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Peace, crisis and conflict

What are the key questions related to diplomacy and foreign policy?
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Study of selected Fredskorpset exchange projects

The present study examines nine Fredskorpset exchange projects, in order to assess the degree to which the goals specified have been reached. The basis for the exchanges is the partnerships established between institutions in Norway and counterpart entities in the South. The projects studied encompass a wide variety of such partnerships, illustrating the flexible and innovative attitude that Fredskorpset has shown during its first two years of operation. By basing its work on such partnerships, Fredskorpset has avoided some of the weaknesses of traditional volunteer programs. In terms of achievements, there are variations among the projects. While individual learning of participants was strong in all cases, the degree to which institutional benefits were achieved varied. Well-matched partners with sufficiently strong institutional structures; thorough planning of exchanges; and participants selected in accordance with well-defined needs for professional skills were seen to be important factors for successful projects.

  • Peace operations
  • Peace operations
Publications
Publications
Report

How the Axis of Evil Metaphor Changes Iranian Images of the USA

The respondents feared an American attack, and regarded their membership in «the Axis of Evil» as a stab in the back after Iranian help in Afghanistan. This demonisation was seen overwhelmingly in terms of American geopolitical designs, ignorance and downright irrationality – an expansionist superpower that is dangerously out of control. The WTC attack initially caused a strengthening of Iranian national unity and a more coherent foreign policy, but most of the respondents regard «the Axis of Evil» as killing the nascent dialogue with the USA stone dead and coming as a godsend to the conservatives and the ultras.

  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Conflict
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Conflict
Publications
Publications
Report

Defusing a Ticking Bomb? : Disentangling International Organisations in Samtskhe-Javakheti

This article examines how various organisations divide and coordinate their conflict prevention and development aid in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of southern Georgia, and how that coordination might be improved. There have been numerous early warnings of impending violent conflict and calls for conflict prevention in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Counter-claims have, however, been asserted that the region’s problem is in fact not one of potential violent ethnic conflict, but rather one of poverty and peripherality, and that exaggerated, uncoordinated early warning might in fact inflate conflicts that were not initially acute. At one point it seemed that the Samtskhe-Javakheti case would provide an example of uncoordinated and one-sided focus on conflict prevention and early warning on the part of international organisations, and its potentially detrimental consequences. An overview of the activities of the organisations, however, shows the contrary. A critical, sensitive and deconstructive perspective is already incorporated into their approach, and their activities are well coordinated. More formalised institutions are nonetheless needed to ensure the inclusion of large multilateral actors such as the World Bank and Council of Europe in the process, and consistent coordination in other regions too.

  • Conflict
  • Conflict
Publications
Publications
Report

Nuclear Dimensions of the Iraqi Crisis

  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Conflict
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Conflict
Publications
Publications
Report

Creating Security through Immigration Control: An analysis of European immigration discourse and the development towards a common EU asylum and imm...

The purpose of this report is to discuss the extent to which immigration has come to be perceived as a security threat by European Union (EU) policy makers. The manner in which immigration issues are presented by policy makers at the European level is assumed to have substantive implications for the choice of instruments in the area. A second purpose is therefore to discuss the extent to which the development towards a common EU asylum and immigration policy can be interpreted as security policy strategy. Increased immigration during the last few decades has coincided with increasing unemployment and economic restructuring in Western Europe. The issue of immigration became increasingly sensitive in the late 1980s after the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, when a tide of illegal immigrants was expected to inundate the West. Today, images of ships loaded with refugees off the shores of Italy, or of trucks filled with illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel, have become disturbing, but no longer rare features of European newspaper headlines. The impression is that of Europe being ‘swamped’, and unable to deal with the hordes of people standing outside its gates wanting in.Since the aim of this report is to examine the change that has taken place in European perspectives on immigration, a study of political discourse will enable us to deconstruct a number of justificatory domains, which are supported by the members of the European policy community. The main hypothesis is that security considerations are clearly reflected in the establishment and development of asylum and immigration instruments following the Amsterdam programme. Another hypothesis is that the framing of immigration as a security threat has legitimised the introduction of objectives and instruments that have their origin in security policy. This is notably to be seen in the accession agreements with the Central and Eastern European applicant countries, as well in the so-called ‘partnership-agreements’ with immigrant countries of origin and transit. Having established the broader aim of this report, I propose two main and inter linked questions as the framework for the analysis: First: To what extent has the issue of asylum and immigration come to be seen as a security threat, and thus as a security matter at the EU level? Second: To what extent is the above question reflected in the objectives and instruments of the common EU asylum and immigration policy? Can the development towards a common EU asylum and immigration policy be called a security policy strategy?

  • Europe
  • Humanitarian issues
  • The EU
  • Europe
  • Humanitarian issues
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Report

Strengthening Cooperative Threat Reduction with Russia : The Norwegian Experience

Many nuclear safety and security challenges remain in Northwest Russia. Years of international cooperation – and substantial funding – are required to deal with the legacy of the extensive nuclear activities of the Cold War. Among the more urgent projects that call for international attention are the safe dismantling of nuclear attack submarines and clean-up at naval storage facilities, e.g. at Andreeva Bay. For nearly a decade, Norway and other countries have been working cooperatively with Russia to improve the situation. While important progress has been made, much of the foreign support has come with some hard-learned experiences. However, the dialog established, the cooperative framework institutionalized, and today’s understanding of the respective concerns, priorities, and practices of the actors involved should create a sound basis for new rounds of cooperative and concerted efforts to limit the persistent nuclear security and safety risks in the region. In this report, past and ongoing activities for remedial actions in Northwest Russia are assessed, and suggestions for continued and improved cooperation are presented. The survey has been conducted as part of the Norwegian contribution to the international research consortium on «Strengthening the Global Partnership: Protecting Against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons».

  • Russia and Eurasia
  • Conflict
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • Conflict
Publications
Publications
Report

French, UK, and US Policies to Support Peacekeeping in Africa: Current Status and Future Prospects

In May 1997, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced their joint “P-3 Initiative”, to harmonize their peacekeeping capacity-building programs in Africa and foster an open dialogue between donors and recipients. The capacity-building programs of France, the UK and the US have since undergone numerous transformations. The centerpiece of French policy, the Renforcement des capacités Africaines de maintien de la paix (RECAMP) has had comparatively few changes to its basic structure, but has been scaled down. The UK African Peacekeeping Training Support Programme has given way to a much larger and more ambitious initiative. The US African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) has evolved significantly and will undergo a more fundamental change in 2002, including shedding its name. Moreover, Washington initiated a new capacity-building policy in 2001, which dwarfed ACRI in terms of resources and introduced the provision of lethal equipment. In November 2001, the “P-3” met in London to assess their programs. They could take satisfaction that progress had been made on a number of levels. Much more importantly, however, the three partners have created little in the way of synergy. A question that cuts to the core of the capacitybuilding programs is: Does the training or equipment offered make African recipients any more willing or able to undertake peacekeeping on their continent? The answer is far from clear. As for the enhanced capacity, much of what is being offered is of questionable value. To some extent, France, the UK, and the US have acknowledged some of their own programs’ limitations, and they are attempting to redress these weaknesses. Government officials are now much more receptive to criticism and suggestions for change.

  • Peace operations
  • Peace operations
Publications
Publications
Report

Elite perceptions of ethical problems facing the Western oil industry in Iran

The hybrid of democratic and theocratic institutions of revolutionary Iran is now over twenty years old, and is undergoing challenge. An elected president with popular legitimacy but no control of the means of coercion is endeavouring to open up and liberalise, but is being opposed by the conservatives with theocratic vetoes, newspaper closures and street violence. Part One of this report looks at the diarchy of President Khatami and Supreme Leader Khamenei, their legitimacies, their ‘minimalist’ strategies, and their common interest in restraining their wilder supporters from provoking chaos or civil war. The report then considers the elements of ‘civil society’ resulting from deep structural change in Iran: demography and education, the role of women and the free press. Finally, this part considers the journalistic comparison of Khatami with Gorbachev, and finds that although both are/were attempting limited reform of a faltering system of which they were themselves a part, no Iranian Yeltsin has yet emerged. Part Two of the report is the results of in-depth interviews with 14 prominent reformers. They are optimistic about the prospects for long-term change; all the conservatives can do is postpone change or perpetrate a bloodbath, they cannot put the clock back. Our sample tended to consider the oil companies a bad influence. However, they made a sharp distinction between American companies, which they thought more ethical and transparent, and the secretive European, Arab and Japanese companies. Asked what the oil companies should do to promote democratic developement, the interviewees emphasised transparency above all.

  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Energy
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Energy
Publications
Publications
Report

Keeping the peace together? Joint Russian-Western peace operations in the Commonwealth of Independent States

The purpose of this report is to discuss the conditions for future multinational peace operations in the Commonwealth of Independent States, including both Russian and Western forces. The aim and scope of this study are based on a positive attitude to challenges in general, in other words, a will to see opportunities and solutions instead of obstacles and insolvable problems. Problem: What are the possible options for multinational peace operations including Russian and Western forces in the Commonwealth of Independent States? I will focus on investigating possibilities for CPOs in the CIS area. Content: The report will consist of an initial discussion focusing on various Russian approaches that influence thinking on combined peace operations. The focus on Russia is an inevitable consequence of my West/NATO origin, but in order to give a more balanced view of the problem it will also be necessary to look at some other factors influencing this potential co-operation. Further, I will discuss three generic options for combined peace operations in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The main goal of this study is a detailed discussion of various possible scenarios for future Russian-Western co-operation in the field of peace-keeping on the territory of the former Soviet Union. In order to place the topic in a proper context the author takes a closer look at various political, mental, historical and not least purely technical determinants limiting the potential scope of the joint peace-keeping. The study contains a detailed analysis of international (UN), Western (NATO, Canada) and Russian peace-keeping terminology. It also discusses the importance and relevance of various international frameworks determining the field, the scope and the geographical dimension of the potential Russian-Western co-operation, as well as the practical experience from the joint peace-keeping missions in the former Yugoslavia. The study gives a good insight in the history and practice of joint Russian-Western peacekeeping efforts. It also outlines and analyses various practical and political challenges linked with development of this relatively new and still challenging field of co-operation between Russia and the West. As such, it is relevant for both theoreticians of peace-keeping and for those who work with peace-keeping in the field.

  • Russia and Eurasia
  • Peace operations
  • The EU
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • Peace operations
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Report

Justice and cultural diversity in Guatemala : an analysis of the rights of ethnic groups in Guatemala based on two liberal approaches to justice in...

The report is a revised version of the author's thesis by the same title.

  • South and Central America
  • Humanitarian issues
  • South and Central America
  • Humanitarian issues
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