Sub-Saharan Africa is an increasingly important theater of operation for the U.S. military. From al-Shabaab, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and Ansar Dine, the Department of Defense is recognizing that Africa will be a vital strategic battlefield in the next century.
Yet in discussions of future African security policy, the potential role of opposition political parties in Africa has received virtually no attention. Following are three reasons why the Department of Defense should pay close attention to African opposition parties.
1) Opposition parties can be barometers of domestic opinion about foreign presence. Opposition parties’ rhetoric on US foreign policy and intervention—when it exists—can reveal local attitudes that incumbent governments may not openly share. This is especially helpful in countries such as Djibouti, Niger, and Ethiopia, where the U.S. military is currently engaged in a wide range of activities including military training, crisis management exercises, drone activities against al-Qaeda, and operating the United States’ only military base on the continent; Camp Lemonnier.
Foreign policy debates tend to have scant prominence in African elections, precisely because of the limited range of choices available to some of the world’s weakest states. But major opposition party leaders almost invariably have more social and cultural capital than foreign diplomats, and thus have the potential to function as intermediaries between the US government and the wider African public on potentially contentious issues.
2) Today’s opponents could be tomorrow’s incumbents. Being cordial to (and even cautiously supportive of) opposition parties is deeply important in states where regime changes—electoral or otherwise—are likely. The absence of such a contingency plan in the event of a regime transition limits US policy options. In late March 2012, for instance, the United States offered few critiques as Djibouti’s president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, repressed supporters of the Union for National Salvation (USN) opposition coalition. Were the USN ever to control the presidency, the United States could potentially face expulsion from the U.S. military base Camp Lemonnier. Given Djibouti’s geographic proximity to volatile and strategically important countries in the Horn of Africa, the loss of such a geostrategic foothold would profoundly undermine the United States’ already modest security assistance capabilities throughout the region.
3) Certain opposition members are potential interlocutors on issues of conflict and terrorism. Major opposition party leaders can play integral roles in local conflict resolution efforts, and often exhibit the capacity to encourage or stem particular antagonistic behaviors among the populace. For instance, the leaders of six major opposition parties in southern Sudan recently joined rebel groups in “endorsing peaceful and armed opposition to Sudan’s government;” and in Kenya’s 2007 elections, ethnic violence, allegedly fueled by certain ruling and opposition party leaders, reduced regional stability and inflicted devastating human costs.
Although opposition leaders in these contexts can at times exacerbate delicate security situations, their social networks could also potentially facilitate the resolution of other US security concerns. To this end, Eritrea’s opposition parties—some of which apparently launched an unsuccessful coup attempt in January 2013—could be the key to the United States acquiring domestic leverage on President Isaias Afewerki, a known source of regional instability in the Horn of Africa.
This said, although opposition parties might have some role in mediating security outcomes, opposition leaders are almost never the most central players involved in such instances, nor are they necessarily tied to insurgencies that serve as the core security concerns of most African regimes. Nevertheless, cultivating opposition leaders as potential participants in peacebuilding, transparency, or counterterrorism measures could indeed increase the quality of human and state security on the continent.
In summary, although democratization is not yet the norm in Africa, the trends towards greater political opening across the continent signal new opportunities for U.S. military engagement. As such, though it is the Department of State that invariably shoulders the responsibility for crafting US diplomatic policy regarding opposition parties, the Department of Defense—a silent observer on the political front—should be deeply cognizant of the security implications bound up in the politics of African opposition parties. Indeed, given the unavoidable US reliance on a mix of authoritarian and democratic allies for security-related initiatives in Africa, an effective US security strategy must continue evolving to take heed of the unique roles played by opposition parties on the continent.
Contemporary nationalism is typically framed as an oppositional ideology that legitimates the struggles of ethnic minorities for political sovereignty or, alternatively, justifies the xenophobic claims of nativist fringe groups. The emphasis on nationalism’s incendiary varieties, however, has led to the neglect of everyday popular nationalism—the routine and tacit acceptance of the nation-state as a primary object of identification and loyalty, as well as a fundamental unit of political organization. In an effort to address this gap in research, I examine the cross-national variation in popular conceptions of the nation-state using pooled-sample latent class analysis, a method that allows me to account for both within- and between-country heterogeneity and avoid reductive a priori assumptions about the national boundedness of culture. Having demonstrated that the resulting fourfold typology of popular nationalism is predictive of a wide range of political beliefs and is remarkably consistent across countries and over time, I show how the relative prevalence of the four types of nationalism shifts within countries in response to economic and political events that increase the salience of the nation-state. This study breaks new ground in the study of nationalism and offers a novel approach to the use of survey data in comparative research on political culture.
On July 1, 2012, Senegal held legislative elections to select
all 150 members of the twelfth National Assembly, the lower
chamber—and the only fully elected one—in this West African
country of approximately twelve million people. The
legislative elections followed a hotly contested presidential
election in which Abdoulaye Wade, president over the last
twelve years, sought a controversial third term and lost by a
historic margin. Wade and other leaders of his Senegalese
Democratic Party (PDS) sought a legislative majority that
would force the new president, Macky Sall, into cohabitation.Full PDF
We argue that in pharmaceutical markets, variation in the arrival time of consumer heterogeneity
creates differences between a producer’s ability to extract consumer surplus with preventives and treatments,
potentially distorting R&D decisions. If consumers vary only in disease risk, revenue from treatments—sold after the disease is contracted, when disease risk is no longer a source of private information—always
exceeds revenue from preventives. The revenue ratio can be arbitrarily high for sufficiently skewed distributions
of disease risk. Under some circumstances, heterogeneity in harm from a disease, learned after a
disease is contracted, can lead revenue from a treatment to exceed revenue from a preventative. Calibrations
suggest that skewness in the US distribution of HIV risk would lead firms to earn only half the revenue
from a vaccine as from a drug. Empirical tests are consistent with the predictions of the model that vaccines
are less likely to be developed for diseases with substantial disease-risk heterogeneity.
Outsiders No More? brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to consider pathways by which immigrants may be incorporated into the political processes of western democracies. At a time when immigrants are increasingly significant political actors in many democratic polities, this volume makes a timely and valuable intervention by pushing researchers to articulate causal dynamics, provide clear definitions and measurable concepts, and develop testable hypotheses. By including historians, sociologists, and political scientists, by ranging across North America and Western Europe, by addressing successful and failed incorporative efforts, this handbook offers guides for anyone seeking to develop a dynamic, unified, and supple model of immigrant political incorporation.
The contemporary standoff over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands threatens to exacerbate Japan-China relations in the long
run. Despite their disagreement over the islands’ sovereignty, the two governments had successfully depoliticized the issue for nearly four decades
since their diplomatic normalization in 1972. The islands issue became politicized after the collision between a Chinese trawler and the Japan Coast
Guard in 2010, and has become increasingly militarized after the Japanese
government’s purchase of three of the five islands from their private owner
in 2012. China has boosted its civilian and military presence in maritime
and airspace around the islands, confronting their Japanese counterparts
regularly and raising the risk of an armed conflict which potentially involves the United States. What caused the intense politicization and increasing militarization of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute? What are
the pragmatic steps which the two governments can take to depoliticize,
demilitarize, and deescalate the current situation?
Health and Human Rights: Basic International Documents has been updated and expanded from the first two editions to provide the practitioner, scholar, and advocate with access to the most basic instruments of international law and policy that express the values of human rights for advancing health. The topics covered include professional ethics; research and experimentation; bioethics and biotechnology; the right to health; the right to life; freedom from torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; the right to an adequate standard of living; women and reproductive health; children; persons with disabilities; the rights of other vulnerable groups; infectious diseases; business, trade, and intellectual property; non-communicable diseases; the right to a clean environment; and sustainable development. This book will be an indispensable reference for everyone working at the intersection of health and human rights.
The Article rethinks law’s role in present-day European debates over Islam in light of its calming effects on the once fiercely-fought abortion reforms across Western Europe. Using examples from Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland the article demonstrates that the role of the legal process in each of these culture-based debates diverged along its two social functions. Reflecting growing public anxieties, legal actions concerning Muslims typically focused on generating social and cultural change, foreclosing the likelihood of political compromises. In contrast, at the time of abortion reform legal measures acted as mechanisms of social and cultural order, contributing to the pacification of the fierce public controversies even as moral disagreements over abortion endured. Drawing on this comparison, the article suggests that Europe’s constitutional review processes present a compromise-building path to deliberate contemporary conflicts over Islam.
The Article proceeds in three parts. Part II and III analyze the legal developments in the context of Islam and abortion across Western Europe, revealing a contrasting dynamics in the roles of the legal process in each of these debates. Part IV assesses the effects of the legal process in each of the debates and rules out alternative explanations for this divergence. It argues that the factor of time or European secularization cannot account for the current intensity-difference in each of these debates. The article concludes by proposing a path to launch the currently absent constitutional conversation over Islamic-based tensions in Western Europe. Modeled on abortion reform, constitutional courts should reach beyond proportional balancing and dictate policy frameworks addressing both the roots of Muslim disadvantages and the anxieties of the European public.
The urban has become a keyword of early twenty-first-century economic, political, and cultural discourse. But as its resonance has intensified in social science and in the public sphere, the conceptual and cartographic specificity of the urban has been severely blunted. Is there any future for a distinct field of urban theory in a world in which urbanization has been generalized onto a planetary scale? This article reflects on this state of affairs and outlines a series of theses intended to reinvigorate the theoretical framework of urban studies in relation to emergent forms of urbanization. Several conceptual distinctions - between categories of practice and categories of analysis, nominal essences and constitutive essences, and concentrated and extended urbanization—are proposed to inform possible future mappings of the planetary urban condition.
Wartime rape is neither ubiquitous nor inevitable. The level of sexual violence differs significantly across countries, conflicts, and particularly armed groups. Some armed groups can and do prohibit sexual violence. Such variation suggests that policy interventions should also be focused on armed groups, and that commanders in effective control of their troops are legally liable for patterns of sexual violence they fail or refuse to prevent.
Wartime rape is also not specific to certain types of conflicts or to geographic regions. It occurs in ethnic and non-ethnic wars, in Africa and elsewhere.
State forces are more likely to be reported as perpetrators of sexual violence than rebels. States may also be more susceptible than rebels to naming and shaming campaigns around
Perpetrators and victims may not be who we expect them to be. During many conflicts, those who perpetrate sexual violence are often not armed actors but civilians. Perpetrators also are not exclusively male, nor are victims exclusively female. Policymakers should not neglect nonstereotypical perpetrators and victims.
Wartime rape need not be ordered to occur on a massive scale. Wartime rape is often not an intentional strategy of war: it is more frequently tolerated than ordered. Nonetheless, as noted, commanders in effective control of their troops are legally liable for sexual violence perpetrated by those troops.
Much remains unknown about the patterns and causes of wartime sexual violence. In particular, existing data cannot determine conclusively whether wartime sexual violence on a global level is increasing, decreasing, or holding steady. Policymakers should instead focus on variation at lower levels of aggregation, and especially across armed groups.
In an age of global terrorism, can the pursuit of security be reconciled with liberal democratic values and legal principles? During its "global war on terrorism," the Bush administration argued that the United States was in a new kind of conflict, one in which peacetime domestic law was irrelevant and international law inapplicable. From 2001 to 2009, the United States thus waged war on terrorism in a "no-law zone."In Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists, Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann reject the argument that traditional American values embodied in domestic and international law can be ignored in any sustainable effort to keep the United States safe from terrorism. They demonstrate that the costs are great and the benefits slight from separating security and the rule of law. They call for reasoned judgment instead of a wholesale abandonment of American values. They also argue that being open to negotiations and seeking to win the moral support of the communities from which the terrorists emerge are noncoercive strategies that must be included in any future efforts to reduce terrorism.