A wise Professor asked me why I thought there were so few criminal cases of corruption in the UK. My first thought was that, “It’s because there is no Corruption Squad”. I looked into it some more and discovered that it was not quite as simple as that. I had to rope in some experts […]Corruption in the UK; the police are not looking into it
A Potent Fuel? The impact of faith identity on development programming
Our paper, ‘A Potent Fuel? Faith Identity and Development Impact in World Vision Community Programming’, has just been published in the Journal of International Development. Happily, it’s open access, so anyone can read it by following this link. Written with Matthew Clarke, Simon Feeny, Gill Westhorp and Cara Donohue, it is the result of a […]A Potent Fuel? The impact of faith identity on development programming
Welcome to the Evidence & Policy blog: Our reflections on the field
Kat Smith and Paul Cairney This new blog helps make the insights within Evidence & Policy accessible to all. In this opening post, the current Editors reflect on what they feel are some of the key insights about the interplay between evidence and policy:Welcome to the Evidence & Policy blog: Our reflections on the field
What converting Hagia Sophia into a functioning mosque really means
10th July 2020, a Turkish Court order approved Hagia Sophia’s convertion from a museum to an operational mosque.
For many Christians around the world, aborting a historical monument that represented the centuries of Byzantine Eastern Orthodox with Ottoman faith-inspired culture in the region, to having it reclaimed as a faith space for Islam, is a vilifying act of disrespect. The region has been affected by territorial tensions for millenia and many in the Balkan and Western Asia Minor, have experienced relocations, marginalisation, faith based extradition, torture and incarceration.
It is a non surprise western Turkey struggles with their record on human rights abuses, and corruption has been developmental to the Greek economy even in modern times.
Looking past the historicity of the region, and the unsettled air Erdoğan’s latest move has created, I can attest to the following:
– Erdoğan has three years left before the next election.
– The Hagia Sofia move was his check mate to Europe beyond the Greco-Turkish spats.
– Erdoğan doesn’t want to join EU (and all the monitoring and regulations), the EU will not have Turkey as it is today, but to make sure they don’t interfere, he needed to growl over his territory.
– Putin will turn a blind eye, despite Russia’s Orthodox Church affinity. Faith is only useful when it serves one’s interests by masking transparency. Christian links to the European church history are problematic for Putin’s and Erdoğan’s dark and underhanded populist and divisionary operations.
– Unmonitored, anyone challenging Erdoğan like the Kemalists, will end up in jail or dissappear.
– Turks in Turkey, Germany and the UK love Erdoğan. He took power and water to the favelas. He is making profits from the Syrian refugees that have no labour rights but plenty of will to do whatever yet not get paid or paid scraps of peanuts when they do (a 10th of the Turkish labour rates according to reports).
Noone wants drama on their doorstep. Turning adversity to positive stories is a way for populist governments to get away with the uttermost abuse of human rights.
Minorities and culture are the capital nasty regimes use for political coercion.
Coercion to domestic opposition, and coercion in international relations contexts.
Threatening securities makes vulnerable populations anxious and puts actor resources at high risk and alert. This costs actors money and make populations more predatory between them. Double win.
Hagia Sophia is the starting line of an incredibly narcissistic performance we will expect to see from Erdoğan in the next three years.
I can only hope there will be limited loss and blood lost in the process, but not set on having any hopes at this point.
In the middle of a pandemic, reclaiming a museum to a faith institution is a bold move.
To be continued…
Climate change and security
This presentation was produced by Athina Fokidou for the MSc Security class (combined) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 2018.
The Case study is the destruction of the Dawlish seafront railway in the South West coast of the United Kingdom by climatic events and the consequent political battlefield of unmet promises.
The objective of the presentation is to raise awareness of the players in responses to climate, their intentions and unknown coercive strategies in the nexus of the state and individual contractual exchange.
Post Graduate funding
Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Leadership Awards for postgrad studies open for applications now https://osf.to/1eHqBOh via
@opensociety Check the list of eligible countries.
SEE FULL DESCRIPTION BELOW
The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) provide fully-funded scholarships for master’s degree study to individuals who clearly demonstrate academic and professional excellence and a deep commitment to leading positive social change in their communities.
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- be a citizen of an eligible country;
- demonstrate maturity, flexibility, and civil society leadership potential
- have an earned bachelor’s degree as of May 15, 2019 with an excellent academic record;
- demonstrate professional experience related to your chosen field of study;
- demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction (English, German or French) at a level required for admission by host universities;
- be able to participate in an intensive pre-academic summer school in July or August 2020 and start their degree program in August or September 2020;
- be able to receive and maintain a visa or study permit as required by the host country; and
- demonstrate a clear commitment to their home country or region to strengthen open society development.
The awards are available to citizens of the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Republic of Congo
- South Sudan
Awards are available for study in the following areas:
- Communications, Journalism & Media
- Culture, History & Society
- Development Studies
- Education Management & Leadership
- Environment & Natural Resource Management
- Gender Studies
- Human Rights
- Law (including Human Rights law)
- Politics & International Studies
- Public Health Policy & Health Management
- Public Administration
- Public Policy
- Social Policy
- Social Work
The Open Society Foundations and Scholarship Programs are committed to equal opportunity, and exercise that policy in relation to all admissions processes. CSLA does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Competition for the Civil Society Leadership Awards is open and merit-based. Selection is based on an applicant’s fit with the program’s objectives as well as the graduate admissions criteria of the participating universities. Academic excellence, professional aptitude, leadership potential in the field of specialization, proven commitment to open society values, and appropriate language proficiency are all important factors in evaluation.
All eligible applicants will be reviewed by an international selection committee. The proposed field of study should be logical for the goals expressed, and the application itself should be well-organized and complete. Compelling candidates will be interviewed by a selection committee comprised of university representatives, CSLA staff, and partner organization representatives, such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Selection and Notification Cycle
- Applications must be submitted by midnight, May 15, 2019, Eastern Daylight Time.
- Uncompetitive and/or ineligible applicants will be notified in late August.
- Applicants who pass external review become semi-finalists and will be invited to an interview to be scheduled in late September or October.
- Semi-finalists are required to secure two (2) letters of recommendation which must be submitted directly to CSLA by referees by October 1, 2019.
- Semi-finalists will be required to take an official language test by the end of October 2019; all candidates invited to an interview are entitled to one (1) language test, arranged and paid for by CSLA.
- Final selection will be held in November; results will be sent via email by January 2020.
- Successful semi-finalists are now CSLA finalists, and CSLA staff will initiate their host university placement process.
- The CSLA university placement process takes time; CSLA will strive to confirm placements for finalists by late April 2020.
- Once placement is secured, CSLA finalists will be notified that they are now CSLA grantees, and will be asked to sign and return a formal grant document before any further actions can be taken.
Interested applicants must complete an online or paper CSLA application and submit along with supporting documentation to be considered for CSLA support.
All candidates are strongly encouraged to apply online if possible using the Open Society Foundations grant portal, an online platform. To apply online, please register on the portal and then follow instructions.
Paper applications may be accessed in the Download Files section of this page. Please download the application form before completing or printing, and review the accompanying materials before submitting your application.
If you are applying in French, you must download and email or mail in an application form. Please consult How to Apply for further information.
If you have further questions, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions.
All application materials in French will be available on this page from March 21, 2019.
I learnt a new word today, Decarceration
Decarceration means more than getting individuals out of prison. It means healing trauma, restoring civil rights, and ending the suffering this system has imposed on American families and communities.
The U.S. puts more people in prison than any other nation in the world.
Today we have over 2 million behind bars, 10–14 million arrests every year, and 70 million Americans with a criminal record. Not included in these numbers are all of the families, who have committed no crime at all yet suffer greatly from the separation of loved ones.
Read more at Decarceration.org
Our overly punitive system only increases the threat that individuals pose when they are released back into their community. Even for people who have committed serious and violent crimes, it is time to offer effective rehabilitation based on high quality mental health services.
Of course, with over two million still behind bars, our first priority is to release those prisoners who represent little or no threat to public safety. But releasing people isn’t enough, because the taint of punishment has a debilitating effect on the millions who return. We need to confront our own social stigmas and the long shadow cast by mass incarceration. To be successful, we need a paradigm shift.
Our systems must move from punishment to public health.
We need new social institutions to replace our prisons– places of healing and reconciliation. We must build local resources of peer and family support. We must provide meaningful support, not just supervision, for people after release. Over 5 million prison survivors already live in our communities as convicted felons, and their life prospects are severely limited by the restrictions that our legal system imposes on them. We must restore their civil rights.
Our politicians must now confront the devastation that mass incarceration has wreaked on poor and minority communities in America, and to take responsibility for treating the wounds of a racist and brutal institution. The primary goal of decarceration is one of healing, and I am launching this website with the hope it will become a useful tool in this newly energized struggle.
Read more at Decarceration.org
About the author
Ernest Drucker, PhD, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in NY State and conducts research in AIDS, drug policy, prisons and criminal justice policies, and is active in global public health and human rights efforts in the US and abroad. Ernest is a Research Professor in Criminal Justice and Anthropology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He founded Decarceration.org in 2015.