« Peacebuilding Paradigms : The Impact of Theoretical Diversity on Implementing Sustainable Peace »

by dave
via partage courriel de mon frère luc, une belle invitation au voyage – extrait du courriel : « Ce petit murmure, c’est ce qui me donne confiance en l’humanité. »
via partage courriel de mon frère luc, une belle invitation au voyage – extrait du courriel : « Hé mon frère, Ça vaut mieux qu’un coq le matin. La vie est belle. luc »
by dave
by dave
by dave

« Summary : The debate internationally on the conditions for peace and for sustaining peacebuilding has been characterized by a considerable degree of conceptual confusion and theoretical disagreements. There is a great need for clarification – or even a need to find common ground to avoid gratuitous or rhetorical differences and to search for more broadly perceived practical recommendations. Although policy makers and practitioners may not ordinarily benefit from theoretical debates among academics, especially if conceptualization is quite abstract, the assumptions and conclusions of these debates can and often do affect public discourses. The current volume attempts to bridge what appear to be six or seven paradigmatic differences founded on different assumptions, questions, and conclusions about what is significant about the peacebuilding efforts that developed since then UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s Agenda for Peace in 1992. »

Introduction : « As envisaged by Boutros Boutros-Ghali peacebuilding was a concept related to peacemaking, peacekeeping, and so forth. He refers to “peacemaking” as “efforts aimed at resolving the issues that have led to conflict”; “peacebuilding,” as efforts that include “rebuilding the institutions and infrastructures of nations torn by civil war and strife; and building bonds of peaceful mutual benefit among nations formerly at war.” However, these missions are interlinked and inseparable, as they both aim at eliminating the various causes of a conflict (economic, political, social). This is the approach that many contributors to this volume adopt, that the concepts of peacebuilding and peacemaking be examined together, as part of the same whole.

However, other contributors, such as Louis-Alexandre Berg, discuss the conceptual confusion and practical implications that arise when peacebuilding is not clearly defined by scholars and policy makers.

This essay summarizes a research agenda aimed at identifying, comparing, and contrasting the arguments about peacebuilding that have been made by seven paradigms: realism, liberalism, constructivism, cosmopolitanism, critical theories, local/comparative, and policy analysis (and their subparadigms). Most of this literature within each paradigm has been firmly grounded in the theoretical assumptions of each approach. Interestingly, scholars within each separate paradigm seldom recognize the commonalities that their paradigm shares with other paradigms. For example, a number of scholars in this volume make the argument that realism and liberalism rely on the importance of Western ideals of governance and economy to gauge state interests in peacebuilding projects, oftentimes to the detriment of the target state (as Oliver Richmond and Ioannis Telledis argue in this volume).

The absence of intertheoretical sharing among scholars is unfortunate, because there have been many lessons learned from rich case studies and analyses. This book seeks to tie all the paradigms together, most importantly, by finding common conclusions, but also clarifying disparate and incompatible perspectives about what affects and is affected by peacebuilding.

We will state up front that this is a difficult task. As James Rosenau contends in his analysis of foreign policy behavior of states, one cannot merely explain and interpret external policy behavior using a macro-level analysis alone.

Rather, foreign policy is an outcome of domestic factors and dynamics, which are innumerable and complex. So, how does the researcher explain policy outcomes? On this point Rosenau states:

The best technique for moving ahead is that of specifying what independent variables seem especially relevant to the phenomena to be explained even as one acknowledges that the sum of the variance they account for may fall short of one hundred percent…. The goal is not to account for all of the variability, but to explain enough of it to enlarge our understanding of the key dynamics at work in the examined situation.

The authors of the essays in this volume examine variations in peacebuilding outcomes and potentials through the lenses of the seven paradigms mentioned above. Each essay provides an explanation of the assumptions of the paradigmatic perspective primarily used by the author, with particular emphasis placed on how that author defines “peace,” which places constraints on what strategies peacebuilding is expected to utilize. If peace is defined purely as the absence of war, strategies aimed at achieving security will be the primary focus. If, on the other hand, a broader positive peace is being sought, this means more than just the establishment of rule of law, but necessitates efforts geared toward achieving social justice, economic, and political equality. If peace is assessed in negative terms, does this take into account lower levels of intergroup violence as a spoiler of peace, a question Michael Fowler raises in his contribution to this volume.

Understanding how the concept of peace is explained in scholarship and policy-making needs clarity and specificity, rather than caricaturing how the dominant analytic approaches diverge and converge. This also means that International Relations research, which discusses peace using quantitative and qualitative methods, should not directly study peace as an independent or dependent variable, as generally Peace Studies adherents worldwide approach the subject of peace and peacebuilding. Rather, the essays in this volume attempt to encourage practitioners of different paradigmatic methods to study peace as both a cause and an effect, along with issues of power and interests, regimes, local actors, and other units of analysis that directly and indirectly affect the prospects for peace.

Moreover, comparison between the different paradigmatic approaches is essential. All authors in this volume examine their particular peacebuilding paradigm in relation to the others. State-centric analytic peacebuilding models, like realism, which assumes an objective reality, must contend with the internal dynamics (subjective realities) of target states, as critical theories and cosmopolitan models would suggest. Constructivists fall into both camps, meaning they assume an objective reality but also take the subjective into account. This volume assumes that both forms of knowledge tell an important part of the story and any one paradigm is incomplete in answering the question of what does or does not build peace.

Many of the authors in this book argue that paradigms are not monolithic entities, but contain subparadigms, which aid in establishing the link between these macroand micro-level causal factors. Again, an examination of the work of Rosenau is instructive on this point. His “pre-theory” of foreign policy, which outlines the possible sources of policy fragmentation at four levels of analysis, demonstrates that there is not one explanatory element (or level of analysis) that can fully account for state behavior and its outcomes. Rather, multiple combinations of elements at different levels produce variegated results.

Any paradigmatic approach to peacebuilding must in some way contend with both the endogenous and exogenous factors that lead to unintended and intended peacebuilding consequences. Liberalism, for instance, focuses on the internal aspects of peace – whether these are considered property (First Image Lockean), a capitalistic economy (Second Image Commercial), or a representative system of government (Third Image Kantian). To some extent, these three images complement each other; they are all premised on a rational coexistence of free individuals.

At the same time, in their different recommendations to achieve peace, they raise certain epistemological concerns.

As Doyle argues: “Authentically liberal policies should in some circumstances call for attempts to secure personal and civil rights, to foster democratic government, and to expand the scope and effectiveness of the world economy.”3 That being said, and looking strictly at Kantian liberalism, for example, the drive for representative government as a precursor to domestic and international peace encounters problems when one assesses the impact of democracy on a case-by-case basis. Democracy in Iraq is not the same thing as democracy in Sweden, which raises certain questions.

How do institutional legacies and foundations for democracy factor into the equation? Where do local cultures and historical experiences fit in? Is it enough to just maintain stability, as is the case with Rwanda or hopefully Iraq? In particular, how are the top-down positivist approaches, traditionally advocated by realists and liberalists (for different reasons) perceived by internal actors? Absent a domestic normative and institutional foundation for democratic rule, how will democratization, or power sharing (in all its various forms), succeed?

As Doyle argues, for the intervening states, the limits come in with respect to costs. How far are liberal states willing to go in terms of expanding the number of liberal states in the international community? When it comes to the use of force, force should be reserved for “clear emergencies that threaten the survival of the community or core liberal values.” Short of that, liberalization requires prudent policymaking strategies.

While some subparadigms complement the larger peacebuilding paradigm, others create a host of problems, which have negative implications for a policymaker’s approach to peacebuilding. Take defensive realism, for example, which argues that certain conditions within states mitigate the system of international anarchy, such as technology and the presence or absence of nationalism.

Offensive realism, on the other hand, contends that the threat potential posed by the system of anarchy can never really be lessened, rather, “states could never be certain that any peace-causing condition today would remain operative in the future.” Here we have two subparadigms of the same larger paradigm of realism (or as an offshoot of the subparadigm of neorealism), with nearly opposite prognoses for the potential for peace. Similar issues arise when some of the many other subparadigms of realism are considered: hegemonic stability theory, balance of threat theory, and power transition theory, each of which add another layer of complexity to our understanding peacebuilding, or in this foreign policy-making behavior more broadly. As Wohlforth argues, what is more important are the questions these theories ask about the role of internal versus external factors in foreign policy making, for example, with the correct procedure being the use of that theory which fits your research question.

Peacebuilding can be seen through a number of lenses:

• Is it a process (building peace), whose success depends on attempting several processes, and if so, does the intensity of pursuit or achievements of results matter?
• Is it a policy outcome (building peace), whose success depends on objective
• Is it a perception (building peace), which depends entirely on subjective
• Does it imply a positive peace as opposed to the mere absence of violence
(whether in process, results, or perceptions)?
• Does it imply a process of pacting and maintaining consensus and reconciliation (regardless of whether or not a comprehensive menu of pursuits are demanded or perceived)?

How we study peacebuilding is also an analytic construct. A variety of “paradigms” regarding peacebuilding have emerged since the policy was launched by the United Nations twenty-five years ago. Distinct research communities appear to divide along the lines analyzed by Thomas Kuhn into separated, though not necessarily incompatible groups.

Yet, it is not widely known, despite the plethora of his citations, that Kuhn maintained that his historicist approach only applied to natural, not social science. This is because equilibrium of a dominant paradigm can be sustained for long time periods in the natural sciences, where as in the social sciences, they coexist and compete. Yet, as Kuhn observed and anticipated in the natural sciences, the social sciences even more so maintain distinct research communities.

An ISA-sponsored workshop, for which we are grateful, attempted to cross-fertilize interested participants from different research approaches derived ostensibly from theories of international relations (which had originated in the social contract or other political theories of Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Rousseau, Marx, and Foucault). In terms of research communities and methodologies, the paradigms seem to diverge.

However, in terms of analytical findings, agreements exist on the shortcomings of the policy, even if no common definition of peacebuilding exists, and differences of opinions vary as much within the paradigms as across them.

An implicit consensus across the interpretive frameworks is that peacebuilding scholars generally ignore the empirical findings of not only other paradigms, but also ignores many literatures relevant to political transitions, especially on nation and state building, democratization, and human rights protection, along with public policy and management generally. What they also do not realize that the challenges of peacebuilding reflect an implicit consensus that critiques of locality, hybridity, complexity are analogies for more conventional arguments about democratization, nation and state building, power sharing, and institutionalization.

We will consider seven major paradigms:
• realism
• liberalism
• constructivism
• cosmopolitanism
• critical theories
• local approaches
• policy analysis

The paradigms vary ideologically:
• state versus society
• neoliberal versus progressive
• pragmatic versus utopian
• left versus right
• analytic construct or policy
• rational versus nonrational assumptions
The paradigms vary epistemologically, with some adopting and cross-fertilization:
• monist description
• monist causality
• dualist description
• dualist casualty
• Realism says that security, hard power, and deterrence produce peace but then can draw from liberal and constructivist ideas and concepts to support “pluralistic security communities”
• Peace studies, constructivism, and some critical theory view peace as the
independent variable that needs to be the causal unit of analysis.

They have many common themes, despite having different languages, terminology,
and theories:
• hegemony (critical, constructivism)
• hegemony (liberalism, realism)
• dependency, world systems (critical)
• power, interests (realism)
• distribution of power (realism)
• geopolitics (cosmopolitanism)
• agency (critical peacebuilding)
• hybridity (critical peacebuilding)
• locality (critical peacebuilding)
• international institutions (liberalism)

And the paradigms vary normatively:
• hegemonic primacy versus legal world order
• peace versus justice
• economic growth versus social equity
• present versus future generations
• tradition/consensus/order versus rights of marginalized
• geopolitical realities versus collective security

The essays will show remarkably similar conclusions despite some critical and cosmopolitan methodologies of monism, which rejects the notions of objectivity, distance from the object of study, while emphasizes locality, uniqueness, and Gestalt. Yet, dualist approaches, typical of realism and liberalism, have reached some of the very same conclusions about needing to understand local conditions, the peril of Western ideas traveling distances geographically and culturally, as well as the tendency to resist perceived injustices.

Just as foreign policy experts stressing the liberal universality of modernization, with a teleological evolution toward democracy, secularism, and free markets, the reality of sustaining peace is complicated by resistance to these perceived alien impositions and the necessity of attempting to “nudge” societies toward local authenticity, ownership, decency, and incrementalism.

The book attempts to find how the different interpretations of different peacebuilding phases provide richer descriptions of reality, when taken together, while admitting where the interpretations are incompatible. By combining the compatible and compelling arguments from ostensibly opposing interpretive frameworks, this book’s essays will present a more complicated, but arguably, more accurate depiction of the quarter-century of formal peacebuilding policies, along with the various forms of complex, multidimensional peacekeeping which preceded it. As Albert Hirschman argued, complexity sacrifices some of the oft-claimed, social science capability in predictability of theories in order to gain a more accurate truthful depiction of the world by combining what otherwise seems like incompatible claims of opposing theories.

Clifford Geertz argued that so much of different contexts’ responses depends on deeply rooted cultural differences, embedded in interacting international, national, and local contexts. However, our view toward the clear utility of theory embraces what Charles Tilly has suggested, that we can move from Geertz’s “thick description” to explanation based on combining theories, while depending on some of the cultural, ideational, political, religious, and economic theories that do establish a possible trajectory for possible, if not likely scenarios of peacebuilding policies.

Does this open the door potentially for the use of a cross-paradigmatic approach to explain peacebuilding? As some of the authors in this volume contend, valuable insight from the assumptions of behavior (state, institution, individual) can be derived from other theoretical models. Such is the desire for the use of hybrid “crossparadigmatic” models as an appropriate means of gauging peacebuilding success.

Reliance on a hybrid model creates its own methodological issues, however. For example, is a cross-paradigmatic model that addresses peacebuilding sufficient if it only examines peacebuilding from a macro-level perspective or must it consider micro-level factors? If a hybrid model does account for micro-level concerns, is a greater focus on the local merely descriptive or does it assess the local as a causal influence on peacebuilding outcomes? Moreover, to what extent can an analysis claim that observations conducted at the micro-level provide an objective perspective on peacebuilding? Can peacebuilding ever be objectively explained, when the real determining factor of its success may well be how it is subjectively perceived by those most affected on the ground.

Tschirgi, for one, defends the hybrid approach to peacebuilding. To her, hybridity in peacebuilding can be described as the process and the outcome of the contestation between different normative and socio-political systems which lead to the creation of a new system which is sufficiently distinct from its progenitors. In other words, hybridity occurs in the contested interaction between the domestic and the international peacebuilding agendas.

Because it focuses on local actors and contexts, hybrid approaches do not necessarily seek to achieve efficiency in peacebuilding, but rather legitimacy. The needs and interests of domestic actors are necessary for peacebuilding to work, but external actors cannot be dismissed. Instead, the process of peacebuilding should be seen as being a matter of a “continually-negotiated political processes … that need to be dynamic, conflict-sensitive and locally-grounded if it is to capture entrenched interests as well as changing realities in countries emerging from conflict.”

From an epistemological standpoint, however, there are remaining questions about whether or not such an approach can ever really be distinct from the other paradigms, as the above definition suggests. Is hybridity really another version of constructivism, which places strong emphasis on the interactive relationship between international and domestic actors, as can be inferred from the work of some of the authors in this volume? In the alternative, if hybridity can be correctly considered separate from the other theories of peacebuilding, and given its potential for success, this suggests that the other paradigms (and their subparadigms) which continue to dominate peacebuilding discourses and policy-making do so for political rather than practical reasons. This latter issue is a point to which authors in this volume frequently return.


Intellectual significance

The many academic understandings, applications, and goals of peacemaking, keeping, and building, as well as mediation, sustainable peace, preventive diplomacy, conflict resolution, and the like, have many different conceptualizations, compounded by their paradigmatic variants (as this book demonstrates).

Notwithstanding the large size of the Peace Studies communities, realist and liberal interpretive frameworks still predominate inside and outside academia. The focus of Critical Peace Studies on critique rather than practical solutions to the problems of peacebuilding has made it less influential in the policy world.

Moreover, realist and liberal academics are already familiar with the critiques of realism and liberalism, whether from perspectives of Gramscian hegemony, Foucauldian governmentality, and/or imperialism.

Some realist and liberal academics argue that peace comes primarily from strength, even to the point where “bombing for peace” produces no apparent sense of paradox, nor any sense that promoting peace might really be about the security interests and power of the United States or European Union. What this means in practice is promoting political stability, often by force. Of course, the diversity in both realism and liberalism allows for major efforts at cooperation, including granting sovereignty to intergovernmental and supranational organizations, as well as in international regimes, including those regulated by law or enlightened hegemons or dominant powers.

What European critical theorists sometimes refer to as “positivist” scholarship is social science that is strictly empirical and intended to generate formal theories. This means that critical theory, critical peacebuilding, Marxism and post-Marxism, and structuralism and poststructuralism occupy separate Kuhnian paradigms and have only token representation, individually and collectively, in prestigious North American journals and presses, and only limited media and public exposure and discourse.


Concluding thoughts

It becomes clear from the essays in this book that it is possible for each paradigm to gain insights from the other paradigms. For example, liberalism accepts hierarchy, the war system, and neoliberal globalization, which cosmopolitanism sees as the three main deficiencies of the current global system. Critical theory advocates for a global governance that responds to the interests of people rather than capital, this of course is compatible with cosmopolitanism.

The second part of Ripsman’s contribution to this volume, which calls for a bottom-up approach to socialize peace treaties, is clearly inspired from constructivism and classical liberalism, as it emphasizes the domestic level.

Moreover, realism is in direct contrast with Farid’s mystic approach. Liberalism, although compatible because it believes in potential peace between individuals, is so dependent on structure and not the individual. Moreover, critical theory and cosmopolitanism are similar in seeking a redefinition of peace, other than the absence of war. However, they differ in the sense that critical theory focuses on the local (or individual), while cosmopolitanism focuses on a more holistic approach that involves all human species. Although cosmopolitanism and critical theory are both critical of liberal peace (albeit for different reasons), cosmopolitanism and critical theory both favor human security over national security.

The purpose of the volume is to determine the degree to which there is any common ground between realist/geopolitically oriented scholars (and policy makers), liberals, cosmopolitans/critical theorists, and so forth. ISA panels generally are ideologically segregated, but a workshop, particularly composed of cool heads interested in exchanging ideas respectfully, might come up with new insights on where unforeseen agreements exist between the different perspectives. There are possible “Groatian moments,” but are there also changes, such as the legalization of the human rights movement, where some (and obviously not all) areas of understanding and policy converge? Then, are there also possibilities of exploration for further ideological sharing, borrowing, and developing, as a result of dialogue, discourse, and the development of ideas? We have some tentative answers about where progress and regress, in terms of shared concepts, might exist, such as the danger of continuing on the current path. Cooler heads would realize that both academics and policy makers should get on the same page quickly less environmental, military, and economic catastrophes not become inevitable, self-fulfilling processes. We have attempted to discover if the presumed different assumptions of these seven Kuhnian paradigms are malleable in service of greater consensus about how to proceed.

Our approach is eclectic, choosing from the different interpretive frameworks, with much overlap in these apparent paradigms as well as many subtypes, especially in Liberalism, which is kind of the core paradigm for global and regional governance peace and peacebuilding. In practice, paradigms are just ideal types, heuristic models that assume pure types. While situated in different paradigms, peacebuilding scholars feed from the different camps sometimes consciously and sometimes, through osmosis. Just as many critical peacebuilding scholars claim that practice is based on hybridity, the same can be said about much scholarship. While critical theorists predominate in Europe, their conclusions are not altogether different from those of policy analysts and liberals who emphasize domestic politics and institutions.

At the same time, there are clear differences, especially when it comes to the methodologies used. Positivist approaches vary in terms of complexity. Some attempt to achieve high levels of abstraction with few explanatory variables. Often termed “neoapproaches,” they use qualitative methods to get the GIST: general, interesting, simple, and true. Others prefer thick description, whether using up to seven explanatory variables or assuming so much local variation as to defy generalization (e.g., degrees of freedom problems). As Henry Carey and Stacey Mitchell discuss in the conclusion to this volume, these methodological quandaries (depending on how you look at them), and the gap between theory and practice opens the door to more effective interplay between theory and practice.

They also move from the concerns of Lopez in the foreword, as well as Telledis and Richmond that the world is constantly changing and the older paradigms, however similar are the international and domestic frameworks from which they are derived, cannot keep pace with pandemics, economic collapses, contagious protests, as well as the phoenix of multilateralism and international institutions that respond to the senseless and the irrational, as well as traditional wills to power, enlightened self-interest, or altruism by states and nonstate actors, alike.

In the clutch of complex factors and Machiavelli’s Fortuna, we realize that paradigmatic assumptions are erroneous in application, even as they give insights that prioritize and enlighten, but also prejudice our understanding and action. »

– Introduction – Bridging the Conceptual and Theoretical Divides on Peace and Peacebuilding, by Henry F. Carey & Onur Sen

by dave

Lectures supplémentaires / complémentaires – Invitation(s) au voyage – Partages / Curiosités :

  • Une première fiction dramatique autochtone à Radio-Canada, par Ane-Marie Yvon
    • [extraits de l’article : « Dès le printemps 2022, Radio-Canada présentera Pour toi Flora, une série de six épisodes écrite et réalisée par la cinéaste et scénariste mohawk Sonia Bonspille Boileau, qui aura pour trame centrale l’histoire des pensionnats autochtones. » – « Tournée à partir de l’automne en territoire algonquin avec l’appui de la communauté anichinabée de Kitigan Zibi, la série suivra, au fil du temps passé et présent, l’histoire de deux Anichinabés enlevés à leurs familles respectives dans les années 60 pour être éduqués dans un pensionnat. » – « « Pour toi Flora, c’est, au-delà de juste une série dramatique, c’est une réappropriation pas juste de la culture, de la langue, mais de notre place dans la grande sphère médiatique et artistique du Canada », souligne Sonia Bonspille Boileau, après s’être présentée en mohawk, une langue qu’elle ne parle pourtant pas, tout comme sa mère, parce que son grand-père a fréquenté un pensionnat. » – « « Pour toi Flora constitue un grand pas vers notre objectif de refléter davantage la diversité du vécu de tous nos citoyens dans nos fictions », ajoute la directrice générale de la télévision de Radio-Canada, Dany Meloul. » – « La série, fictive bien qu’inspirée de plusieurs témoignages, sera tournée « dans le respect des survivants et des familles qui vivent encore avec les répercussions », précise la réalisatrice. » – « Les comédiens principaux ont été choisis. La Wendat Dominique Pétin s’est dite émue de participer « à cette première grande série sur cette balafre que sont les pensionnats autochtones dans notre histoire et de pouvoir la raconter à travers une parole autochtone, celle de Sonia ». » – « L’Innu Marco Collin rappelle de son côté l’importance de donner « une voix à ceux qui ont fréquenté ces pensionnats ». Il incarnera un de ces survivants, un être qui essaie de guérir, de trouver la paix avec son passé en faisant un retour dans sa culture. » – « Je suis resté bouche bée parce que c’est ma réalité, raconte l’Anichinabé de Pikogan, Samian, lorsqu’il a terminé sa lecture du scénario. » – « Parce qu’outre la réalité des survivants des pensionnats, il y est aussi question des répercussions que cela a eues sur leur famille, leurs enfants et les générations suivantes. « Le personnage que j’incarne correspond vraiment à cette réalité-là », ajoute Samian, qui y a trouvé une grande partie de sa propre vie. »]
  • Loi sur la laïcité
    • (via publication/réaction/déclaration de la page facebook Ligue des Droits & Libertés) : « JUGEMENT SUR LOI 21 – La Ligue des droits et libertés (LDL), tout comme d’autres groupes de la société civile, continue de dénoncer la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État. Cette loi cible des groupes de femmes musulmanes qui portent des signes religieux dans le cadre de leur travail. Le jugement de la Cour supérieure, rendu par le Juge Blanchard, reconnait cet aspect, notamment en ce qui concerne leur droit au travail, leur liberté de religion et leur liberté d’expression. Depuis plusieurs années, la LDL participe aux débats sur la laïcité. Celle-ci requiert que les institutions de l’État soient neutres à l’égard des religions et séparées de celles-ci afin de garantir la liberté de conscience et de religion, ainsi que l’égalité de toutes et tous. La LDL rappelle que la laïcité de l’État ne peut avoir comme conséquence d’exclure certaines populations ou d’imposer aux minorités les prétendues valeurs d’une majorité. Elle ne peut non plus être utilisée pour dicter une certaine manière de vivre ses croyances.« 
    • (2019-2021) Les commissions scolaires anglophones exemptées de la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État
      • [extraits de l’article de radio-canada : « Le gouvernement du Québec portera la décision de la Cour supérieure en appel. » – « Dans un jugement de 240 pages, le juge Marc-André Blanchard maintient la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État en vigueur au Québec, mais suspend certains articles touchant les commissions scolaires anglophones et les élus de l’Assemblée nationale. Par cette décision, la Cour crée dans les faits deux régimes scolaires en regard de la Loi sur la laïcité : un pour les écoles anglophones, où le personnel pourra porter des signes religieux dans l’exercice de ses fonctions, et un autre pour les écoles francophones, où il sera interdit d’arborer de tels signes pour le personnel. Il en va de même pour les élus de l’Assemblée nationale, qui sont eux aussi exemptés de l’interdiction du port de signes religieux lorsqu’ils siègent à l’Assemblée nationale, a tranché le juge Blanchard. Tous les autres corps de métiers visés par la loi, notamment les policiers, pompiers, juges et agents correctionnels, devront quant à eux se soumettre aux exigences de la loi, qui demeure en vigueur au Québec. Dans sa décision, le juge Blanchard n’a cependant pas retenu les autres contestations qui avaient été portées au tribunal par les groupes qui contestent la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État, ce qui constitue en soi une validation de la loi. » – « La Commission scolaire English Montréal satisfaite » – « Dans une déclaration vidéo, le président de la CSEM, Joe Ortona, s’est réjouit de la décision du tribunal. Cette loi a, selon lui, des effets négatifs sur le personnel et la culture de tolérance véhiculée dans les écoles de sa commission scolaire. Il nous a fallu refuser des emplois à des candidats et des candidates qui étaient qualifiés, certains ont refusé des promotions et d’autres n’ont tout simplement pas postulé, a déploré M. Ortona. La loi force les individus à choisir entre un emploi au gouvernement et le désir de porter des signes religieux. Nos valorisions la diversité de notre personnel et de notre corps étudiant en respectant leurs droits religieux qui sont garantis à la fois par les chartes canadienne et québécoise, a plaidé Joe Ortona. La loi 21 c’est une tentative pour régler un problème qui n’existe pas. Selon ce que plaidaient les avocats de la CSEM, la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État contrevient à l’article 23 de la Charte canadienne des droits(Nouvelle fenêtre). Cet article protège spécifiquement le droit à l’instruction dans la langue de la minorité, dans ce cas-ci les communautés anglophones du Québec. D’après l’interprétation des plaignants, cet article accorde [par extension] des droits constitutionnels aux minorités du pays dans la gestion de leurs écoles. Ce qui leur permettrait de se soustraire à la loi adoptée par Québec. Or, il semble que le juge Blanchard leur ait donné raison. » – « Québec porte la décision en appel » – « Une loi controversée : La Loi sur la laïcité de l’État – adoptée en juin 2019 à l’Assemblée nationale – interdit notamment le port de signes religieux à certains employés de l’État lorsqu’ils sont dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions, dont les policiers et les procureurs de la Couronne, ainsi qu’aux enseignants des écoles publiques du primaire et du secondaire. En l’adoptant, le gouvernement Legault a invoqué la clause dérogatoire – souvent appelée clause nonobstant – pour éviter une contestation de sa loi par ceux qui feraient valoir qu’elle est discriminatoire et contraire à la Charte des droits. Cela n’a pas empêché plusieurs opposants de la contester devant les tribunaux, dans le but de la faire invalider. Ils ont invoqué divers arguments, alléguant entre autres que cette loi contrevient à la Constitution canadienne. Ils ont notamment plaidé qu’elle cause des torts sérieux aux minorités religieuses et aux droits des femmes musulmanes, qui seraient particulièrement visées par cette loi, selon eux. » – « Sans s’impliquer directement dans le processus judiciaire, le gouvernement fédéral a également fourni de l’argent à la Commission scolaire English Montréal dans le cadre du Programme de contestation judiciaire (PCJ), afin de lui permettre de contester la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État. » – « Quant aux avocats du Procureur général du Québec, ils ont défendu la mesure législative, martelant que la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État encadre la liberté de religion, mais ne la nie pas. D’ailleurs, les avocats ont plaidé que cette liberté de religion n’est pas absolue, quel que soit le contexte. Selon eux, la prohibition de signes religieux à l’école est une interdiction dans une sphère spécifique, qui n’interdit pas aux citoyens de pratiquer leur religion à l’extérieur du travail, et partout ailleurs. Le gouvernement du Québec a aussi eu le soutien d’alliés dans ce litige, qui ont présenté des arguments pour que la loi soit préservée dans son intégralité, dont l’organisation Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF) et le Mouvement laïque québécois (MLQ) qui a fait ressortir en plaidoirie le droit des parents québécois d’assurer l’éducation religieuse et morale de leurs enfants conformément à leurs convictions. »]
    • La loi 21 en Cour suprême?
    • (2019-2020) Loi sur la laïcité : la Cour d’appel maintient les articles clés
      • [extraits de l’article de radio-canada : « La Cour d’appel du Québec a rejeté jeudi après-midi la demande de suspension immédiate temporaire de certaines dispositions de la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État, adoptée en juin dernier à l’Assemblée nationale. La décision est toutefois partagée, la juge en chef Nicole Duval Hesler ayant clairement exprimé sa dissidence. Selon le plus haut tribunal du Québec, la loi 21 doit être appliquée telle quelle, le temps qu’un tribunal se penche sur le fond. Contrairement à ses collègues, la juge en chef Nicole Duval Hesler dit qu’elle aurait accueilli l’appel en partie et aurait suspendu, pendant l’instance, l’application de l’article 6 de la Loi sur la laïcité de l’État pour les personnes visées par le paragraphe 10 de l’annexe II de cette même Loi, peut-on lire dans le document de la Cour. L’article 6 fait référence à l’interdiction du port de signes religieux pour certains employés de l’État. Les avocats du Conseil national des musulmans canadiens, de l’Association canadienne des libertés civiles et d’une étudiante en enseignement qui porte le hidjab avaient interjeté appel d’une décision de la Cour supérieure, qui a refusé l’été dernier de suspendre certaines dispositions de la Loi en attendant qu’un tribunal se prononce sur le fond. »]
    • Les opposants à la Loi sur la laïcité plaident devant la Cour d’appel
  • Des armes à la compréhension : Vers une résolution culturelle de la violence en Irak, par Faris Harram
  • Education systems not teaching the skills needed to get by – by Wachira Kigotho
    • [extraits : « In the survey’s report, titled The World in 2030: Public survey report, “lack of decent work and opportunities” were broken down further. It showed that 61% of the roughly 4,200 respondents surveyed on this topic were specifically concerned over “education systems not teaching the skills needed to get by”. Other concerns about work included not being able to find decent work, not having the same chance as others to get ahead, not having the skills needed to get by in the future, women getting paid less and struggling to get ahead and caring, child-rearing and unpaid work not being appreciated, as well as the impact of automation and technology. » – « Aimed at providing insights into the most pressing needs being faced by people around the world and solutions they felt were necessary, the survey had selected 11 challenges and asked respondents to select four items that they felt could threaten a peaceful society in 2030. The selected challenges included climate change and loss of biodiversity, violence and conflict, discrimination and inequality, lack of food, water and housing as well as health and disease. Other challenges on the list were disinformation and freedom of expression, the lack of decent work and opportunities, political participation and democratic principles, migration and mobility, artificial intelligence and new technologies as well as traditions and culture at risk. According to the survey’s report, the challenges were selected based on global analysis of current issues, as contained in the Global Education Monitoring Report, the UNESCO Science Report, the World Social Science Report, as well as in the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development and in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. » – « “Other key concerns in this challenge were issues related to global conflict and nuclear weapons, violence against minorities, vulnerable groups, women and girls, as well as civil wars, bullying, hate speech online and fighting over natural resources,” stated the report. There were also indicators that people in Sub-Saharan Africa are much more concerned about corruption, justice, and political participation but, unlike their counterparts in Eastern Europe, North America and Western Europe, are less concerned about the rise of nationalism globally. » – « The aspect of leaders and public figures not being held accountable for their actions worried 65% of the respondents. At 42%, health and disease was selected as the fourth ranking challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa and respondents were more worried about stigma, discrimination in health matters and rooted for support for sexual and reproductive health rights and education. Sub-Saharan African respondents in the survey frequently highlighted inequality and human rights, especially of migrants and refugees. But, whereas they were consistently against violence and harassment of women and minorities, the report noted some respondents from the region were less concerned about discrimination against women getting paid less or struggling to get ahead. “Respondents were also less consistent regarding rights of LGBT people,” noted the report. » – « Educational solutions : Towards finding solutions to the challenges, Sub-Saharan Africa showed more support for education solutions as compared with the other regions that included the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Europe and North America. In particular, respondents highlighted the need for health education (65%), teaching sustainability through education (66%), education programmes in peace studies and non-violence (69%) and education cultural heritage (82%). Sub-Saharan African respondents were also keen to use education as a capacity-building tool for employment. “For lack of decent work and opportunities, these respondents were concerned with education systems failing to teach the skills needed to improve employment opportunities. » – « According to Firmin Edouard Matoko, UNESCO’s assistant director-general for priority Africa and external relations, Sub-Saharan African respondents identified the roles of science and technology as important in addressing challenges and focused on solutions through higher education. “It is heartening to see Sub-Saharan African respondents highlighting the importance of science and technology in addressing health and environment challenges, areas where young people have an increasing role to play,” said Matoko. » – « An ethical compass : In this regard, the respondents in the sub-region called for the need to develop new technologies and cultural platforms using artificial intelligence. In the solutions segment, the respondents highlighted the role that science plays in addressing global challenges. On environmental protection, the respondents noted there was a need for education on conservation of flora and fauna from primary education to university level. UNESCO noted that, although education was ranked higher in Sub-Saharan Africa as a panacea for finding solutions to most challenges in the region, its importance was evidently clear in all regions. “It was the number one solution for seven of the 11 challenges globally,” said UNESCO. Across challenges, respondents globally chose solutions related to education, science and international cooperation although, according to the report, out of the 1,500 only 25% of them expressed confidence that the world can effectively overcome its common challenges. » – « But in the current world of many challenges, it appears, quality education is seen to have a potentially global-changing role. “The survey affirmed a clear conviction that education stands at the very heart of building a better world for all by providing not just skills, but an ethical compass to act with conscience,” said Stefania Giannini, the UNESCO assistant director-general for education. »]
    • The World in 2030: Public survey report
    • “World in 2030” Public Survey: climate change and biodiversity loss biggest concern by far, multilateralism and education most important solutions
  • Peacebuilding Paradigms : The Impact of Theoretical Diversity on Implementing Sustainable Peace
    • Paradigm Partners for Locally Grounded Peacebuilding, by John Hoven
    • Islamic Gnosticism and Peace, by Farid Mirbagheri
    • Building Peace through Social Relationships, by Sarah F. Brosnan
    • The Social Construction of Peacebuilding, by Brendan Howe
    • Critical Approaches to Peacebuilding, by Jacob Mundy
    • The International Law of Peace, by Henry F. Carey & Rebecca Sims
    • Generations of Constructing Peace, by Erin McCandless & Timothy Donais
    • From Scylla to Charybdis?, by Oliver P. Richmond & Ioannis Tellidis
    • A New Paradigm, by Úrsula Oswald Spring & Stacey M. Mitchell
    • Envisioning PeaceǀTransforming Conflict, by Sabine Kurtenbach [summary : « This essay develops a conceptual frame for the analysis of peace under a comparative area perspective. I discuss the main concepts (peace, violence, conflict) and assess them in relation to four main theoretical schools (realism, liberalism, cosmopolitanism, critical), demonstrating in the process how a global approach to peace resolves many of the difficulties these theoretical schools encounter by placing specific emphasis on the need to focus a lens on both international and national dynamics across cases. I also address the problem of reliable comparable date and suggest that a comparative area studies approach may be preferable as a means to measure the potential for and progress toward peace. I provide evidence for the added value of such a perspective based on an analysis of peace in Latin America. The concluding section discusses the necessity of a hybrid outlook on peace, which requires sustained action on the part of international and local actors toward reducing conditions of structural violence, and it formulates some avenues for future research. »]
  • Researching Peacebuilding in Africa : Reflections on Theory, Fieldwork and Context – edited by Ismail Rashid & Amy Niang
    • [« Book description : This book examines the multifaceted nature of conflict and the importance of the socio-economic and political contexts of conflict and violence and shows how to support ongoing initiatives and programs to build sustainable peace on the African continent. Drawing on a range of conceptual framings in the study of peace and conflict, from gender perspectives to institutionalist to decolonial perspectives, the contributors show how peacebuilding research covers a whole range of questions that go beyond concerns for post-conflict reconstruction strategies. Chapters focus on the methodological, theoretical and practical aspects of peacebuilding and provide a toolbox of perspectives for conceptualizing and doing peacebuilding research in Africa. Anchored in African-centered perspectives, the book encourages and promotes high-quality interdisciplinary research that is conflict-sensitive, historically informed, theoretically grounded and analytically sound. This book will be of benefit to scholars, policy makers and research institutions engaged in peacebuilding in Africa. »]
      • Overview of Recent Trends In African Scholarly Writing On Peacebuilding, by Festus Aubyn
      • When theory meets method: Feminist peace research in Africa and how to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange, by Heidi Hudson
      • A Mission to Civilize: The Liberal Idea of Peacebuilding in Africa, by Thomas Tieku
      • The Ethics of Research and Fieldwork-based in Conflict-affected Settings, by Ismail Rashid
      • The Application of Qualitative Research Methodology in African Contexts, by Kenneth Omeje
      • Quantitative Research Methods in Field-Based Peacebuilding, by Olayiwola Erinosho
      • A critique of the conceptual documents that frame UN and AU practice of Peacebuilding, by Norman Sempijja
      • Postconflict Emotions at Home: Researching Zimbabwean Soldiers, by Godfrey Maringira
      • Epistemological and Methodological Considerations in Peacebuilding Research – Experiences from the Borana of Ethiopia, by Asebe Regassa Debelo
      • Research in a Conflict and Peacebuilding Context: Narrations from Fieldwork in Nigerian Violent Theatres, by Jimam Lar
  • Kristensen, P. (2021). ‘Peaceful change’ in International Relations: A conceptual archaeologyInternational Theory, 13(1), 36-67.
    • [Abstract : « As the so-called liberal international order has come under duress, the problem of ‘peaceful change’ has reappeared on the agenda of International Relations (IR), mainly in a realist guise drawing upon E.H. Carr and Robert Gilpin’s renditions of the problem. Making a conceptual archaeological intervention, this paper recovers long-neglected multidisciplinary debates on ‘peaceful change’ taking place in the tumultuous interwar period. It concurs that peaceful change is an IR problem par excellence, central to academic debates in the burgeoning interwar discipline, but also a more complex conceptual figure than posterity portrays it. The paper explores the debates between negative and positive conceptions of peaceful change, between political, legal-institutional and communitarian mechanisms of peaceful change, and different policies of peaceful change, particularly its troubled relationship to appeasement. The paper concludes that the interwar debate on peaceful change, while highly embedded in its context, does offer IR an alternative and more aspirational perspective on the problem of power and order transitions. »]
      • [extraits de la conclusion : « Peaceful change was a complex conceptual figure that only in its realist renditions was synonymous with non-violent change enforced through great power bargaining, sometimes appeasement. The broader premise was that any given legal, institutional, and territorial international order, usually the result of peace settlements, stands upon the economic, social, and political fundamentals of the moment of creation. As these fundamentals change, and they always will, they become incongruent with the relatively more static order, causing pressures for order revision to mount. Such pressures become violent when repressed. In the interwar debate on peaceful change, there was a widespread sense that international law and organization – the international order embodied in the Versailles settlement – had not kept pace with the immense political, economic, technological, and demographic changes. The order had become so petrified that it might facilitate rather than prevent war. This led to calls for ‘peaceful change’. But what that meant, and how to implement it, was subject to debate. The debate revolved around varying conceptualizations, mechanisms, and policies of peaceful change. ‘Peaceful change’ could mean anything from a method to prevent war by politically renegotiating the status quo through one-off concessions to dissatisfied states to a way of increasing the political elasticity of the order through legal, consensual, and just changes made through a permanent institutional ‘safety valve’ or through persuasion, reason, information, and community-building. By situating the realist concept of peaceful change, notably Carr’s, within the contemporary debate, we realize that this view on the conceptualization, mechanisms, and policies of peaceful change, unlike many contemporaries, is largely synonymous with appeasement. The lessons for present theorizing is that concerns of morality and justice, not only for dissatisfied states, can play a role in peaceful change; that peaceful change can, in theory at least, take place through other mechanisms than statecraft, negotiations, and bargaining among great powers; and that peaceful change need not be synonymous with appeasement. There is room for further research on peaceful change at a time when IR is again discussing power transitions, hegemonic wars, and the decline of an international order founded on a certain economic, political, and military base. The uncertainty spurred by seeming US retreat, EU disintegration, and the rise of new global power centres has already led to renewed interest in the uncertain interwar period. Rather than simply drawing analogies to the tumultuous 1930s, however, there is much to learn by critically re-examining the international thought of the period. But the critical re-appropriation of its debates on ‘peaceful change’ for present debates on power and order transitions requires a more reflexive and historically informed presentism. The political and intellectual context has changed immensely over the past century and ‘the problem’ taken different forms. There are obvious contextual differences from the multipolar system prevailing in the interwar period to today’s global and regional power structures, the military technology at their disposal, the nature of hegemony and revisionism. An unhistorical and selective transplantation of concepts risks being presentist and intellectually flawed, but also politically and morally hazardous as the conceptual relationship between negative peaceful change and appeasement illustrates. Present attempts to resuscitate the concept of peaceful change require a deeper understanding of its conceptual history, institutional embeddedness, the different ways scholars deployed it in debate, and how it interacted with other ideas and the world of international policy. We need to understand what peaceful change means today compared to earlier, to interrogate whether we have come to take an abridged view of it, and whether it has alternative and contentious historical meanings. Only then can we see whether past concepts have unredeemed potentialities and aspirational significance. »]
    • Adler, E. (1998). Condition(s) of PeaceReview of International Studies, 24(5), 165-192. 
      • [Abstract : « ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the time for peace has come.’ The late Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel. The conditions in which peace can exist are now just what they have always been (even if time and place make them appear different): a higher expected utility from peace than from war; a ‘civic culture’; a commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes; strong institutions; an ethical code; mutual legitimization; peacemakers (because peace is socially constructed); a social-communicative process; material and normative resources; social learning (to take us from here to there); shared trust; and, most important, a collective purpose and social identity. As I will explain below, these are not ‘necessary’ conditions in any formal sense. Nor are there really sufficient conditions of peace, other, perhaps, than lobotomy and the total elimination of weapons, including fingernails. »]
    • ADLER, E., & GREVE, P. (2009). When security community meets balance of power: Overlapping regional mechanisms of security governanceReview of International Studies, 35(S1), 59-84. 
    • EMMERSON, D. (2005). Security, Community, and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Analyzing ASEAN. Japanese Journal of Political Science, 6(2), 165-185.
    • Charting the human rights institutionalisation process in Southeast Asia, by Hsien-Li Tan
      • Desierto, D. (2008). Postcolonial International Law Discourses on Regional Developments in South and Southeast Asia. International Journal of Legal Information, 36(3), 387-431.  [extract : « The development of international law in South and Southeast Asia exemplifies myriad ideological strands, historical origins, and significant contributions to contemporary international law doctrines’ formative and codification processes. From the beginnings of South and Southeast Asian participation in the international legal order, international law discourse from these regions has been thematically postcolonial and substantively development-oriented. Postcolonialism in South and Southeast Asian conceptions of international law is an ongoing dialectical project of revisioning international legal thought and its normative directions — towards identifying, collocating, and applying South and Southeast Asian values and philosophical traditions alongside the Euro-American ideologies that, since the classical Post-Westphalian era, have largely infused the content of positivist international law. Of increasing necessity to the intricacies of the postmodern international legal system and its institutions is how the postcolonial project of South and Southeast Asian international legal discourse focuses on areas of international law that create the most urgent development consequences: trade, investment, and the international economic order; the law of the sea and the environment; international humanitarian law, self-determination, socio-economic and cultural human rights. »]
  • Frederik Unseld : « […] My laptop and camera became important means of connecting with people during my daily excursions into the shantytowns, accompanied by Kisumu artists. It was easy to take pictures during local fashion shows, or for an artist’s social media feed. Taking pictures in an everyday context in the shanty areas, where the power imbalances at play and the limits of familiarity quickly shifted, was less self-evident. Although at first, I kept my devices out of interactions as much as possible – sensing that they were just another marker of the socio-economic gap between myself and the people I was working with – these devices turned out to be my best allies. I gladly took all the photos and video clips that artists asked me for, whether it was filming a dance choreography for joint critique, supplying free photos of events, or the artist striking an occasional pose during a stroll through the neighbourhood. However, as my research progressed, I found myself concerned that my relationship with the artists as “informants” might not be exactly that expected by classical anthropology. While I continued to record my interlocutors’ life histories and accompanied them on their tours through the low-income settlements, we were spending more and more time chatting about their ideas for music videos, a documentary to be shot, and other such projects that had piqued my curiosity. Gradually, my personal diary notes taken during the day and transcripts of conversations recorded during walks in town all seemed to be taking on a direction of their own, toward a more narrative register of experience. […] »
  • « Lorsqu’on manque de temps, on manque d’humanité » – Manifeste de Nicolas Lévesque
  • Rétablir l’ordre. Peur, méfiance, haine des minorités culturelles et sexuelles – par Audrey-Maude Vézina
    • [extraits : « Pratique religieuse, origine immigrée ou autochtone, appartenance raciale, genre féminin, orientation sexuelle, identité sexuée sont l’objet de diverses formes de ressentiment social. Selon l’ouvrage, cette hostilité est due à la présence accrue des minorités sur les scènes publique et politique ainsi qu’à leurs gains de droits, considérés par leurs opposants comme immodérés, illégitimes et porteurs de divisions et de conflits sociaux. » « « Ce livre dresse, pour une première fois, un portrait des différentes facettes de cette hostilité. » – Denise Helly » « « Il retrace les contextes sociaux de sa persistance et ses manifestations actuelles les plus courantes, comme les attitudes et les imageries de citoyens ordinaires, leurs échanges sur les médias sociaux et les discours de corpuscules politiques. Il décrit la violence verbale et physique subie par les membres de minorités dans les lieux publics, de la micro-agression à la brutalité physique, voire au meurtre », ajoute la professeure. » « Cette publication s’intéresse aussi à un autre versant de cette peur et de ce rejet des minorités, soit la sanction de leurs manifestations les plus nocives pour le respect des droits de ces personnes. On y résume plus d’un demi-siècle de législation canadienne contre l’expression de haine envers les minorités. La question de la haine et de la désinformation en ligne, que le gouvernement fédéral se prépare à réguler, est abordée. » « Selon Denise Helly, cet ouvrage montre comment le désir d’exclure les minorités est un échec de l’égalitarisme libéral. Il aborde aussi les formes de conflit social et de violence que ce désir génère, qui sont peu reconnues par les élites politiques et, ce faisant, difficiles à endiguer par les modes de sanction existants. »]
    • RÉTABLIR L’ORDRE. Peur, méfiance, haine des minorités culturelles et sexuelles. (2021)
      • [« Une édition électronique réalisée à partir du livre sous la direction de Denise Helly en collaboration avec Nina Admo, Ahmed Mahdi Benmoussa, Alexandre Berlad, Richard Y. Bourhis, Brieg Capitaine, Benjamin Ducol, Aurélie Girard, Grégory Gomez del Prado, Jessy Lemire Moreau, Frédérick Nadeau, Maryse Potvin, Simon Saint-Onge et Stéphanie Tremblay, RÉTABLIR L’ORDRE. Peur, méfiance, haine des minorités culturelles et sexuelles. Chicoutimi, Québec: Les Classiques des sciences sociales, mars 2021, 338 pp. [Madame Denise Helly nous a accordé le 22 janvier 2021 son autorisation, conjointement avec celle de tous ses collaborateurs, de diffuser ce livre en libre accès à tous dans Les Classiques des sciences sociales.] »]
  • Vivre ensemble | Libre parole et réciprocité: entre égales libertés et bien public – « webinaire permettra d’aborder l’enjeu de la liberté d’expression dans une optique de « droits aux droits » et de lutte aux exclusions ».
  • The Review of Politics (Volume 83 – Issue 2 – Spring 2021)
  • www.anjadiabate.com
  • Sheryl Sandberg and Top Facebook Execs Silenced an Enemy of Turkey to Prevent a Hit to the Company’s Business, by Jack Gillum and Justin Elliott
  • Has the pandemic really caused a mental health crisis?
  • First monkey–human embryos reignite debate over hybrid animals, by Nidhi Subbaraman
  • The Biosphere, by William Pettigrew
  • Born secret — the heavy burden of bomb physics (How data restrictions shaped nuclear discovery, energy research and more.), by Sharon Weinberger
    • [extraits du compte rendu / lecture de l’ouvrage Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States d’Alex Wellerstein (2021): « In March 1950, an official from the Atomic Energy Commission — then the guardian of US nuclear secrets — oversaw the burning of thousands of copies of the magazine Scientific American. The contention? They contained information so secret that its publication could jeopardize the free world. Several statements in an article about the hydrogen bomb had raised red flags with government officials, even though they had all been reported publicly before. The government’s concern was not about what was said, but about who said it. Physicist Hans Bethe, who wrote the article, had been the head of the theoretical division at the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico during the Manhattan Project, the top-secret Second World War programme that led to the atomic bomb. The magazine burning is one of several arresting episodes recounted in the groundbreaking book Restricted Data. Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science, chronicles the twisted path of nuclear secrecy from the early days of atom-splitting research, through the Manhattan Project, into the cold war and beyond. » – « The book draws its title from “a novel and unusually expansive legal category that applied only to nuclear secrets”. That label, “restricted data”, was created in the United States in 1946. It designates all knowledge related to the creation of nuclear weapons, ranging from nuclear fusion to the production of fissile material, as “born secret” regardless of where it originated — be it a discovery in a private industry lab, a university or someone’s shed. This is thus a story of “the troublesome quandary raised by fears of dangerous knowledge in a nation where information is anything but easy to control”, Wellerstein writes. The designation created hurdles for researchers who thought that ideas they had developed with no connection to secret research were their own. Wellerstein recounts in fascinating detail the history of KMS Industries in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which tried to work on laser-driven fusion in the 1960s and 1970s, basing its efforts on the research of physicist Keith Brueckner. The company met with legal threats, had patents blocked and faced spiralling debt as it fought the government for the right to pursue its work. » – « Wellerstein’s book is compelling and frightening as it confronts the reader with the confounding questions that scientists and government officials faced when trying to decide what information should be withheld. It might seem absurd to burn magazines containing well-known information, but if that information, presented authoritatively, ran even a small risk of helping an enemy nation to build weapons, would it not be better to err on the side of caution? The counterargument was made presciently in the 1970s by nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, addressing a hypothetical terrorist group trying to obtain a nuclear weapon. “Lay off any sophistication altogether,” he said, making the point that the existence of fissile material, rather than knowledge about how to make it, was the real danger. “Try and see what is the simpleminded way to make something that could knock over the World Trade Center.” As we learnt decades later, it didn’t take a nuclear weapon to accomplish that. » – « Wellerstein’s work also raises some intriguing questions about modern secrecy beyond nuclear-weapons research, with ramifications for fields from cybersecurity to political studies. He points out, for example, that a US naval-intelligence analyst was charged with espionage in the 1980s and sentenced to two years in prison for giving satellite photos of Soviet nuclear-aircraft carriers to a British defence magazine. (The analyst, unnamed in the book, is Samuel Morison, later pardoned by president Bill Clinton.) Fast forward some 40 years, and Reality Winner, an Air Force veteran in her twenties, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for leaking a document showing that Russia had hacked into voter-registration systems in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 US presidential elections. Her leak was illegal, but revealing something that was being talked about nightly on cable news hardly seems as serious as exposing secrets about the nuclear arms race. How has the modern national-security state reached a point at which the very act of leaking information is considered more threatening to national security than the harm done by exposure? The answer to that needs another book, but Wellerstein has laid the groundwork for whoever chooses to probe that dark corner. »]
  • Thupten Jinpa: « A Conversation about Buddhism and Science« 
  • Dreamlike Horizons – Judith Sayrach
  • Okinum – Émilie Monnet
  • The dark history of Canada’s Food Guide: How experiments on Indigenous children shaped nutrition policy
  • Water Stress: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse, by Claire Felter and Kali Robinson
    • [summary : « Water scarcity threatens the health and development of communities around the globe. Climate change is intensifying the problem, pushing governments to find more innovative, collaborative ways to address water stress. » – « Water scarcity happens when communities can’t fulfill their water needs, either because supplies are insufficient or infrastructure is inadequate. Today, billions of people face some form of water stress. » – « Countries have often cooperated on water management. Still, there are a handful of places where transboundary waters are driving tensions, such as the Nile Basin. » – « Climate change will likely exacerbate water stress worldwide, as rising temperatures lead to more unpredictable weather and extreme weather events, including floods and droughts. » / extrait de l’article : « What is water stress? Water stress or scarcity occurs when demand for safe, usable water in a given area exceeds the supply. On the demand side, the vast majority—roughly 70 percent—of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture, while the rest is divided between industrial (19 percent) and domestic uses (11 percent), including for drinking. On the supply side, sources include surface waters, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as groundwater, accessed through aquifers. But scientists have different ways of defining and measuring water stress, taking into account a variety of factors including seasonal changes, water quality, and accessibility. Meanwhile, measurements of water stress can be imprecise, particularly in the case of groundwater. “Any numbers out there have to be taken with a grain of salt,” says Upmanu Lall, a Columbia University professor and water expert. “None of these definitions are typically accounting for groundwater usage, or groundwater stock.” »]
    • Autumn Peltier
    • Millions of Groundwater Wells Could Run Dry, by Chelsea Harvey
      • [extraits : « Millions of drinking wells around the world may soon be at risk of running dry. Overpumping, drought and the steady influence of climate change are depleting groundwater resources all over the globe, according to new research. As much as 20% of the world’s groundwater wells may be facing imminent failure, potentially depriving billions of people of fresh water. » – « The research, published yesterday in the journal Science, pulled together construction records from 39 million wells scattered across 40 countries. »]
      • Global groundwater wells at risk of running dry – [Abstract : « Groundwater wells supply water to billions of people, but they can run dry when water tables decline. Here, we analyzed construction records for ~39 million globally distributed wells. We show that 6 to 20% of wells are no more than 5 meters deeper than the water table, implying that millions of wells are at risk of running dry if groundwater levels decline by only a few meters. Further, newer wells are not being constructed deeper than older wells in some of the places experiencing significant groundwater level declines, suggesting that newer wells are at least as likely to run dry as older wells if groundwater levels continue to decline. Poor water quality in deep aquifers and the high costs of well construction limit the effectiveness of tapping deep groundwater to stave off the loss of access to water as wells run dry.« ]
  • Une base de données sur les dialectes kurdes, par Salih Akin [Salih Akin, « Une base de données sur les dialectes kurdes« , Les carnets de l’Ifpo. La recherche en train de se faire à l’Institut français du Proche-Orient,]
  • Calo, A., Bellwood, P., Lankton, J., Reinecke, A., Bawono, R., & Prasetyo, B. (2020). Trans-Asiatic exchange of glass, gold and bronze: Analysis of finds from the late prehistoric Pangkung Paruk site, BaliAntiquity, 94(373), 110-126.
    • [Abstract : « Excavations at the stone sarcophagus burial site of Pangkung Paruk on Bali have yielded the largest collection of Roman gold-glass beads in early Southeast Asia found to date, together with elaborate gold ornaments and two Han Chinese bronze mirrors. Unprecedented in Island Southeast Asia, these artefacts find parallels at Oc Eo in Vietnam, at other sites in the Mekong Delta and on the Thai-Malay Peninsula. Analyses of these new finds and comparison with others from across the region provide insights into the early to mid first-millennium AD trans-Asiatic networks that linked Southeast Asia to South Asia, the Roman world and China.« ]
  • (Dossier) États-Unis : espaces de la puissance, espaces en crises – Les territoires ultramarins des États-Unis au cœur de la première ZEE mondiale
    • [« Si les États-Unis disposent de la première ZEE mondiale, c’est notamment grâce à une quinzaine de « territoires » situés dans le Pacifique et les Caraïbes. Sans être formellement des colonies, ils sont sous leur contrôle total, et leur fonction a évolué depuis leur acquisition. Ils ont encore, la plupart, un intérêt stratégique et géopolitique : ce pavage territorial hérité donne surtout aux États-Unis un levier majeur de projection de puissance et constitue une prise de gage sur le futur dans un monde de plus en plus maritimisé. »]
  • 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities – by Open Culture
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