar to Turkey. It is crucial to the United States for the Turkish model of a Muslim community governed by a democracy to succeed as an example for others in the region to lessen the incidence of war as described by the Democratic Peace Theory. Turkey’s diplomatic neutrality, value to collective security and role as a successful Muslim model for democracy makes Turkey an attractive ally to liberals. Both schools advocate a strong alliance for varied reasons. Should the US pursue a realist military agenda, or should rely on the liberals’ trust in international institutions and diplomacy? Ultimately, U.S. policy makers should adhere to liberal motivations. Diplomacy should be the first avenue for American policy makers before reliance on military might. If the United States treats the Middle East as perpetually volatile like realists suggest, American policy makers lose the opportunity to build a more peaceful Middle East with Turkey’s help. The United States may be able to work through issues like Iran’s nuclearization and Israel’s standoff with the rest of the region in a diplomatic way via Turkey’s aforementioned diplomatic capabilities. Turkey is a chameleon of sorts, adjusting its skin to match its background; it can share religious ties when speaking with Syria or it can boast its secular democracy when dealing with the European Union. These traits are highly valuable in such a turbulent region, and as the US removes forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, it is prudent to preemptively find resolutions.
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Malian Coup d’État and Its Aftermath By Alexandria Kirkland, CAS ‘15 On March 21, 2012, shortly before the Malian presidential elections, a group of soldiers called the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR) staged a coup d’état that ousted President Amadou Touré. The group was displeased with the administration of the President and his response to the earlier Tuareg rebellion led by the National Movement of the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA). The NMLA took possession of Northern Mali beginning in 2007, and continues to battle with Al-Qaeda linked insurgents in the Northern area of the country. Since the country’s government is now split between the official Malian government and the CNRDR, and geographically split between Mali and Northern Mali,1 it is clear that attaining peace and stability will be a formidable challenge. Violent government overthrows and sporadic armed engagements with the Tuareg people have defined Mali’s history since its independence in 1960. Tuaregs are Berber, traditionally nomadic, peoples with a historical presence throughout the Saharan interior of North Africa. Originally a one-party socialist state, Mali became a democracy in 1992 and created a peace agreement with the Tuareg people in 1995. In 2002, Amadou Touré was elected president. However claims of a fraudulent election led to new clashes with the Tuaregs. Again, in 2006, a peace agreement was signed between the Malian government and the autonomy-seeking Tuareg people. After this peace agreement, Mali was lauded as “the poster child for African democracies.”2 However, in 2007, the Tuaregs broke the peace agreement by kidnapping government soldiers and killing civilians. In response, the Malian government, jointly with Niger and Algeria, launched an anti-terrorism campaign. Tuareg retaliation included an increased number of attacks on civilians and soldiers and the capture of major Northern cities. The 2012 CNRDR coup demonstrated a response to what the group saw was a failed attempt to subdue the Tuareg attacks.
The CNRDR is composed not only of rebels who are disgruntled with the Malian government, but also those who fought in the army of Ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.3 On March 23, the Captain of the CNRDR, Amadou Sanogo, announced the suspension of the national constitution and that the CNRDR would serve as an interim government until the government could properly be returned to a democratic system. In the North, the NMLA declared independence from Mali, creating the new state Azawad, which is not recognized by the international community.4 The NMLA is currently fighting the Islamic group, Ansarr Deen, who also claims the land as their own (in some instances the factions occupy the same towns). The two rebel groups have launched attacks to capture towns abandoned by the Malian soldiers, including Timbuktu, Kidal, and Gao. Ansarr Deen began imposing Sharia law, the Islamic moral code, and took civilian hostages in Timbuktu in 2011 in hopes to drive out the NMLA, but this tactic failed.5 The Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS) has played the most significant role in attempts to resolve
this conflict. Both the United Nations and the European Parliament have supported ECOWAS in their work in Mali, and have encouraged its major role in the conflict. As soon as the coup occurred, ECOWAS condemned the actions of the liberation and imposed economic and military sanctions. The country’s assets were frozen and its borders closed, cutting off the petroleum import. These sanctions were lifted on April 6th with the agreement that the CNRDR would transition out of office and return to the barracks using a framework agreement.6 Approached by the Malian government, ECOWAS decided to use Foreign Ministers Adama Bictogo from Côte d’Ivoire and Djibril Bassolé from Burkina Faso as third party facilitators. Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso are both border countries, of which the latter is currently the president country of ECOWAS. On May 20, in order to enforce the agreement, ECOWAS threatened harsher sanctions, including suspending Mali’s membership to ECOWAS, freezing the country’s assets in the Central Bank of West Africa and closing all borders and airspace from travel.7 While international responses were swift, substantial progress towards peace continues to be frustrated.
Implementation of the agreement has proven difficult for both sides. Differing interpretations of the Malian constitution have resulted in the former Speaker of Parliament Amandou Traoré assuming the interim presidency, while the junta wants Captain Sanogo to remain leader.8 ECOWAS has identified Sanogo as a major threat to peace and stability in the region and there has not been much popular support for the agreement. Evidence of this is a recent mob attack, which hospitalized Traoré because of his support of the deal.9 With him in the hospital in Paris, it is unclear who Mali’s leader is presently.10 On June 4, the NMLA announced that it has created a central governing council in Northern Mali.11 In the North, negotiators managed to bring together the NMLA and Ansarr Deen. After several weeks of negotiation, the groups managed to announce a formal merger and peace agreement. However, within 48 hours, the deal collapsed when the two groups could not agree on the level of Sharia that would be implemented.12 The NMLA denies there being a breakdown of the deal, saying that they could never agree on protocol.13 The work towards a peace agreement between the CNRDR and the Mali government, as well as an agreement between the NMLA and Ansarr Deen, has been plagued with difficulties which make hope for resolution daunting. Popular support of the CNRDR has created problems for negotiators, as well as the Northern Mali conflict between the NMLA and Ansarr Deen. This added level of conflict has made negotiations between the CNRDR more difficult, especially after the NMLA/Ansarr Deen agreement collapsed. The primary contention in Northern Mali is the Islamic rule. Although sharia has been implemented in some of the region already, the NMLA is concerned for the safety its people and the structure of its new government if sharia is implemented to its full extent. The NMLA has called upon Mali’s allies for aid, but have been largely rejected by other nations who still recognize the Malian government as the only authority in the region.14 There is also growing concern from both the citizens of Mali and the international community, since Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magrheb (AQIM), a known terrorist organization, backs the Ansarr Deen. Furthermore, the country is facing severe drought, poverty, high grain
prices and environmental degradation that is leading to mass migration into bordering countries which pose safety risks to all parties and neighboring countries.15 Without a clear leader of the Malian government, negotiators, international organizations, and citizens of Mali face incredible difficulty in creating a framework for negotiations towards peace. Addendum from the editors: Talks to end the conflict and reach a peace agreement are still ongoing, although so far no arrangement has been made. However, the need to draft a settlement is only becoming more urgent as attacks by the Islamic and ethnic militant groups continue to escalate. While a military intervention seems to be a plausible solution to end the conflict in Mali, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recently stated that doing so without a well-executed and funded operation could only exacerbate the already fragile state of the nation and worsen the current human rights abuses. The state has only continued to deteriorate following the drought and subsequent food crisis that occurred over the summer. Instead, the secretary general has stated that intervention should only be used as a last resort in the northern strongholds of the most extremist militants. In the meantime, the UN has been advocating increased
political dialogue to foster transition in the government as an alternative. The UN Security Council is set to discuss the crisis in Mali on Dec. 5, at which time the delegates could vote in favor of military intervention. However, even with the vote of support the most likely possibility of a military intervention would occur sometime next fall, with time in between to train the necessary forces and wait out Mali’s rainy season. The intervention forces would be assembled and organized by ECOWAS and the African Union (AU) with the intention of facilitating the Malian government reclaim lost territories and stabilizing the nation. UN involvement would be limited to only logistical support. Although the secretary general has taken a more detached stance regarding Mali, the U.S. and France remain much more highly motivated to end the conflict, particularly given Al Qaeda’s involvement with Ansarr Deen and the kidnapping of many French nationals since the start of the conflict. Currently, the future progression of the situation in Mali still remains unclear, however the widespread international opinion seems to support a policy of non-intervention and continuing negotiations. Hopefully, the involved parties can reach an agreement, but as of now, nothing is known for sure.
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Challenging Modernity: An Enchanted Modern by Lara Deeb By Eliza Berg, CAS ‘14
An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi’i Lebanon, by Lara Deeb, is a comprehensive and compelling study of Shi’i Muslim belief and practice set in the suburbs of Beirut. Deeb’s ethnographically-based research explores the intimate lives of women and their families in the Al-Dahiyya suburb with such clarity and detail, that it is nearly impossible to identify any gaps in her argument. Upon opening this book, a reader who has any familiarity with the typical Western gaze towards Islam and women (particularly Shi’a Islam) will immediately be confronted with a portrayal that defies such notions of social, political, and religious backwardness. In fact, it is Deeb’s goal to explain through her own observations, knowledge of Lebanese history, and her female contacts’ personal experiences, how Shi’is in Lebanon are constantly engaging in private and social processes in order to be both pious and modern. By bringing this idea of an “enchanted modern” to the forefront of her examination, Deeb depicts a modern Shi’i community that is anything but the long perpetuated Western stereotype of Islamic rigidity and repression of women. Deeb wastes no time in establishing her frame of reference for An Enchanted Modern. She makes it explicitly
clear that the Shi’i Muslims she describes are neither representative of Al-Dahiyya as a whole, nor of the Shi’i community in its entirety. She instead refers to her interlocutors and their families as mujtama, which she believes captures the meanings of the words “community” and “society” collectively. The mujtama of Al-Dahiyya is not “clearly bounded by space,” and one can safely assume that this study, located on a microcosmic level, is not wholly representative of Muslims or the Shi’i community outside of these geographical bounds. Deeb also links the mujtama of her research to a version of Islam – what she calls authenticated Islam – that is defined by a process of reinterpretation and selective validation of versions of Islam that are most trustworthy and true to the individual and her community. Deeb’s challenge, therefore, is to show how the people of Al-Dahiyya dually emphasize material and spiritual progress in order to shift “how they conceptualize social change and the dynamics of Shi’i identity in the contemporary world.” To grapple with this challenge, Deeb finds it important to focus on women and to distinguish what it means to be “modern.” She problematizes a definition of modernity that is linked with Western patterns of secular development, and
instead believes that it is “more useful to recognize the plurality of experience, interpretation, and understanding of this notion [modernity]…with which our informants grapple, within fields of power, on a daily basis.” Women, she argues, have increasingly become a useful category for Western measurements of modernity, and this is one of the reasons she decided to focus her research on the women of Al-Dahiyya. Additionally, “on a practical level,” she states, “I had access to much more of women’s lives than men’s… more importantly, the status and image of Muslim women was one of the most consistently arising and contentious issues that emerged during my field research.” Instead of applying these preconceived notions of modernity to her area of focus, Deeb explores the ways in which AlDahiyya women construct a pious modern that is completely unique. For example, the women of Al-Dahiyaa classify and organize both their own experiences and those of others as either advanced/ progressive (mutaqaddum) or backward (mutakhalluf). This carefully crafted explanation of women and modernity in the beginning pages of the book provides a solid base for the continuation of Deeb’s research and findings. Most importantly, it introduces the concept of “public piety” that is produced by these women and their understandings of modernity. To develop a strong understanding of the public piety that exists in contemporary Al-Dahiyya, Deeb provides her audience with a short but comprehensive description and history of this suburb and greater Lebanon. She reasons that the “public visibility of religiosity, and, more importantly, the accompanying changes in understandings of what it means to be a pious person, are rooted in the historical trajectory that took Lebanese Shi’is from a marginalized position to one of institutionalized influence.” Perhaps the most important inclusion within this section is an explanation of the role and influence of the marji’ in Al-Dahiyya. These established religious scholars provide critical readings and opinions on a vast range of topics and are imperative to both the public and modern components of Islamic practice. Fadlullah is one of the most prominent marji’ in Lebanon today, and many of Deeb’s female interlocutors constantly debated
and considered what his interpretations meant to them, their families, and their patterns in daily life. Deeb also cites the contributions of the Iranian cleric Sayyid Musa al-Sadr, who came to Lebanon in 1959 and was instrumental in establishing social institutions in Al-Dahiyya as well as consolidating a Lebanese Shi’i military and political movement (AMAL, and later Hizbullah) during the Lebanese civil war. Deeb argues that such institution building was “a key step in bringing Shi’i Lebanese out of the margins [and in providing]… structures within which pious Shi’is work toward material and spiritual progress.” One such institution is the jam’iyya, or social welfare organization, where many of the women from Al-Dahiyya volunteer to help those living in poverty, especially children. Volunteering is one of the ways these women battle the perceived takhalluf (backwardness) of poverty in their community, and it is central to their commitment (iltizam) to their authenticated version of Islam. The development of Deeb’s explanation of women’s involvement at the jam’iyyas is a perfect example of the detailed historical context that the author provides for her research. Throughout the book, Deeb pairs her observations and discussions of public piety, authenticated Islam, and the pious modern with ample historical, political, and social context. Also notable in her discussion on the institutionalization of Shi’i Islam in AlDahiyya is the example of the ritual commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, called Ashura. In this section, the author juxtaposes the traditional way of practicing Ashura, as perceived by her interlocutors, with the modern or authenticated version that takes place today. The women considered traditional Ashura commemorations to have several elements, “including latam that draws blood and a focus on grief (expressed in weeping by both sexes) and regret, rather than activism.” Deeb explains that, starting in 1974 around the time Musa al-Sadr became well known in Lebanon, “literacy, education, and urbanization, as well as political mobilization…facilitated the mass participation of Shi’is in discussions about the reforms,” which resulted in a shifting practice of Ashura. Deeb provides a few examples, one of which is particularly
meaningful for the women in Al-Dahiyya: the majalis, or mourning gathering. In this component of Ashura, traditional reciters of Imam Husayn’s death would dwell on details of suffering with a goal of making as many people cry (mostly women) as possible. However, authenticated majilis were instead intended to “teach religious, social, and political lessons, and to elucidate the authenticated meanings of Ashura and link it to the present” rather than to just create a spectacle of weeping women. Similarly, the authenticated masiras (procession) component of the Ashura commemoration has much more participation from women and younger girls in the community. One of the reasons that the authenticated version of majilis is so important to these women is that they consider education and knowledge as a duty (wajib). In order to access the discourses produced by Fadlullah or other marji’, the women need to be able to read the books and sermons produced by the
concluding section on women’s jihad, the author takes all of the examples that illustrate the enchanted modern and maps them onto a gendered system of implementation. Women, she concludes, are not the helpless victims of a repressive Islamic backwardness: they are instead the powerful vehicles of the pious modern. “Women’s jihad,” she states, “describes the way that the work of authenticated Islam is the particular responsibility of pious Shi’i women with regard to the markers of piety they carried and their centrality in signifying modern-ness.” Through their daily actions and interactions (ranging from choosing to wear the hijab to debating the rules of fasting during Ramadan), the women of Al-Dahiyya participate in a discursive, embodied, public and private piety that may subvert or re-affirm opinions within the greater Shi’a community. This participation, argues Deeb, is significant solely for its (now common) existence, rather than its individual conclusions regarding specific issues.
“Pull Quote ”
respected clerics. The high value they place on education is also a driving force for women’s involvement at the jam’iyyas: many of the women, through the interviews included in the book, place an immense importance on educating the orphans or poor children of Al-Dahiyya to ensure the continued practice of authenticated Islam. Deeb does an excellent job of connecting the women’s feelings on community commitment to the larger themes of the book. While nearing the concluding pages, the reader gains an acute understanding of the interconnectedness of historical transitions, embodied piety, discursive piety, and institutionalized shifts that comprise the pious modern in Al-Dahiyya. If Deeb’s discussion up to this point has not already intrigued the reader, the final section of An Enchanted Modern surely remedies this affliction. In her
The research and discussion that I chose to highlight in this review are by no means reflective of the entirety of Lara Deeb’s work. An Enchanted Modern is a book that can be read multiple times and continue to offer valuable historical and contemporary insights into the Shi’i community in Al-Dahiyya. The specificity and detail that Deeb employs in her writing allows the reader to understand how authenticated and modern versions of Shi’i Islam are created and perpetuated in the daily lives of these Lebanese women. I hope that other academics, historians, and researchers will look to Lara Deeb’s example and that they, too, will invite their readers to explore communities that are more than just a measurement on the global continuum between progress and repression.
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Geneva Internship Program - Fall 2012 This Fall, two of our editors here at the IR Review, Abbie Gotter and Jatnna Garcia, travelled to Geneva, Switzerland on a BU Study Abroad Internship Program. Jatnna fondly recalls her time abroad for us.
Photo By Jatnna Garcia, cas ‘14 Jatnna in front of the UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Switzerland is a small, landlocked country located in the center of Western Europe, surrounded by France, Italy, Germany, and Austria. The country is well known for its cheese, chocolate, wine, and watches. Although it is relatively small in size, it has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. The Boston University Study Abroad program is located at the center of the Canton (province) of Geneva, in the French part of Switzerland. Geneva is the home of a large number of international organizations (IOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including one of the four main United Nations Offices, The World Trade Organization and the International Commission of the Red Cross. The city is full of foreigners, diplomats and citizens from all over the world. It is the perfect location for a student studying international relations. The only shortcoming? Geneva is
one of the most expensive European cities, especially for those who do not earn a salary in Swiss Francs (CHF). The BU Geneva Internship Program is divided in two parts: for six weeks, students attend classes at the University of Geneva, and for 8 weeks students partake in an internship and continue their studies with only one class. At first, my schedule was confusing since it was adapted to the availability of professors, who have separate, full-time jobs, and because it takes into consideration the amount of hours required for a normal semester class at BU. Even though I was supposed to have three hours of class each day, there were days when I had six hours of class or no class at all, depending on whether I had one, both or none of my classes. This changes once the internship starts, because the schedule becomes very
consistent. Normally, four days of the week are spent at an internship and one day of the week is spent in class. The internship time varies depending on the organization, but it is usually 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The class for the IR track consists of three hours of lecture in the morning and a field trip to different IOs in the afternoon. What I have learned in class, especially during the internship period, I have been able to apply to the work at my internship. I came to Geneva as a junior at BU, majoring in Linguistics and International Relations, with a concentration on International Systems and World Order. Therefore, Switzerland —with its IOs, NGOs, and diversity of cultures— was the perfect match for me. Even though I took the harder combination of classes for the first portion of the program, because I took the two IR core classes, I was still able to do well academically and enjoy the city. For the internship portion, I was placed at the Honduras Mission to the United Nations. This internship gave me direct access to the UN, its conferences, its formalities, and its adjacent organs. I now have first-hand experience on how a permanent mission works and the role it plays under the UN umbrella. Not only have I been exposed to the different English, Spanish, and French accents —the three (out of the six) official UN languages that I can understand— of the delegations at the UN meetings, but I have also been exposed to their different religions, nationalities, and cultures. So far, I have had the time of my life, and I truly enjoy the work I am doing as an intern. If your interest in international relations lies, like mine, within international systems or multicultural exchange, Geneva is the place for you too.
Staff Editorial: Darkest Before Dawn By Samuel Nota, CAS ‘13
Photo By Maddie Rosenberger, COM ‘14, cas ‘14 The newest recruits for the Israeli military walk the streets of the Old City in Jerusalem.
The Middle East is tumultuous and has become increasingly so over the past two years. Once autonomous rulers were deposed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen in a whirlwind of revolution. Syria is unforgivingly cracking down on civilian protestors and has disrupted telecommunications nationwide, while major demonstrations remain commonplace in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protestors gathered in Tahrir Square recently to express their discontent with declarations by President Mohammed Morsi. Israel, not to be left out, resorted to military force against Gaza with mortar and rocket attacks. Finally, on November 29, 2012, the United Nations approved the de facto recognition of a Palestinian state, all of this to the dismay of the U.S. and Israel. Though this unprecedented chaos has the potential to lead to relative peace in the region, with or without the aid of the West, it is said that it’s always darkest before dawn. Egypt is one of the most distinguished players in the Middle East. During the political overhaul of the Arab Spring, Egyptian youths were the beacon of liberalization in the region. They were fueled not only by the success of fellow Arabs in Tunisia, but also by massive unemployment and skyrocketing food and fuel prices. The movement, led by a modern generation of Egyptians whose only experience with politics came from a dictatorship, was simply not satisfied with the status quo. When the dust finally settled and the first democratic elections brought Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi into power, solutions for political and social unrest seemed imminent. However, as economies around the globe continue to struggle, the young generation has grown restless again. Recently, President Morsi declared that the highest Egyptian court would have zero judicial oversight on the drafting of the
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nation’s new constitution. Morsi claims that this sweeping power is “exceptional” due to the present circumstances and that “all of the people would be represented.” Consequently, the very few minority members in the drafting assembly, the Christians, liberals and moderates, withdrew in protest from the assembly. Only the ultra-conservative Muslim Brotherhood members drafted the constitution, and, like in 2011, the underrepresented took to the streets in protest. It is of utmost importance to note that those that have been repressed and underwhelmed will not stand for authoritarianism again. The same chants that were hurled at Mubarak, “leave, leave,” or “the people want to bring down the regime,” are being directed at Cairo once again. The youth have led a successful movement once before. They know that they are not powerless against an inequitable government. In Egypt’s case, democracy is desired. The United States does not need to deliver this peace, nor does peace need the United States. In fact, the United States had an international relations dilemma during the Arab Spring. Does the nation ambivalently stand for the spreading of democracy around the world no matter what the cost, or does it protect its influence in the region by supporting a long-time dictator? Mubarak’s ousting meant a friendly face, politically speaking, was gone for both the United States and Israel. Egyptian democracy is a frightening for these allies. But if liberalized Egyptian democracy can flourish even without U.S. aid, there is a possibility that those sentiments can spread throughout the region as quickly as the protests did. As Egypt seeks political renewal, the Palestinian people seek a “birth certificate,” as President Mahmoud Abbas said to the United Nations General Assembly. After 8 days of military reaction to trans-border shelling from the Gaza Strip, a historically swift ceasefire to the conflict was negotiated. This was out of character for the Western ally. Israeli forces have a history of following through long-term military operations, especially when they are targeting Hamas, what they consider a terrorist organization. In the ensuing days after the ceasefire, President Abbas went forth to present the case for Palestinian “non-member observer” status in the UN
and proved that timing is everything. The UN General Assembly voted 138-9 in favor of the status change, with the U.S. and Israel the most notable of the “no” votes and 41 countries, including Germany, abstaining. Many European nations made a historic shift toward Palestinian statehood, including France, Denmark, Spain, Norway and Switzerland, but in total the EU seemed unable to reach a consensus on the issue. Most importantly with this new status, though the Palestinian people cannot vote, is a forum that will listen. As the rhetoric from the United States and Israel ranges from “poisonous,”
no longer under Mubarak’s control. This may be what quickened the Israel-Gaza ceasefire. Israel recognizes that Egypt is now an independent power and not just an American sidekick, therefore they will have opinions that may or may not align with Israel’s. Israel is dealing with an evolving political atmosphere in the region and must adjust accordingly to obtain peace. The reality is that Israel and the U.S. may not be able to craft peace talks to their liking, but a realization of current global politics could bring the area together for peace talks. No matter what, the global community will not allow Israel to
The International Relations Review Fall 2012 Volume IV, Issue I Maddie Rosenberger, Editor-in-Chief Sarah Miller, Senior Layout Editor Katrina Trost, Senior Editor Amrita Singh, Senior Editor Fatima Mohie-Eldin, Senior Editor Jason Chappell, Senior Editor Samuel Nota, Copy Editor Olivia Haywood, Copy Editor Ellen Sarkisian, Copy Editor Marissa LaFave, Copy Editor Kateri Donahue, Copy Editor Krystle Lischwe, Copy Editor Shontelle Sanchez, Copy Editor Sophia Qadir, Copy Editor
COM ‘14, CAS ‘14 CAS ‘13 CAS ‘14 CAS ‘14 CAS ‘15 CAS ‘14, COM ‘14 CAS ‘13 CAS ‘14 CAS ‘14 CAS ‘16 CAS ‘15 COM ‘14 CAS ‘16 CAS ‘15
About The IR Review
The International Relations Review, ISSN 2152-738X, is a subsidiary of the Boston University International Affairs Association. The IR Review is an international relations magazine serving the undergraduate students at Boston University. With a circulation of nearly 1,500, the IR Review publishes biannually. Since it was founded in 2009, the IR Review has striven to create a forum for students interested in international affairs. The submissions features in the publication cover a myriad of topics and controversies, including but not limited to globalization, international security, human rights, economic stability and sustainability. A PDF of the current issue, as well as citations and archives, can be viewed online at www.buiaa.org/ir-review.
Photo By Maddie Rosenberger, COM ‘14, cas ‘14 Palestinian youth leans against Israeli police barriers, a common site in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
to “counterproductive and unfortunate,” there is an opportunity for peace. In this instance, the U.S. will not engage in anything to the disadvantage of Israel. Israel is the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) archrival, so most likely the United States will always veto official statehood for the PLO. Israel and the United States are not guaranteed to be the strongest and most influential state actors in the region any more, especially now that Egypt is
be “wiped off the map,” as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. As liberalization, characteristic of younger generations, creeps across the globe, violence and authoritarianism is being tolerated less. The Middle East will continue to evolve regardless of the cooperation of the U.S. and Israel. The dust has not even begun to settle from the events of the last two years, but there should be cautious global optimism.
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This issue’s cover shot by Lauren Zilm, COM ‘13. Taken in Prague, Czech Republic.
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ISSN 2151-738X (Print) ISSN 2151-7398 (Online) Vol. IV, Issue I Since 2009