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T.note
26/2/2020
The contribution of civil society organizations in responding to terrorism in Uganda
Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala, Kanakulya Dickson, Venerandah Mbabazi

Measures to counter extreme violence are often assumed to be effective when in fact more research and analysis is required to better understand their actual effectiveness and impact. Most studies on African responses to terrorism focus solely on state-led interventions, with little attention being paid to non-state agency. Acknowledging this gap, in 2016, Makerere University launched a research project funded by the United States Institute for Peace on the nature, impact and effectiveness of counter-terrorism and peacebuilding activities carried out by non-state actors, particularly CSOs.

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T.note
26/2/2020
Increasing public confidence and satisfaction in policing through a victim-centred approach: a pilot project in Kosovo
William Brame, Giuseppe Lettieri

Citizens’ confidence in policing agencies represents a performance indicator of police reliability, trustworthiness and understanding of communities’ concerns. Many studies proved that citizens’ perceptions of policing agencies directly affect the police’s capacity to tackle crime and be aware of major security and safety concerns of local communities. Moreover, cases in which an improved service was provided to different typologies of victims showed positive effects on the overall level of confidence in police work. This becomes particularly true in countries that have experienced conflict, violence and political turmoil, where the police are often associated with the ruling power and those that have committed atrocities and severe violations of human rights.

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T.note
26/2/2020
Whither EU–Russia Relations?
Irina Busygina

Today, relations between Russia and the European Union are in a deep and protracted crisis: what started as a project of high hopes, ambitions and enthusiasm in the early 1990s is now associated with deep disappointment, despite the geographical proximity and economic interdependence that arguably compel both sides to cooperate. Why has the relationship between Russia and the EU deteriorated so quickly and seemingly irreversibly – at least in the short and medium term?

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T.note
26/2/2020
Combating insecurity through membership? Gang girls in Medellín, Colombia
Katharina Mann

It is uncontested that urban violence, fuelled by street gangs, presents new challenges to security. Big cities around the globe are increasingly witnessing the emergence of youth gangs in their poor neighbourhoods. Armed, tattooed young men dominate the images of these street groups, which are linked to heightened and fragile concepts of masculinity. But what insights do we gain when we consider gangs beyond the gender-sensitive focus on men, to illuminate female gang membership? For one thing, we need to acknowledge that the urban deprivation structures from which gangs arise are pertained by different gender realities. For another, young women play manifold roles in gangs as they offer spaces for gender performances beyond traditional role models.

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T.note
26/2/2020
Hovering between peace and war: the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Luca Jourdan

Uncertainty is exacerbating existing conflict dynamics in the country. In 2016, the Kasai province witnessed the outbreak of a rebellion led by Jean-Pierre Mpandi, a local leader opposed to the Kinshasa government, which failed to recognize him as a traditional leader. The harsh reaction of the central government and the military intervention in the region resulted in thousands of refugees flooding into Angola. Despite the turmoil in Kasai, the greater risk of conflict comes from the eastern regions, most notably North Kivu and South Kivu. There, political uncertainty favours the proliferation of armed groups in a context of fragmentation and fluid alliances. In the area surrounding Beni, a town in North Kivu, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) continues to rage.

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T.note
26/2/2020
What’s in a term? The challenge of finding common terminology for ethnic alliance-building in Myanmar’s peace process
SiuSue Mark

Those actively involved in or supporting Myanmar’s peacebuilding process should acknowledge the fact that the challenge among ethnic actors to reach an agreement over terminology weakens their efforts to articulate collective identities and desired alternatives. Nation-building in Myanmar will require to strike the balance between recognizing ethnic grievances and moving the country forward, towards inclusive secular political institutions. And for this, terminology has an important supporting role. In the long run, the term “citizen” would ideally be the most suitable to build a political community in which all people, irrespective of their ethnic belonging, accept and abide by a common set of institutions that are neutral towards identity markers. Yet, other terms should also remain and valued to acknowledge the rich diversity that makes up the Union of Myanmar.

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T.note
26/2/2020
Minsk Agreements: a difficult solution for Ukraine
Giulio Benedetti

The conflict has brought about a decisive loss of Moscow’s leverage in relation to Kiev. Reintegrating Donbass on the terms indicated by the Minsk Agreements would mean a partial restoration of this influence, an outcome that few in Ukraine are likely to accept swiftly. But the return of a robust group of then-separatist deputies into the heart of Ukrainian politics and the virulent opposition that the nationalists would probably have towards such a scenario are not the only costs that the government would have to face. In fact, once reintegrated into Ukraine, the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk would require substantial investment to reconstruct an industrial system that was already suffering before the political troubles because of the economic crisis. It is not by accident that the economic development of the regions was explicitly included in the text of the Agreements and thus laid on the table of future negotiation.

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T.note
26/2/2020
Beyond the militarist approach: a new challenge for Mali
Francesco Merlo

The security crisis in Mali has deep roots. First, it is linked to its geographical challenges, because it is a landlocked state, subject to desertification of rural areas and exposed to wider regional instability. Second, with over 30 ethnic groups, Malian civil society is highly fragmented and these divisions are particularly strong between sub-Saharan identities (where the Bambara predominate) and Arab-Berber identities (whose main group are the Tuareg). Third, Mali has a long history of bad governance, especially in its north-eastern provinces, where poor administration has enforced social, economic and political inequalities between those living in the south-west, mainly of sub-Saharan ethnicities, and those in the north-east, where the Tuareg are concentrated. The combination of these structural fragilities has led to the exacerbation of tensions between ethnic groups, where the growing use of identity politics has been instrumental in deepening the interethnic cleavages and sharpening the conflict.

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T.note
26/2/2020
The specter of MS-13: Understanding fears and perceptions of belonging among diaspora Salvadorans
Donna De Cesare

The US President frequently claims that illegal immigrants cause the loss of innocent lives and often cites the gang MS-13 as justification for harsh treatment of immigrants. Although the resulting fear and pain inflicted are most acute among those hard-working immigrants who have built their lives in the US, it also creates anxiety among Latino diaspora communities in Europe. The US has a long history of criminalizing and stigmatizing immigrants even though it also takes pride in being a nation of immigrants. Irish and Italians who migrated in vast numbers in the 19th and 20th centuries suffered discrimination and prejudice and were characterized in the US press and in political speeches as criminals, drunkards, brawlers, Mafiosi, undesirables. The danger in the 21st century is that these aspersions have not only broad repercussions, but are deeply socially divisive with potentially deadly consequences.

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T.note
26/2/2020
War By Another Name? The ‘Urban Turn’ in 21st Century Violence
Kieran Mitton

In the early twenty-first century, as inter-state war appeared to decline in frequency, new forms and discourses of ‘war’ took prominence, epitomised by the ‘War on Terror’ and the ‘War on Drugs.’ For some critics, the use of the term ‘war’ in these contexts was deeply problematic. Ensuing debate underlined that precisely what constitutes war, and what divides it from peace and other situations of violence, would now be questioned in unprecedented and fundamental ways.

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T.note
26/2/2020
Counter-terrorism in the United Kingdom: between security and human rights
Stefano Bonino

Since the late 1970s, when a wave of contemporary immigration to the United Kingdom was supplemented by an influx of Islamists from Arab and South Asian countries, the United Kingdom has had to figure out how to best incorporate different ideologies within its liberal-democratic socio-political structure. In the mid-1990s, with the arrival in the UK of Arab jihadists with ties to al-Qaeda, the effectiveness of state multiculturalism and its relaxed attitudes towards beliefs that go against democratic values were once again put to the test. Being both a close ally of the United States – even in controversial foreign policy decisions – and a country that hosts a large population of Pakistanis who can easily access terrorist camps and militant groups in Afghanistan, the United Kingdom has seen an estimated 850 jihadists travel to Syria and Iraq in the name of jihad.

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T.note
26/2/2020
The Politics of Conflict-Generated Diasporas
Elise Féron

Over the past decade, the literature on diaspora politics has been growing. The concept of diaspora is a much-debated one, with definitions generally focusing on core features, such as its being: a voluntary or involuntary dispersion; a collective memory and myth about the country of origin; a troubled relationship with the country of settlement; a commitment to the homeland’s safety and prosperity. Other core features include the presence of the issue of return, though not necessarily a commitment to do so, or a diasporic consciousness, which can be expressed through the creation of diaspora organisations. From that perspective, groups of migrants may constitute a diaspora if, with time, they develop these organisational and imaginative elements upon which they develop a shared identity.

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