(C) Kapok Tree Diplomacy. 2011. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins. FREE CONTENT
Truth Commissions (TCs) – TCs may be appointed or sponsored by national, international, NGO, or hybrid commissions (Bercovitch & Jackson 156). The strengths of truth commissions may include their low cost, flexibility, “wide range of purposes” that they serve, ability to “reconstitute the moral order and provide a measure of justice when trials are not an option,” usefulness in dealing with “disappearances and killings by anonymous death squads,” potential to end a culture of impunity, role in providing a new transitional government “room to maneuver,” and the “emotional therapy” they provide a “traumatized society” (Bercovitch & Jackson 159). But are TCs ‘compromise justice’ that actually weaken the ability to make peace?
Hayner’s analysis of 15 recent TCs is useful for delineating their strengths and weaknesses. Hayner notes that in Uganda (1974) the TC had “little impact on the practices of the Amin regime” (612); in Bolivia many abuses “were overlooked” (614); the Uruguay TC was “not a serious undertaking of human rights” (616); the Zimbabwe report “has never been available to the public” (617); the Chilean report resulted in a formal apology by the President and many recommendations being implemented (622). Furthermore, the Chad TC may have been established “to improve the new president’s image” and suffered from lack of funds (624-625); the El Salvador TC resulted in general amnesty only five days after publication of its report (629); and the South African ANC II report denied any “systematic policy of abuse” (633). Read more
(C) Kapok Tree Diplomacy. 2010. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins. FREE CONTENT
NGOs are essential to conflict resolution in as much as they possess the necessary skills, knowledge, personnel and experience to help resolve the conflict and the context is favorable to their participation. Certainly, the traditional role of the NGO has changed in nature from one of purely humanitarian relief to one that includes the roles of civil society builder and peace broker. This role transformation challenges the NGO’s assertion of neutrality and inviolability. Pamela Aall lists certain conditions that must exist prior to NGO conflict resolution intervention, saying NGOs must have:
· Knowledge of the country and the regional institutions involved (14)
· Indigenous partners (14)
· Good knowledge of conflict mediation skills (14)
· Inherent understanding of the personal risks involved (14)
David Baharvar explains, “The basic mission of the major NGOs devoted to international ethnic conflict resolution is to transform the way that torn societies deal with a conflict and to improve the process of conciliation. Their efforts typically are focused on capacity-building: consultation, dialogue, and training in conflict resolution for people on all sides of an ethnic conflict” (2001).
The posts, views and opinions expressed on this site are completely my own and do not represent the views or opinions of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of the Navy (DON) or any of the Armed Forces. Read more
January 30, 2010 – Jeffrey R. Dwiggins, Copyright, Kapok Tree Diplomacy –
The Extent That Theories of Cooperation Harmonize With Reality in Contemporary International Relations
International relations theorists have presented distinctly different views on both the prospects for cooperation among states and the environmental and structural constraints impeding it for decades. This essay will explain and analyze the main views put forth in Robert Keohane‘s Regime and Complex Interdependency Theory, Bruce Russett’s Democratic Peace Theory, David Held’s democratization of global politics, and conclude with Robert Jervis’s ideas on the effectiveness of creating institutions to increase cooperation.
The views of Jervis will bring us full circle with realist and neo-realist views of cooperation. Throughout the essay, I will assess to what extent the arguments of these theorists are convincing. Do these theories of cooperation harmonize with reality in contemporary international relations? The following essay will explain how and why they do, and in other cases how and why they do not.
Theories of Cooperation
Keohane – Regimes and Complex Interdependency Theory. Keohane defines cooperation as occurring when “actors adjust their behavior to the actual or anticipated preferences of others, through a process of policy coordination” (“Cooperation” 491). The definition leaves some room for why actors would adjust their behavior at all. Keohane implies that the answer is found in mutual interests that are of equal importance (“Cooperation” 490). When such mutual interests are present, actors will want to bargain and negotiate as opposed to the manipulation and coercion that prevail under divergent interests and lead to strife. Read more