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Rethinking the Anthropology of Violence for the Twenty-First Century

From Practice to Mediation

Antonius C. G. M. Robben

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Sociology in the Garden

Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology

Nissim Mizrachi

ABSTRACT

This article poses a simple question: why do marginalized Mizrahim, a group most likely to benefit from liberal justice and human rights, so vehemently and repeatedly reject the liberal message? To address this question, we shift the direction of inquiry from problems in the message’s transmission or reception to the message itself. By doing so, we seek to go beyond the ‘liberal grammar’ shared by most social activists and critical sociologists. The insight emerging from this theoretical turn is that the politics of universalism, rooted in the liberal grammar of human rights and viewed from the liberal standpoint as a key to social emancipation, is experienced by the target population as a heartless betrayal and a grave identity threat. This article offers the initial outline for a new interpretive space and seeks to surpass both the limits of the Israeli case and those of the liberal grammar of contemporary critical sociology.

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A World Family Portrait

A celebration of humanity’s place in the world

RISC Consortium

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Editors' Note

This issue of Israel Studies Review examines a variety of issues and topics using some new lenses that we hope will provide novel perspectives. We begin with Mitchell Cohen’s essay on Labor Zionism, looking back on its 30-year hegemony another 30 years on. Cohen identifies some of the decisions and trends that were undermining the democratic socialist underpinnings of Labor well before it lost power, and how historians and others have understood them.

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The global post-2015 sustainable development debate

What can regions offer?

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

Volume five of Regions & Cohesion has focused significant attention on the subject of regional development. It has done so because 2015 is such an important year in relation to development debates given the definition of the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda in the United Nations and the official declaration of 2015 as the European Union Year for Development. The introduction to the Leadership Forum of the Spring 2015 issue included important reflections on the theme of “transformative development.” The introduction openly asked whether 2015 could be a decisive year for the global development agenda or whether it will be remembered for global summitry, international declarations and little more.

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Policy innovation, regional integration and sustainable democracy-building

The Millennium Development Goals as challenges and vehicles?

Cristina Blanco Sío-López

English abstract: This Special Issue aims to interconnect policy innovation, regional integration and sustainable democracy building with a view to providing socio-politically empowering insights in the midst of an acute global crisis of self-definition. It also aspires to contribute to a clearer elucidation of how to regionally respond to intertwined multilevel challenges and to search for alternative systemic paradigms in a context marked by an increasing combination of questioning and resilience. Furthermore, it focuses on the case study of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as both challenges and vehicles to achieve a fruitful retroactive cycle between a growingly interdependent set of determinant variables: socially thoughtful policy innovation mechanisms at the global level; the socioeconomic cohesion-enhancing potentialities of regional integration experiences; the evolution and outcomes of transitional politics in post-conflict states; a positive intertwining of new approaches to diplomacy and to development policy and the quality of democratic global governance.

Spanish abstract: Este número monográfico tiene como objetivo la interconexión de las dimensiones complementarias de investigación y de implementación de la innovación política, la integración regional y la construcción democrática sostenible con el fin de proporcionar ideas de hondo calado sociopolítico que permitan hacer frente a una aguda crisis de autodefinición. En este sentido, aspira también a contribuir a una elucidación más clara sobre los modos de responder regionalmente a desafíos interdependientes y a múltiples niveles y sobre la búsqueda de paradigmas sistémicos alternativos en un contexto marcado por una creciente combinación de cuestionamiento y resistencia. Por otra parte, se centra también en el caso de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM) como desafíos y vehículos para lograr un enriquecedor ciclo retroactivo entre un conjunto crecientemente interdependiente de variables fundamentales: mecanismos de innovación en política social a nivel mundial; la cohesión socioeconómica como herramienta para profundizar y desarrollar experiencias de integración regional; la evolución y resultados de la política de transición a la democracia en estados post-conflicto; una interacción positiva de nuevos enfoques a nivel de diplomacia pública y de políticas de desarrollo y, por último pero no menos importante, la calidad de la gobernanza global democrática. En efecto, tal enfoque combinado espera ser útil para ilustrar el hecho de que los ODM no han de ser vistos como un conjunto de indicadores parciales, sino como objetivos profundamente interconectados y capaces de reforzarse mutuamente.

French abstract: Ce numéro spécial vise à interconnecter l'innovation politique, l'intégration régionale et le renforcement de la démocratie durable en vue de fournir des idées pour une autonomisation sociopolitique dans un moment de crise aiguë d'autodéfinition. À cet égard, il aspire à apporter des éclaircissements pour répondre régionalement à des défis multiniveaux et à proposer des paradigmes systémiques alternatifs dans un contexte marqué par une combinaison accrue du questionnement et de la résilience. De plus, il met également l'accent sur l'étude des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) — à la fois comme des défis et comme des véhicules — pour obtenir un cycle rétroactif fructueux entre un ensemble de variables de plus en plus interdépendantes : les mécanismes d'innovation politique socialement projetés à l'échelle mondiale ; les potentialités améliorées de cohésion socio-économique pour développer les expériences d'intégration régionale ; l'évolution et les résultats de la transition politique dans les pays post-conflit ; un entrelacement positif de nouvelles approches en matière diplomatique et de politique de développement et, finalement, la qualité de la gouvernance mondiale démocratique. En effet, une telle approche combinée aspire à être utile pour illustrer le fait que les OMD ne devraient pas être considérés comme une collection d'indicateurs distincts, mais comme des objectifs profondément interconnectés et susceptibles de se renforcer mutuellement.

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The protection of the sea as a cooperation area case in the Baltic Sea region

Tiziana Melchiorre

English abstract: This article investigates how the geopolitical interests of states in the Baltic Sea region have determined the emergence and the development of environmental cooperation around the Baltic Sea since the late 1970s. It is shown that the Nordic and the Baltic countries have played a key role in this process and that other actors such as the European Union and the United States, also influence environmental cooperation because their geopolitical interests contribute to shape the cooperative links in the region. The United Nations with its legislation and its policies reinforces cooperation in the field. It is also argued that the case of environment around the Baltic Sea is one of the rare successful attempts to establish closer links among states in a particular issue area during the Cold War in Europe.

Spanish abstract: Este artículo investiga cómo los intereses geopolíticos de los estados de la región del Mar Báltico han determinado la aparición y el desarrollo de la cooperación medioambiental en torno al Mar Báltico desde finales de la década de los setenta. El artículo muestra que tanto los países nórdicos como los países bálticos han jugado un papel clave en este proceso, así como otros actores, entre ellos la Unión Europea y los Estados Unidos, los cuales han influido también en esta cooperación ambiental debido a que sus intereses geopolíticos contribuyeron a dar forma a los vínculos de cooperación en la región. Las Naciones Unidas, a través de su legislación y sus políticas, refuerzan la cooperación en este campo. También se argumenta que el caso de la cooperación medioambiental en el Mar Báltico es uno de los pocos intentos exitosos para establecer relaciones más estrechas entre los estados en un área particular durante la Guerra Fría en Europa.

French abstract: L'article analyse la naissance et le développement de la coopération dans le domaine de l'environnement sous l'influence des intérêts géopolitiques des États dans la région de la Mer Baltique à partir des années 1970. Les pays nordiques et le pays baltes ont joué un rôle fondamental dans ce processus ainsi que l'UE et les États-Unis dont les intérêts géopolitiques contribuent à former la coopération régionale. Les Nations Unies renforcent la coopération dans ce domaine grâce à leur législation et à leurs politiques. Ce cas de coopération dans le domaine de l'environnement constitue une des rares tentatives réussies pour établir des liens étroits entre les États durant la période de la Guerre Froide en Europe.

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World Family Portrait

A celebration of humanity's place in the world

RISC Consortium

In 2014, the Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) Consortium launched an ongoing interactive initiative entitled A World Family Portrait. This call for contributions invites scholars, practitioners, journalists, photographers, and so forth, to submit written and photographic contributions in English, French or Spanish that provoke a contemporary reflection on the human condition through the presentation and analysis of life challenges and opportunities. The goal of these publications is not simply to document world events/social conditions but also to engage readers through photography and prose in a dialogue focusing on the evolution of our world and humanity’s place in it.

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Battle of ideas, delivery of justice

How Justice Rapid Response contributes to the “project of International Criminal Justice”

Marja Lehto

Justice Rapid Response (JRR) is an intergovernmental mechanism that is designed to support and complement the international community’s efforts to ensure accountability for the most serious international crimes. It has grown out of the recognition, some ten years ago, that for all the talk of ending impunity for mass atrocities, the tools to come anywhere near this worthy goal were largely insufficient, and this in spite of the many political successes of the “project of international criminal justice.”

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Editorial

Erella Grassiani, Alexander Horstmann, Lotte Buch Segal, Ronald Stade, and Henrik Vigh

Violence, defined as the intentional inflicting of injury and damage, seems to always have been a fact of human life. Whether in the shape of raids, ambushes, wars, massacres, genocides, insurgences, terrorism, or gang assaults, socially organized violence, that is, human groups orchestrating and committing violent acts, has been a steady companion of human life through the ages. The human quest to make sense of violence is probably as old as violence itself. Academic conflict research both continues and advances this quest. As long as wars were waged between nations, the research on armed conflicts focused on international relations and great power politics. This paradigm was kept alive even when the asymmetrical warfare of decolonization spread across the world, because by then the frame of analysis was the binary system of the Cold War and regional conflicts were classifi ed as proxy wars. After the end of the Cold War, the academic interest in forms of organized violence other than international conflict became more general in the social sciences, not least in anthropology, a discipline whose long-standing research interest in violent conflict previously had been directed almost exclusively towards “tribal warfare.” But, following their research tradition, anthropologists also began to conduct field studies in contemporary war zones and other violent settings.