Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: human rights

Competing Rights: The GMO Debate

Competing Rights: The GMO Debate

The question of whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are helpful or harmful has persisted since the 1970s, but reached no solid conclusion. As the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear oral arguments on Tuesday, February 19 in Bowman v. Monsanto Co. that will have far-reaching implications for the GMO debate: whether self-replicating technologies can […]

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What Role for Europe in Asia?

What Role for Europe in Asia?

  “In particular, I strongly believe that Europe should join the United States in increasing and deepening our defense engagement with the Asia-Pacific region.” These words are from outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in his final overseas address to an audience at King’s College, London, delivered on January 18. This raises the question: […]

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U.N. Secretary-General Report Recommends Coordination over Integration in Somalia

U.N. Secretary-General Report Recommends Coordination over Integration in Somalia

As the U.N. Security Council is determining what future role it should play in Somalia based on the recent report of the Secretary-General, the major developments of the political track of the United Nations approach are overshadowed by the security and humanitarian developments during the previous four months. These conditions support the report’s conclusion that […]

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Tough Talk, No Strategy? Increasing role of sanctions in EU Foreign Policy

Tough Talk, No Strategy? Increasing role of sanctions in EU Foreign Policy

As the EU is dragged into coping with the ongoing financial crisis, there has been a lively discussion what will be the consequences on the EU’s foreign policy in the long-term forecast. Most of the arguments deal with a question of how the nature of the EU Crisis Management will change in the upcoming years, as EU […]

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A Break in Eritrea’s Controlled Calm

A Break in Eritrea’s Controlled Calm

Understandably, most of the U.S. was preoccupied with Barack Obama’s second inauguration yesterday. However in the midst of the celebrations of yet another peaceful transfer of power in the U.S., word began to trickle out of an attempted coup in Eritrea. It appears that the attempt, led by a group of military mutineers at the […]

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When People Vanish

When People Vanish

Do you remember the term “disappeared” from the Cold War days? It was a common phenomenon in countries with a less than stellar record on human rights and democracy in the second half of the 20th century. Many people — sometimes outspoken critics of the government, sometimes not — would simply vanish. One day they’d […]

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EU Kicks Off a New Fund to Help Oppressed

EU Kicks Off a New Fund to Help Oppressed

Pro-democracy and human rights movements beyond the EU borders will have a new access to grants from a budget of the newly established European Endowment for Democracy (EED). However, even though The Board of Governors of the EED held its meeting in Brussels on 9 January 2013, which also marks its official launch, the future […]

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The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon

The year 2012 was for Beijing a year to display its dragon-like qualities of authority, dignity, and honor. The dragon is also the symbol of the emperor, so it may have been auspicious for a new leader to be chosen during November’s meeting of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. While […]

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Human Rights 2012: Year in Review

Human Rights 2012: Year in Review

The year 2012 witnessed leaps of progress in human rights protections internationally, many in fields or subjects that tend to fly under the radar or appear tertiary to traditional human rights concerns. At the same time, these developments tend to be more intangible than the creation of hard law or clear, ground level victories for […]

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Ghana’s 2012 Elections: Thievery or Error?

Ghana’s 2012 Elections: Thievery or Error?

The 2008 presidential election in Ghana was regarded as a shining example of a vibrant democratic process. In a typical multi-party system where two parties enjoy the lion’s share of support, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) both earned nearly 50% of the votes cast, but neither won an outright […]

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Sketches of Iran: Putting a Human Face to Human Rights Crisis in Iran

  In spite of international hype about Iran, the country’s real stories remain underreported. When it comes to struggles against human rights, for instance, we only hear about the noble work of Iranian activists, lawyers, journalists when they are imprisoned, on hunger strike, exiled or seen in mass protests such as the Green Movement of […]

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At Sea for the Holidays

At Sea for the Holidays

During the annual shopping rush of the winter holiday season it is easy to neglect to think and ask where the majority of the conveniences we are afforded in shops and online come from and how it all gets here. Our cars, computers and electronic gadgets, clothing, toys, much of our specialty foods, and so […]

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U.S. Counters Rising Tide of Internet Censorship

U.S. Counters Rising Tide of Internet Censorship

As rebel forces advance in Syria’s north and east and prepare to contest regime forces for control of Damascus, the internet went dark in Syria last week. The strategic importance of cutting communication lines is obvious and it suggests a certain desperation on the part of Assad’s government. While much of the discussion about U.S. […]

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European Endowment for Democracy: What is on the menu?

European Endowment for Democracy: What is on the menu?

The socio-political development of the Arab Spring has been a real wake-up call for the EU’s policy-makers. Rapid changes in the South Mediterranean once again pointed the finger at the EU’s inability to act swiftly, decisively and audaciously to the events unfolding beyond the EU’s southern borders. Numerous policy changes have recently occurred in the […]

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The African Commission Takes on SADC

The African Commission Takes on SADC

One of the classic debates within the development field is the interplay between rights and economic prosperity. On one side of the debate are those who argue that development should come first, even if it is at the cost of civil and political rights of the population. On the other side are those arguing that […]

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