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Tag: Political Science
Court gives torture the green light (October 28 2012) Court gives torture the green light (October 28 2012)

Jeanne Theoharis an American an associate professor of political science, along with Saskia Sassen has published an article on The Nation titled ‘A Human Rights Court Gives Torture the Green Light’. The article states “…the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) bowed to pressure from the US and British governments and turned a blind eye to the torturous conditions at the federal Supermax prison, ADX (short for Administrative Maximum), in Florence, Colorado, where prisoners languish in long-term solitary confinement. Dealing a blow to human rights on both sides of the Atlantic, the court rejected an appeal by five terror suspects held in Britain to block their extradition to the United States. …The most restrictive prison in the federal system, ADX was built to keep every prisoner in solitary confinement and designed to limit all communication among prisoners. Cells are the size of a small bathroom with thick concrete walls and steel doors. A prisoner must eat, sleep, shower, read, pray and use the toilet in the cell. For one hour a day, prisoners may exercise in an outdoor cage too small to run in or in a windowless indoor cell, empty except for a pull-up bar. The outdoor “recreation” cages are known as “dog runs” because they resemble kennels. The only “contact” ADX prisoners have with other inmates is shouting to each other through toilets, vents or the outdoor cages. They receive food through a slot and eat every meal alone within arm’s length of their toilet. Psychiatric care at ADX often consists of shouting to prisoners through their doors to inquire if they’re “OK.””


Inspired by The Nation image source Wnyc

The idea of a "responsibility to protect" (July 24 2012) The idea of a “responsibility to protect” (July 24 2012)

Joseph Samuel Nye the 75 year old American political science Professor and co-founder of the international relations theory neoliberalism, developing the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence. Nye has published an article on the Project Syndicate where he discusses with reference to Syria, when should States intervene militarily to stop atrocities in other countries. Nye states, …The idea of a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) was adopted unanimously at the UN’s World Summit in 2005, but subsequent events showed that not all member states interpreted the resolution the same way. Russia has consistently argued that only Security Council resolutions, not General Assembly resolutions, are binding international law. Meanwhile, Russia has vetoed a Security Council resolution on Syria, and, somewhat ironically, Annan has been called back and enlisted in a so-far futile effort to stop the carnage there. …In fact, R2P is more about struggles over political legitimacy and soft power than it is about hard international law. Some Western lawyers argue that it entails the responsibility to combat genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes under the various conventions of international humanitarian law. But Russia, China and others are reluctant to provide a legal or political basis for actions such as what occurred in Libya. …There are other reasons why R2P has not been a success in the Syrian case. Drawn from traditional “just war” theory, R2P rests not only on right intentions, but also on the existence of a reasonable prospect of success.”


Inspired by Project Syndicate image source TED

John Stoehr the American journalist, editor and lecturer in political science has put forward an argument in an article published on Aljazeera titled ‘Face it, the US economy is socialist – The real debate is not whether the US economy has socialist attributes, but choosing which form of socialism to employ’. Stoehr states “They [Republicans] talk about socialists and communists with the intent of scaring people away from the debate, but the fact is that state and federal governments spend billions on corporate welfare. No matter what they say about closeted communists in Congress or in the White House, Republicans – even the libertarians – heartily approve of socialism. The question in their view is about which way the money is flowing, up or down. If it’s agribusiness or oil corporations getting bucks from federal subsidies, then money is going to the top. Hoorah for socialism. If it’s single working mothers getting food stamps and housing credits, then money is going to the bottom. That’s a damn government handout – we can’t have that. On the state level, corporate welfare is often wrapped in the rhetoric of job creation. Let’s make the state attractive to businesses, because businesses create jobs, workers spend money and the economy gets better. Voila. Except that taxpayers end up giving more to corporations than they end up receiving.


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Jonathan Laurence the US associate professor of Political Science has published an article on Aljazeera discussing Europe’s alienation of Muslims through laws restricting Islamic symbols that fuel political distrust. Laurence states “As Muslims and non-Muslims despair about the prospect of long-term Islamic integration in 21st century Europe, disagreement over the urgency and necessity to restrict Islamic symbols in the public sphere – from clothing to architecture and food – is at the origin of a potentially grave misunderstanding. Religion is not the primary factor of identity for most European Muslims, but the current atmosphere has enhanced a feeling of group stigmatisation and a shared sense of injustice where previously few bonds existed. This has fed a growing confrontation, foreshadowed in two competing narratives of victimisation dividing Muslims from non-Muslims in Europe, which continue to gain strength… There is the growing danger that the modest accomplishments of religious integration will be undone before Muslims’ incorporation has taken place. Europe’s Muslims increasingly perceive the sum total of public debate about them as simple religious persecution – an uncanny admixture of the political distrust that drove the Kulturkampf and the religious resentment that fuelled traditional anti-Semitism.”


Inspired by Jonathan Laurence image source NYC French Consulate

NAJ Taylor the Australian Political Science academic and author of ‘This Blog Harms’, has published a three part essay on Aljazeera that “explores an often neglected aspect of corporate responsibility: the paradox of being a “responsible” arms maker. Taylor argues “that the “negative externalities” – or the impact on society – inherent in the deployment and threat of the use of weapons makes the standard of corporate responsibility difficult to apply”. In the second part of the essay Taylor argues, “those interested in corporate behaviour should view such firms through a “corporate social irresponsibility” lens, a strategy that identifies and allows a response to be made to normative developments, through proactive engagement and divestment strategies … before engaging with the problem of institutional investment in cluster munitions” in the third part of the essay.


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Naj Taylor

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