Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Democracy

Looking beyond disaster

Perhaps one of the most ignored countries in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti found itself back in the spotlight for yet another disaster. While this disaster – a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, the strongest to hit Haiti in over 200 years – was brought on by nature and not the political drama that normally brings Haiti into […]

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What amnesty cannot bury

Transition from military rule to full democracy is never easy and often involves serious questions about accountability. This can involve accountability for past actions, or new questions about how a civilian government can be held accountable to the people. Because of the complicated nature of any transition, some governments opt to take the easy way […]

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West Africa Takes a Stand

African governments are not well known for standing up against fellow leaders who violate the rule of law or commit human rights abuses. Ask most people what they expect from African governments in this area and you are likely not to hear anything positive. The reputation is not entirely undeserved, but is also the result […]

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A Traumatized Nation Set to Redefine its Role in 21st Century

An immediate reflection of this detachment is seen in the absence of a clerical figure leading today’s masses in the streets of Iran and the shrinkage of Mr. Moussavi and Mr. Karrubi into nothing more than symbolic figures with no significant impact on the movement’s direction.

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Human Rights Round Up

With the holidays coming up and getting the 2009 Year in Review together, we have been a bit light on posting. However here are some links to a few of the human rights stories from this past week. Detained in Iran, Russia, and China Last week NPR reported on three human rights stories from Iran, […]

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Copenhagen Should Not Surprise

Everyone seems shocked and discouraged by the outcome in Copenhagen. They shouldn’t be. We must control emissions. So why wasn’t there a deal that made everyone happy? Because that’s the nature of multilateral negotiations, with scores of parties with scores of interests. They are always, always like this, as anyone who has studied them knows: […]

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Elections, Militias, and a Culture of Impunity

Elections are events that always garner attention. Whether its to see how a particular politician will fare, what direction a country may be headed with its policies, or as a barometer of corruption, elections are covered by the world media regardless of where they occur. Unfortunately, there are places where election coverage can only achieve […]

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The Stupak Amendment: Entrenching Barriers to Women's Health Care and Institutionalizing Inequality

The Stupak Amendment: Entrenching Barriers to Women's Health Care and Institutionalizing Inequality

At almost the same time that the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report lamenting the many barriers that women face to accessing health care, the United States Congress threw up another such barrier in the form of the Stupak amendment blocking access to abortion.  Fittingly, the WHO report noted that “The obstacles that stand […]

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The Show Must Go On: Karadzic Trial at the ICTY to Proceed In Absentia

The Show Must Go On: Karadzic Trial at the ICTY to Proceed In Absentia

After over a decade of delay, it seems that Karadzic will be tried in absentia.

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Live From New York: UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Engages in Interactive Dialogue with the UN General Assembly

Live From New York:  UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Engages in Interactive Dialogue with the UN General Assembly

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food’s, Prof. Olivier De Schutter’s, second presentation to the UN General Assembly.  The interactive dialogue that followed Prof. De Schutter’s presentation is an excellent example of how the Special Procedures system of the UN Human Rights Council allows for greater […]

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Race Based Restrictions on Marriage Live on in Louisiana via Justices of the Peace

Race Based Restrictions on Marriage Live on in Louisiana via Justices of the Peace

    While it is no secret that racism lives on in the United States, it was nonetheless shocking news that a justice of the peace in Louisiana had refused to marry an interracial couple because he doesn’t “believe in mixing the races that way.”  Keith Bardwell, the justice of the peace in question, has […]

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Senator Al Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Closes Government-Corporate Loophole

Senator Al Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Closes Government-Corporate Loophole

  In a strange legal loophole, American companies—including those that receive government contracts such as Halliburton—can require their employees to sign contracts waiving their right to bring a civil trial against fellow employees that rape or otherwise sexually assault them. This egregious loophole was first spotlighted when Jamie Leigh Jones, a former contractor for one-time […]

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Eyes on Guinea

Not to pick on West Africa this week, but another human rights drama is currently unfolding in Guinea, where the military opened fire with live rounds into a crowd of 50,000 pro-democracy protesters on Monday.  While the military government claims that only 57 people were killed, mainly due to trampling, local rights groups are placing […]

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Clash of the Titans in Uganda

Uganda has made headlines this past week for violent clashes in the capital city of Kampala over development, property rights, and the traditional Buganda king. The unrest is unusual for Uganda, but highlights growing discontent with the government of Yoweri Museveni. The cause of the clashes was a planned trip by the Buganda king, King […]

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Law-Breaking Trousers in Sudan: Lubna Hussein's Fight Against a Vague, Discriminatory "Indecency" Law

Governments and religions around the world remain intensely interested in what women, but not so much what men, are wearing in public. On September 6, 2009 I wrote about the proposed parliamentary ban on the public wearing of the niqab in France. On September 8, media outlets lit up with discussions of the recent trial […]

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