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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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The Anthropocene

A Critical Exploration

Amelia Moore

The Anthropocene is everywhere in academia. There are Anthropocene journals, Anthropocene courses, Anthropocene conferences, Anthropocene panels, Anthropocene podcasts, and more. It is very safe to say that the Anthropocene is having a moment. But is this just a case of fifteen minutes of fame, name recognition, and bandwagon style publishing? The authors in this issue of ARES think not, and we would like to help lend a critical sensibility to the anthropological consideration of the concept and its dissemination.

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Less Than One But More Than Many

Anthropocene as Science Fiction and Scholarship-in-the-Making

Heather Anne Swanson, Nils Bubandt, and Anna Tsing

How might one responsibly review a field just coming into being—such as that provoked by the term Anthropocene? In this article, we argue for two strategies. First, working from the premise that the Anthropocene field is best understood within its emergence, we review conferences rather than publications. In conference performances, we glimpse the themes and tensions of a field-to-come. Second, we interpret Anthropocene as a science-fiction concept, that is, one that pulls us out of familiar space and time to view our predicaments differently. This allows us to explore emergent figurations, genres, and practices for the transdisciplinary study of real and imagined worlds framed by human disturbance. In the interplay and variation across modes for constructing this field, Anthropocene scholarship finds its shape.

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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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Jens Martens

Kapuscinski Development Lecture/Keynote Address of the 2014 Conference of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) University of Helsinki, Finland, 29 October 2014.

“Post-2015” is the “flavor of the day”; it is currently right in the center of the development discourse. The United Nations, governments, civil society organizations, researchers, and even business people are currently discussing what will come aft er the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As you all know, the reference period for the MDGs will expire in 2015, and this is the reason why the world community is now engaged in the task of formulating an agenda for the following period. But this Post-2015 Agenda can and must be much more than just an updated list of MDGs.

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Introduction to the Leadership Forum

2015: A decisive year for development?

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) mean many things to many people. Public debates have recognized the critical role they played in helping the topic of development, the related struggle against poverty and its environmental implications to emerge in the collective consciousness of global actors. In fact, diminishing the number of people living in extreme poverty by half, the main priority of the MDGs, is the most notable success of this political process that began with the Millennium Development Summit in 2000. At the same time, the MDGs have been heavily criticized by leaders and academics for being indicator-driven and, in some cases, unrealistic. It still seems that five of the eight MDGs will not be met before the goals expire in 2015.

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Gibran Cervantes

*Full article is in Spanish

Mi nombre es Gibran Cervantes, soy padre de tres hermosas niñas, empresario, músico de profesión y un apasionado en temas de conservación de la naturaleza. Hace 15 años después de perder la estabilidad de mi salud a raíz de un accidente, decidí reorientar el rumbo de mi vida para comenzar a formarme a nivel profesional de manera independiente, fuera de las instituciones, ya que mi manera de aprender no se ajustaba a las estructuras educativas convencionales y no despertaron gran interés en mí en ese entonces. Por otra parte, mi estado físico no me permitía asistir con regularidad a la universidad. De este modo decidí comenzar un viaje de reconstrucción. Gracias al apoyo de amigos y de colegas pude desarrollarme en distintas áreas y entendí la manera en que debía articular distintas disciplinas para lograr la integración de un proyecto polifacético, el cual hoy con gusto quiero compartirles.

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Els van Dongen and Hong Liu

What is the added value of investigating the contested concept of “sustainability” in tandem with the geographical marker of “Asia” in today’s world? To answer this question, we need to return to the formulation of the problematique of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” several decades ago. The Our Common Future report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED)—also known as the Brundtland Commission—put forward the most commonly recognized and most frequently used definition of “sustainable development” (SD) in 1987.1 Development could be made sustainable, so the report stated, “to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987: 15). The report further proclaimed that there were limits to development, but that improvements in technology and social development could “make way for a new era of economic growth” (ibid.).

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Evangelina Arce

*Full article is in Spanish

En octubre 2013, la Asociación de Latinoamericanistas en Bélgica y Luxemburgo (LABEL) organizó su conferencia internacional anual sobre “Seguridad Humana y Medioambiental en regiones transfronterizas: Aproximaciones multidisciplinarias para América Latina”. Dentro de un contexto de diálogo académico y social en temas de seguridad humana, los organizadores de la conferencia invitaron a la Señora Evangelina Arce y al Profesor Alfredo Limas Hernández para discutir sobre el tema de las mujeres desaparecidas en la Ciudad Juárez (México). LABEL agradece a la Señora Arce por compartir sus experiencias y al Profesor Limas Hernández por brindar su análisis. Dentro de este contexto de diálogo académico previamente mencionado, los organizadores de la conferencia de la Universidad de Luxemburgo están complacidos de publicar estos escritos en Regions & Cohesion.