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Elections Human Rights

Campaigning at the Expense of the World’s Weakest

photo: Kiss the boy/flickr

This week the tiny nation of East Timor found itself caught up in the vicissitudes of Australia’s domestic politics. In her first policy speech as prime minister, Julia Gillard proclaimed the country’s interest in a regional solution to an apparently regional problem. She announced a plan to create a regional hub for processing refugees on East Timor as a means of deterring mainly Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers from paying criminal syndicates for passage to Australia.

The Prime Minister stated she had discussed the issue with East Timor’s president Jose Ramos-Horta. She had, however, neglected to include East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in the discussion, who then allowed his own party to join in a unanimous condemnation of the plan in parliament (considering the only thing Timorese politicians seem to agree on is their lack of love for Australia, there was probably never a big chance of the plan going anywhere anyway.)

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ISN Weekly Theme: The Rise of the Right

Europe turning right? Courtesy of: Rene De Paula Jr/flickr

One hallmark of Europe’s changing political landscape in the past decades has been the steady rise of parties on the extreme right. This week the ISN explores the ‘family’ of right-wing parties and the implications of their rising popularity and clout across the continent.

Our Special Report offers the following content:

  • An Analysis by Dr Michale Bruter on the concept and reach of the extreme right in Europe.
  • A Podcast with Dr Andrea Mammone of Kingston University London on the rise of the right in Italy and the political, economic and ethical crisis engulfing the country.
  • Security Watch articles on the popularity of right wing parties among foreigners in Switzerland and on the rise of right-wing extremism in the UK.
  • Publications housed in our Digital Library, including a Centre for Eastern Studies commentary on Germany’s integration and naturalization policies and a Danish Institute for International Studies paper on multiculturalism in Denmark and Sweden.
  • Primary Resources, among them Geert Wilders’ speech in the House of Lords and a report on violence against Roma in Naples, Italy.
  • Links to relevant websites, including an article on populism in Europe and a swissinfo page on Islam and Switzerland that details last year’s minaret debate and its aftermath.
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Call for Applications: Junior Associates Program

The ISN is proud to announce the launch of our Junior Associates Program. The program brings together young professionals from Swiss-based institutions, companies and international organizations , as well as promising young scholars from Swiss universities, in a cooperative project that builds bridges and networks across the Swiss IR community.

Each program cycle will focus on a theme; this year, the topic will be

Europe and Islamic Countries – New Frontiers, Fresh Perspectives

The broad range of issues that may be explored under this thematic umbrella include:

  • Swiss/European policy toward ‘marginal’ Muslim regions, such as North Africa, parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia
  • Economic cooperation between Europe and North Africa
  • Population growth in the Arab world and the migration of young Arabs to Europe
  • Muslim perspectives on identity and place in 21st century Europe

Through collaboration, Junior Associates are expected to draft two Junior Associates Special Reports, to be published by the ISN in late 2010 and early 2011.

Junior Associates will also have the opportunity to attend an exclusive ISN Junior Associates event in Zurich in early October of this year. The event will feature high caliber speakers on this year’s topic.

For more information and to request an application form, visit the program’s website. Questions can be addressed to the program manager, Kaisa Schreck, or the program assistant, Jonas Rey, by sending an email to ja[at]sipo.gess.ethz.ch.

Categories
International Relations

ISN Weekly Theme: US-Mexico Border

At a beach in Tijuana, a balloon vendor attempts to bring some joy, photo: Romel Jacinto/flickr
At a beach in Tijuana, a balloon vendor attempts to bring some joy, photo: Romel Jacinto/flickr

Almost 12 million people live in the US-Mexico border area: hundreds of thousands cross the 3000 km-long border every day – legally and illegally. It is the most protected US border, with no less than 90 percent of all US border patrol agents working there. In addition to immigration and associated human rights challenges, cross-border security issues include organized crime, drug trafficking and human smuggling.

Here’s an overview of some ISN website highlights:

  • The ISN Special Report Desperation Route, in which Sam Logan offers a first-hand account of the circumstances that keep the drugs, guns and desperate people pouring across the US-Mexico border
  • The CGD’s Don’t Close the Golden Door by Michael Clemens in our Policy Briefs section, outlining policies on immigration for the US administration
  • New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s speech on comprehensive immigration reform in our Primary Resources section