Civil Paths to Peace contains the analyses and findings of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, established in response to the 2005 request of Commonwealth Head of Government for the Commonwealth Secretary-General to 'explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth.' This report focuses particularly on the issues of terrorism, extremism, conflict and violence, which are much in ascendancy and afflict Commonwealth countries as well as the rest of the world. It argues that cultivating respect and understanding is both important in itself and consequential in reducing violence and terrorism. It further argues that cultivated violence is generated through fomenting disrespect and fostering confrontational misunderstandings. The report looks at the mechanisms through which violence is cultivated through advocacy and recruitment, and the pre-existing inequalities, deprivations and humiliations on which those advocacies draw. These diagnoses also clear the way for methods of countering disaffection and violence. In various chapters the different connections are explored and examined to yield general policy recommendations. Accepting diversity, respecting all human beings, and understanding the richness of perspectives that people have are of great relevance for all Commonwealth countries, and for its 1.8 billion people. They are also importance for the rest of the world. The civil paths to peace are presented here for use both inside the Commonwealth and beyond its boundaries. The Commonwealth has survived and flourished, despite the hostilities associated with past colonial history, through the use of a number of far-sighted guiding principles. The Commission argues that those principles have continuing relevance today for the future of the Commonwealth--and also for the world at large.
Attempts to introduce democracy in the wake of civil war face a critical problem: how can war-torn societies move towards peace and democracy when competitive politics and hard-fought elections exacerbate social and political conflict? Through a study of six themes (peacekeeping, management of violence, power sharing, political party transformation, elections, civil society and international reactions to democratization crises) this volume considers the dilemmas that arise in pursuing peace after civil war through processes of democratization. The contributors' research highlights the complex relationship between democratization, which is competitive, and peacebuilding or efforts to achieve reconciliation. The book offers insights into more effective action in peacebuilding in light of the short-term negative effects that democratization can introduce. It is a thought-provoking work that seeks both to advance theory and to provide policy-relevant findings to facilitate more effective and durable transitions from war to democracy.
This book is the outcome of a conference on common security and civil society in Africa. The contributions seek to go beyond the "war of images" to imagine a different and more secure future. They are concerned with five different themes: economic and social change; prevention of violent conflicts; the causes of conflict; political security, and the international politics of development partnership.
This volume is devoted to critically exploring the past, present and future relevance of international law to the priorities of the countries, peoples and regions of the South. Within the limits of space it has tried to be comprehensive in scope and representative in perspective and participation. The contributions are grouped into three clusters to give some sense of coherence to the overall theme: articles by Baxi, Anghie, Falk, Stevens and Rajagopal on general issues bearing on the interplay between international law and world order; articles highlighting regional experience by An-Na’im, Okafor, Obregon and Shalakany; and articles on substantive perspectives by Mgbeoji, Nesiah, Said, Elver, King-Irani, Chinkin, Charlesworth and Gathii. This collective effort gives an illuminating account of the unifying themes, while at the same time exhibiting the wide diversity of concerns and approaches.
A leading voice in struggles for global justice, Vandana Shiva is a world renowned environmental activist and physicist. With Earth Democracy, her most extensive treatment of the struggles she helped bring to international attention-genetic food engineering, cultural theft, and natural resource privatization-Shiva uncovers their link to the rising tide of fundamentalisms, violence against women, and planetary death.Starting in the 16th century with the initial enclosure of the British commons, Shiva reveals how the commons continue to shrink as more natural resources are patented and privatized. As our ecological sustainability and cultural diversity erode, so too is human life rendered disposable. Through the forces of neoliberal globalization, economic and social exclusion ignite violence across lines of difference, threatening the lives of millions.Yet these brutal extinctions are not the only trend shaping human history. Struggles on the streets of Seattle and Cancún and in homes and farms across the world, have yielded a set of principles based on inclusion, nonviolence, reclaiming the commons, and freely sharing the earth's resources. These ideals, which Shiva calls Earth Democracy, serve as an urgent call to peace and as the basis for a just and sustainable future.
Voluntary associations have been presented as a solution to political apathy and cynicism towards representative democracy. The authors collected in this volume, however, argue that these claims require more robust substantiation and seek to critically examine the crucial link between the associative sector and the health of democracy. Focusing on the role of context and using diverse approaches and empirical material, they explore whether these associations in differing socio-political contexts actually undermine rather than reinvigorate democracy.
In Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, central governments historically pursued mono-nationalist ideologies and repressed Kurdish identity. As evidenced by much unrest and a great many Kurdish revolts in all these states since the 1920s, however, the Kurds manifested strong resistance towards ethnic chauvinism. What sorts of authoritarian state policies have Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria relied on to contain the Kurds over the years? Can meaningful democratization and liberalization in any of these states occur without a fundamental change vis-à-vis their Kurdish minorities? To what extent does the Kurdish issue function as both a barrier and key to democratization in four of the most important states of the Middle East? While many commentators on the Middle East stress the importance of resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute for achieving 'peace in the Middle East,' this book asks whether or not the often overlooked Kurdish issue may constitute a more important fulcrum for change in the region, especially in light of the 'Arab Spring' and recent changes in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.
This unique comparative study examines minority representation and powersharing in Canada, Kenya, South Africa, Fiji, India, Malaysia, and Yugoslavia. Presenting a new concept of the 'consociational party', Bogaards explores how diversity differs within parties and why it matters for social peace and democracy.
NGOs have become one of the main instruments in building peace, especially as UN sanctioned peacekeeping missions begin to streamline or withdraw from countries and bilateral peacekeeping sponsored by powerful states. During the last three decades, the UN has relied more and more on NGOs and sub-contractors in peacebuilding. The greater the number of multidimensional challenges and dilemmas that emerge for these NGOs, the more are the sponsoring governments and intergovernmental organizations and host states directly affected by these transitional efforts. Henry F. Carey analyzes the difficult choices, consequences and lessons learned from the UN and foreign governments commissioning NGOs and other subcontractors working on six peacebuilding policy goals: reconciliation, security, human rights, the rule of law, foreign aid, and election monitoring. The study examines the effects of the UN and powerful states increasingly relying on NGO peacebuilding in diverse cases like Bosnia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, the Philippines, Chechnya, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.