There is an emerging hierarchical order in the Middle East that is both unstable and is also a source of instability. In the current regional setting, the inherent instability of this order is the result of a confluence of four mutually reinforcing developments. First, the global context has entailed a steady departure, or weakening, of the United States as an active interested power in the Middle East, opening up space among local aspirants for regional hegemony. A second factor is the competition among regional powers not only for the expansion of regional influence but also their power and position in the larger global order. Israel and Saudi Arabia seek to maintain the global status quo, while Turkey and Iran perceive of themselves as counter-hegemonic powers and seek to undermine the Western-engineered global order and hierarchy. Third, while some regional middle powers are more pragmatic in their foreign policy choices (i.e. “pragmatic” middle powers), some form alliances on the bases of ideological or identity affinity (i.e. “allied” middle powers), further deepening and prolonging tensions. Fourth and finally, the collapse of central authority in several Arab states following the 2011 uprisings—in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen—has provided the perfect opportunity for the regional powers, and even some of the secondary regional states, to expand their influence through local proxies and non-state actors. The combined features of the regional order in the Middle East are likely to inhere instability and tensions for the foreseeable future.
Social media has concurrently unified and fractured the Palestinian people. It has facilitated international condemnation of Israeli occupation but also has fueled violence and sectarian conflict. Pro-Palestinian activists continue to pursue Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) efforts and work with Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) professionals to further develop an Internet-based presence and distribute information using social media and new platforms. If, however, the Palestinian resistance movement is to succeed, it must come to terms with the emancipatory and simultaneously contradictory effects of social media.
This essay investigates the geopolitics of contemporary Southern Yemen. Due to the civil war, two intertwined dynamics have been altering intra-Southern balances, shifting consolidated power relations. At a domestic level, inter-regional and tribal struggles for autonomy and/or independence grow, given also the persisting vacuum in local governance and security. At a regional level, the geopolitical game played by Middle Eastern (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Turkey and Iran) and international players (United States, Russia and China) in the Aden regional security complex is on the rise, driven by commercial and military interests. Yemen’s sovereignty fragmentation represents a security risk for Persian Gulf powers, as well as a geostrategic chance to enhance and/or expand their influence on Southern Yemen, the Persian Gulf rimland. For Saudi Arabia and most of all the UAE, Southern Yemen is a platform for their new interventionist foreign policies: for geostrategic purposes, Abu Dhabi has invested in transnational patronage in many Southern regions, thus gaining new military leverage in the sub-region.
Establishing Political Accountability in the Post-Mubarak Era: Transitional Justice vs. Authoritarianism
Two parallel but contradictory trends have come to characterize the early decades of the twenty-first century. On the one hand, the traditional principles of international law highlighted in the UN Charter, such as the principles of state sovereignty, non-intervention, and the state officials’ immunity, have become considerably weaker norms. The dimension of moral sovereignty of governments, by contrast, has gained much traction, as more and more states tend to prioritize the protection of internal jurisdiction over the promotion of human rights. However, at the same time, the notion of the responsibility to protect (R2P) and transitional justice in practice have cast their specter over countries’ internal developments, misconduct, and human rights violations, holding them accountable to domestic and international laws. These conflicting trajectories have come to a head during and in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Charged with human rights violations, the ruling elites of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt faced trials—both locally and internationally by the International Criminal Court. The UN Security Council authorized applying R2P to protect Libyan people and International Criminal Court issued the arrest warrants against Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and Abdullah Gaddafi. In Tunisia, an absentee trial for the deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was held. In Egypt, however, the trial of Hosni Mubarak and those associated with his regime bypassed the so-called transitional justice model, while following the all too familiar pathway to promoting stability under the guise of national reconciliation. This paper’s central thrust is that political interests of the new rulers of Egypt, most notably the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), the Muslim Brotherhood, and the military-backed interim government have turned the accepted and modern notion of transitional justice process on its head, while pursuing instead an authoritarian and managed judicial process in the name of state sovereignty and national stability.
The problem is how ideas and ideologies intended to liberate the peoples from misery and oppression were reversed into oppression just in the name of freedom. The reason is the reduction of equality to a numerical concept, which was a milestone in world history but finally ended up in obscene inequalities to such an extent, that the social fabric of the Western societies is dissolving, far-right and populistic movements are gaining momentum and the corruption of our values can no longer be ignored. The crisis of the (neo)-liberal world order is returning from the margins to the center. For too long we thought that modern absolute or numerical equality would supersede the former aristocratic concept of proportional equality. But in the end this understanding of equality created a kind of blind spot in our perception – a prominent example is Thomas Jefferson who included the dignity of all people into the American declaration of independence and was virtually blind to realizing that this value contradicted his own practice of possessing slaves. Therefore we re-invent proportional equality in the footsteps of Aristotle, but transgress his aristocratic concept by balancing it with reversed-proportionality – we propose therefore to understand justice as a pair of scales between freedom and equality.
Nowadays the idea of celebrating colonial fairs, where native peoples of the overseas territories could perform their ethnic habits in front on an European audience (who besides had payed for it), could seems nasty to us, disgusting or even more a crimen of slavery, but along side the 20s and the 30s of the last century, organised colonial fairs were at its hight to show to metropolitan populations and other Western country audiences, which were the benefits furnised to the natives by the Metropolitan country, and at the same time, how lucky those backward native peoples were, who thanks to their white masters, could be taken out from the darkness of the ignorance. This colonial effort, was sometimes carried out in good faith, but others it was no any other thing but looting, and greediness, a demonstration of racial imperialism and self-sufficiency, whose actors were (from the top to the bottom) governments officials, white settlers (mainly farmers), religious communities and a wide panoplia of bizarre people, such as traders, smugglers, Indiana Jones´ adventures and prodigal sons. All of them represented a vivid fresco of Western racial superiority over the colonized local people. In this paper we are going to examinate which was: 1st). the reaction of the International Community (if any) by the time those fairs were hold, and which international institutions ( remarkably the League of the Nations and the International Labour Organization) could have faced such degrading spectacle, and hence its legal tools to put an end to it, 2nd.) in a sort of contrafactual exercise, which one could be the enforceable law today, applicable by the international bodies, entitled to prosecute such crimes,and which crimes could be fitted (or penal types) into such behaviours.
The 2015 nuclear deal, known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5 +1 world powers changed the dynamics of geopolitics in the Middle East. Access to the global market and a relief from sanctions enabled Iran to tap into its vast economic potential and attract foreign investment. Since the election of President Trump, the US has tried to minimize Iran’s economic benefits from the nuclear deal. Iran’s presence as a leader in the region is increasingly being felt with its growing involvement in surrounding conflicts. In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani’s election promises for social reform and constructive dialogue with the world are being fulfilled albeit slowly. Now, President Trump has decided to kill the deal. In our research, we review the effects of the JCPOA on domestic politics in Iran and regional politics in the Middle East as we examine the potential consequences of President Trump and the United States abandoning the nuclear deal.
This essay briefly reviews the history of emergence of south-south cooperation which started in the discourse of the development agenda in the 70s and was closely associated with the New International Economic Order discourse, aimed at overcoming asymmetries and gaps inherited from the previous decades, as a means of enhancing international cooperation among developing countries with the focus on the realization of the right to development. I also examine the recent resurgence of South–South cooperation, which has moved once again onto the center stage of world politics and global economics, leading to a renewed interest in its historic promise to transform world order. This article also provides an overview of contemporary debates on this reality, noting in particular the opportunities that lie therein and the challenges that global south faces in promoting such cooperation. Finally, I will provide some concrete guidelines and recommendations for enhancing the cooperation between developing countries to better achieve the right to development.