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Liberalism’s shrinking intellectual horizon is manifest in foreign policy, too. Hard-fought global norms, once a totem of the liberal order, have always been challenged by populists and authoritarians. But they only truly lost ground when their original champions renounced them: Liberal governments now strike expedient deals with any partner they believe can help pin down Jihadis or migrants. For the most part, the era of lasting alliances is gone, as is the belief that political reform and economic development present the best chances for stability. More than ever, the spooks are at the forefront of diplomacy. Military outposts, drone strikes, arms deals, and “capacity building” in the security sector have become paramount in the foreign policy toolbox.
refugees  populism  xenophobia  liberalism  Mar15  human_rights  international_law 
january 2019 by elizrael
Where the Islamic State hides – Peter Harling archive
The Islamic State is a more amorphous and porous creature, a sponge that will soak up whatever comes its way: disgruntled losers in a disastrous American attempt to engineer a new political order in post-2003 Iraq; forsaken Syrians subjected to their regime’s nightmarish collective punishment; underdogs lacking any other form of employment; reasonably educated Arabs or Europeans frustrated with entirely unrelated issues; and a handful of old-fashioned Jihadists that have no better place to go. Most of its recruits flipped more than they took Holy Orders. In a treasure trove of data files tracking incoming volunteers, leaked from within the Islamic State’s proto-bureaucracy, a large majority of new entrants admitted unapologetically to having virtually no religious upbringing. So much for debating the maliciousness of Islam as the obvious source of deviation…
ISIS  recruitment  islamophobia  international_law  xenophobia 
march 2018 by elizrael
Examining China’s adherence to international norms
March 2018 Observer Research Foundation report
China has often showed a lack of willingness to abide by not only established international law but also certain norms that the global community has fostered over the years. It has flouted the decision issued by an arbitration court at The Hague regarding its claims in the South China Sea; it has also appropriated intellectual property. In the 1970s when the Western economies were taking the lead in setting global norms while balancing the threat of the Soviet Union, economic ties were seen as a means to an end. Thus, the US and other countries enabled China to join groups such as the World Trade Organization, without insisting on formal entry conditions. Today it is clear that China intends to use extant international laws to serve its own interests when possible, to ignore them otherwise, and ultimately, change them to suit its own norms.
observer_research_foundation  china  international_law 
march 2018 by strohps
Corporate Criminal Accountability for International Crimes
Above: The International Criminal Court Ed. note. This post is the latest in our series on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Jesner. v. Arab Bank , a case…
corporate_citizenship  corporate_personhood  accountability  international_law  international_crimes  Evernote  from instapaper
december 2017 by dunnettreader
Naz K. Modirzadeh - Folk International Law: (2014) :: SSRN
Folk International Law: 9/11 Lawyering and the Transformation of the Law of Armed Conflict to Human Rights Policy and Human Rights Law to War Governance
Harvard National Security Journal, Vol. 5, Issue 1 (2014), pp. 225-304. 80 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014
Naz K. Modirzadeh
HLS Program on International Law and Armed Conflict
Date Written: January 11, 2014
This Article argues that the positions many U.S.-based lawyers in the disciplines of international humanitarian law and human rights law took in 2013 on issues of lethal force and framing of armed conflict vis-à-vis the Obama Administration would have been surprising and disappointing to those same professionals back in 2002 when they began their battle against the Bush Administration’s formulations of the “Global War on Terror.” By 2013, many U.S.-based humanitarian and human rights lawyers had traded in strict fealty to international law for potential influence on executive decision-making. These lawyers and advocates would help to shape the Obama Administration’s articulation of its legal basis for the use of force against al Qaeda and others by making use of “folk international law,” a law-like discourse that relies on a confusing and soft admixture of IHL, jus ad bellum, and IHRL to frame operations that do not, ultimately, seem bound by international law. In chronicling the collapse of multiple legal disciplines and fields of application into the “Law of 9/11,” the Article illustrates how that result came about not simply through manipulation by a government seeking to protect national security or justify its actions but also through a particular approach to legal argumentation as mapped through various tactical moves during the course of the legal battle over the war on terror.
Keywords: international law, war, law of armed conflict, targeted killing, drones, human rights law, direct participation in hostilities, non-international armed conflict
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law_enforcement  Obama_administration  Bush_administration  article  law_of_armed_conflict  SSRN  international_law  human_rights  GWOT 
july 2017 by dunnettreader
Syria Changed the World - The New York Times april 2017
The notion that the postwar world would no longer let leaders indiscriminately kill their own citizens now seems in full retreat. The Syrian government’s response to rebellion, continuing year after year, threatens to normalize levels of state brutality not seen in decades. All the while President Bashar al-Assad invokes an excuse increasingly popular among the world’s governments since Sept. 11: He is “fighting terror.”

The Syrian conflict exposed — and was worsened by — failures of the very systems the right rails against.

The European Union and the United Nations were set up in the past century, after devastating wars, to keep peace, prevent persecution, hold leaders accountable and provide aid to the most vulnerable. But confidence in them is ebbing when they are most needed. The Geneva Conventions on protecting civilians in wartime — never consistently enforced — are now openly flouted.

Mr. Saleh, the Syrian dissident, worries that “the Syrianization of the world” could get darker still. He compares today’s populism and Islamophobia to the mix of fascism and anti-Semitism in World War II.

“The atmosphere in the world is not going toward hope and democracy and the individual,” he said. “It is going toward nationalism, hatred, the rise of the security state.”
Mar15  xenophobia  refugees  Europe  EU  international_law 
july 2017 by elizrael
Al-Qaeda’s Turning Against its Syrian Affiliate | Middle East Institute, May 18, 2017
“There are really big problems right now,” a conservative Islamist cleric close to Syria’s armed opposition told me – “al-Qaeda is trying to create a new loyal faction in Idlib, but that’s being prevented by al-Hayat.” As this influential cleric and four other similarly well-connected Islamist opposition figures have described to me in recent days, al-Qaeda’s central leadership is growing increasingly exasperated at its former Syrian affiliate – now named Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (H.T.S.), after a second rebrand in January 2017 – and is now actively seeking to build a rival movement more loyal to al-Qaeda’s transnational brand and strategic vision. “al-Qaeda disagrees very strongly about Tahrir al-Sham’s vision and is giving up on rescuing it,” one senior Islamist military commander told me. All five sources spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, given the sensitivity of the subject, and given a recent uptick in assassinations and threats in Syria’s northwest.

According to these sources, al-Qaeda’s central leadership outside Syria no longer considers H.T.S. as its official affiliate for two reasons: because, according to al-Qaeda’s standards, H.T.S. has accepted insufficient levels of purity in its structure, rhetoric, vision, and practice and because its core leadership has allegedly violated its oath of religious loyalty to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The roots of this conflict of strategies date back at least to July 2016, when the publicly acknowledged al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra chose to rebrand as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (J.F.S.) and claimed to have severed its external ties to al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, who was based in Syria, permitted and then publicly blessed the move at the time.
JabhatAl-Nusra  AQ  Zawahiri  international_law  Idlib 
may 2017 by elizrael
Indefinite War: Unsettled International Law on the End of Armed Conflict
Feb 2017 Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict legal briefing
This Legal Briefing details the legal considerations and analyzes the implications of that lack of settled guidance [when an armed conflict no longer exists under international law]. It delves into the myriad (and often-inconsistent) provisions in treaty law, customary law, and relevant jurisprudence that purport to govern the end of war. Alongside the doctrinal analysis, this Briefing considers the changing concept of war and of what constitutes its end; evaluates diverse interests at stake in the continuation or close of conflict; and contextualizes the essentially political work of those who design the law.
harvard  conflict  international_law  treaties 
february 2017 by strohps
Syria's Toxic War: Chemical Weapons Are Undermining Deterrence and Nonproliferation - War on the Rocks, April 26, 2016
But many challenges remain. States continue to exploit thresholds below which the international community will respond. There is a growing perception of the efficacy and viability of chemical weapons as a tool of terror and intimidation. Of the 161 documented chemical attacks since 2012, 77 percent occurred after the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, which mandated cessation of use and elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile. The inaction against violations harms the credibility of this and other resolutions. Additionally, the United States has diminished credibility in the face of flagrant proliferation and use of prohibited weapons, calling into question the value of deterrence.
CW  Mar15  Syria  international_law 
may 2016 by elizrael
Poul F. Kjaer - The Function of Justification in Transnational Governance (2015) |
WZB Berlin Social Science Center Discussion Papers, SP IV 2015-808, 2015 - Developing a sociological informed social theory perspective, this article asks the question why social praxis’ of justification has moved to the centre-stage within the debate on transnational ordering. In contrast to perspectives which see the relationship between national and transnational forms or ordering as characterised by a zero-sum game, the coevolutionary and mutually reinforcing relationship between national and transnational forms of ordering is emphasised. It is, moreover, argued that this complementarity can be traced back to the fundamentally different function and position of national and transnational forms of ordering in world society. The widespread attempt to analyse transnational developments on the basis of concepts of law and the political which emerged in national contexts are therefore seen as problematic. Instead context adequate concepts of transnational law and politics are needed. It is on this background, that a discourse on justification has emerged in relation to transnational settings. Transnational justificatory praxis’ can be understood as functional equivalents to democracy in transnational settings in so far as both can be understood as reflexivity increasing instruments. The central difference is, however, that democratic frameworks implies an ex ante form of the political in contrast to the ex post emphasis of justificatory praxis’. In addition, law gains a central role as the framework through which justificatory praxis’ are structured in transnational settings. - downloaded pdf to Note
paper  downloaded  sociology_of_law  political_sociology  nation-state  transnational_power  transnational_law  nation-state_decline  state-transnatiinal_relations  supranational_institutions  legitimacy  legitimacy-international  justice  democracy_deficit  political_participation  IR_theory  IR-domestic_politics  global_governance  regulation-harmonization  regulatory_avoidance  civil_society  NGOs  government-forms  government-roles  international_law  international_political_economy  MNCs 
may 2016 by dunnettreader
The Assad Files - New Yorker, April 18,2016
Several months after first being tortured, Hamada stood in line with his nephew Fahad to ink their fingerprints onto their reports. Hamada assumed that his included his confession; he didn’t know, because reading the report was not an option. A seventeen-year-old boy stood in line behind Hamada and Fahad. When the guards learned that he was from Darayya, the suburb of Damascus, they knocked him to the ground. One fetched a welding torch and burned the boy “from here to here,” Hamada said, tracing a finger along his jawline. “And then he turned him around and he burned his neck and his entire back. . . . His face—I mean, it was fire. It was melting.”

Recalling the event, Hamada’s eyes grew damp and red. His voice faltered, and he sobbed desperately. For two days, he and other prisoners in the hangar tried to soothe the boy’s injuries as he was dying. When the guards came to retrieve the corpse, Hamada yelled at them. In response, they hung him by his wrists for several hours. He told me, “You want them to kill you anyway, so you can be done with this. You’re sick of the torture. You’re sick of the sleeping, and waking up, and living every single day.”
Mar15  torture  PrisonerRights  repression  Assad  policebrutality  important  human_rights  international_law 
april 2016 by elizrael

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