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The Crisis of Multiculturalism in the UK: Has It Failed? Namig Abbasov

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 480

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:36 PM

The idea of multiculturalism has been hotly debated across the UK in recent years. This article addresses the question of whether multiculturalism has failed in Great Britain based on an assessment of both sides of the debate. Considerable arguments against multiculturalism have been submitted by both academics and political figures, stating its devastating impact on social cohesion, causing social segregation, and its incompatibility with the principles of liberal democracy. This essay argues the opposite: the primary argument in this essay is that what has failed is not multiculturalism itself, but rather the understanding of it, due to the powerful negative discourse around the term embedded in multicultural policies (MCPs). The article argues that there is an urgent need for the contextual development of multiculturalism, which can lead to a variety of views. It concludes that the arguments against multiculturalism lack empirical evidence, and those arguments have been strongly influenced by the negative discourse around the idea of multiculturalism, rather than its everyday realities. Read more...

Forced Humanitarianism: Turkey’s Syrian Policy and the Refugee Issue; Ariel González Levaggi

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 475

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:29 PM

The Middle East faces complex and overlapping turbulences. The Civil War in Syria and the emergence of Islamic State have radically changed the geo-strategic environment. In recent years, Turkish foreign policy has faced two major tests in relation to this new situation: a large wave of Syrian refugees and the threat of Islamic State in southeast border areas. Since the start of the Syrian Civil War, Turkey has to deal with an increasing volume of refugees, while the emergence of the Islamic State increased the number of Syrian and Iraqi citizens seeking protection in Turkish territories, in addition to the deterioration of the regional security environment. Ankara has tried to navigate the troubled waters of the Syrian crisis via a two-pronged approach, combining national security concerns with democratic internationalism. One of the highlights of Turkish Internationalism has been growing humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees, which brings Turkey to a prominent position in terms of humanitarian aid delivery. In this paper, I will discuss the concept of “forced humanitarianism” to explain the intersection with the Syrian Crisis in Turkish foreign policy. Read more...

Commentary by Simon Anglim - In the Absence of Effective Global Governance, Security Policy Based on Political Realism Makes Sense

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 472

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:29 PM

To political realists, the world is a dangerous place, anarchic and without any central body to enforce international law or any universal system of morality. Consequently, states cannot trust each other, and have a duty towards their citizens to maximise their power in order to ensure their protection. A political leader may have a strong sense of personal morality, but this must be put aside in the face of possible threats to the safety and welfare of the people who have entrusted him/her with high office. Other forms of guaranteeing state and international security, for instance through collective security, are contingent on trust and optimistic interpretations of human nature. Consequently they have flaws and loopholes where realism does not, and the current emphasis on liberal intervention could be making the world less stable, and therefore less secure. Read more...

International Cooperation Following the Economic Crisis: Where Next? Keith Boyfield

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 465

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:37 PM

This paper examines initiatives to oversee a coordinated response to the recent worldwide economic crisis. The paper highlights the manner in which the regulation of the global financial system was dangerously fragmented, triggering the collapse of leading banks such as Lehman Brothers and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). In order to address the disintegration in international confidence, world leaders were obliged to act – overtly through the G20, but more covertly via the US government’s willingness to act as the lender of last resort. Turning to the role played by key institutions established by the Bretton Woods Agreement, the paper assesses the responses of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Focusing on future challenges, this paper highlights the way in which the Eurozone has continued to suffer from spasmodic growth, with many EU members recording erratic progress and high levels of unemployment. The Euro has been a casualty, reflecting a fault line in strategy between France and Germany, clearly demonstrated in the ongoing crisis surrounding Greece. By contrast, other regions of the world have achieved impressive levels of economic growth. This has been helped by regional development banks, such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Meanwhile, China has opted to create a brand new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the support of a cluster of OECD partners. The article concludes by noting that the world’s response to the financial crisis has illustrated the shifting epicenter of global economic power. The US is losing its pre-eminence to China and a more self-confident Islamic world. The EU remains inward-looking, and the IMF’s support for continued Greek membership of the Euro has raised questions about the Fund’s future direction and leadership. Read more...

Contemporary Refugee Issues in the EU and the Crises of Multiculturalism; Brendan Cole

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 459

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:39 PM

In reporting on the conflict in Syria, the media has concentrated on the refugee crisis as a key facet of the larger narrative. While the geopolitical ramifications of the conflict are pored over by political leaders, the more human consequences of this vast exodus of refugees have raised questions over the responsibility of the international community toward the millions who are fleeing. So far, it has fallen to Syria’s immediate neighbors to bear the brunt of the exodus, with EU countries accepting relatively few. This has led to a discrepancy between a predominantly European call to help Syria’s refugees - and how welcoming Europe is in practice. Added into the mix is the rise of anti-immigration sentiment in many European countries, where problems with the integration of immigrants is perhaps fuelling a reluctance to accept refugees. European governments are making public statements to their citizens about the rise of Islamism in Europe; the kind of anti-immigration protests seen in Germany over the last few months show how difficult it is for governments to square their humanitarian responsibilities with public doubts over the value of multiculturalism in their societies. This commentary enquires whether there is a degree of hypocrisy in the EU, given the gap between its professed concern for those fleeing violence and the help it actually offers, and asks whether this is likely to change. Read more...

CAUCASUS UNDER REVIEW: RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 458

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:26 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. Read more...

NATO and South Caucasus’ post-Cold War Riddle; Reshad A. Karimov

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 454

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:10 AM

This article provides a brief analysis of NATO’s post-Cold War cooperation with the South Caucasus countries, arguing that when it comes to the South Caucasus, NATO has been pursuing a limited role, mainly confined to the goals defined in the Individual Partnership Action Plans (IPAPs) and the involvement of the South Caucasus countries in related activities. According to the author, NATO’s strategy in the South Caucasus has its roots not only in the political and security dynamics of the regional states, but also in Russia’s substantial role in the region, and the ways in which NATO-Russian relations have been shaped and enacted as a result. At the same time, the crises in the Middle East and the role of Western countries there together with the withdrawal of NATO and the U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, require major revisions of NATO’s approaches. The current global security complex calls for the organization to step up its foreign policy efforts. In conclusion, the author emphasizes that as NATO continues to face a range of global challenges it cannot tackle alone, its relations with the states of the South Caucasus should serve as a reminder that its choice of partners in the currently fluid situation may determine the future of the region. Read more...

Samtskhe-Javakheti as a Potential Flash Point in Georgia: Ethnic-Confessional Composition and Integration Challenges; Nika Chitadze

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 454

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:16 PM

This article will assess the importance of the geographical location of Georgia’s Samtkhe-Javakheti region and its administrative-territorial division. It will also provide an overview of the historical factors relating to the formation of the territory and borders of the region, which influenced its ethnic and religious composition. Taking into consideration the historic and geographical factors, a central focus of the research is a deep analysis of the ethnic and religious composition of the population of this historic part of Georgia, in order to answer the main research question: how have multi-ethnic and multi-confessional factors affected the socio-economic and political situation in Samtskhe-Javakheti? Read more...
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