Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Palestine Exploration Fund photostream on flickr

A collection of photographs from the Palestine Exploration Fund is available on Flickr. The collection shows mainly antiquities but also has some images of people and towns in Palestine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Updated profile on internal displacement in Azerbaijan - IDMC and NRC

The International Displacement Monitoring Centre have updated their profile on internal displacement in Azerbaijan. Click on the picture above to go to the webpage or click here for the PDF

Sunday, 5 December 2010

CONF./CFP- Comparative Perspectives on EU Democracy Promotion, Ghent U., Jun 24

Call for Papers

Workshop: "Comparative perspectives on the substance of EU democracy promotion"

Organised by:
Fabienne Bossuyt (Aston University), Jan Orbie (Ghent University),
Michelle Pace (University of Birmingham) and Anne Wetzel (University of Zurich)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University

Democracy promotion in third countries has been on the EU's agenda
since the early 1990s. Over the past 20 years, EU democracy promotion
activities have been substantiated through a 'learning by doing'
process. In parallel with the development of the EU's democracy
promotion policy, a vast academic literature has emerged on the topic.
While many studies have focussed on the impact and effectiveness of EU
democracy promotion in third countries, others have dealt with the EU
as a democracy promoter itself and, in particular, with its democracy
promotion instruments and strategies. Attention is now also being paid
to the democratic substance that the EU promotes. Scholars focussing
on the issue of democratic substance aim at disaggregating the content
of the EU's democracy promotion activities into single aspects such as
support for elections, the promotion of civil rights, rule of law,
good governance and support to the development of civil society etc.
However, the EU is not the only promoter of democracy.

Rather, it acts in an environment that comprises a variety of other
democracy promoters. While there are studies that compare the
strategies and instruments of EU democracy promotion with those of
other actors, including the US and international organisations such as
the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and
the Asian Development Bank (ADB), similarities and differences in the
substance that is promoted have not yet been thoroughly and
systematically explored. This workshop aims to address the question of
how the substance of EU democracy promotion compares to what other
democracy promoters advance in third countries. By other actors, we
mean (i) EU Member States that maintain separate national democracy
promotion programmes with varying foci, such as Germany, Spain, the
Netherlands and Sweden; (ii) Non-EU countries that have substantial
external democracy promotion programmes, such as the US, Canada,
Norway and Japan; and (iii) other international organisations that
promote democracy, such as the United Nations, the OSCE and the ADB.

The workshop wishes to address the above questions and invites papers
that deal with one or several of the following topics:

- Is there a particular EU-specific conception of democracy
underlying its democracy promotion activities?
- How can we characterise the substance that other actors promote in
third countries and how does the substance of EU democracy promotion
differ compared to other actors?
- Does the substance that EU Member States promote through their
national policies differ from the substance that the EU advances, and
if so, how? What factors account for possible differences?
- How do EU Member States influence the substance of EU democracy promotion?
- How does coordination between the EU and other international
democracy promoters shape the content of the EU's policy (e.g. by
sharing the work, hiding behind other actors)?
- Is the substance of EU democracy promotion influenced by policy
paradigms that were developed by other international actors? Can we
detect learning processes in EU institutions that concern the
substance of democracy promotion? Is the EU a norm maker or a norm
taker in this regard?

Please send an abstract of max. 600 words by Friday, 3 December 2010 to:

You will receive a notification of acceptance from the workshop
organisers by 17 December at the latest.

We are planning to include several advanced papers into a special
issue on the topic of the workshop.

At the moment we are unfortunately not able to announce the
reimbursement of travelling costs. However, we may have some funds to
cover travelling expenses by June 2011.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mideast Youth iPhone App

The Middle East and North Africa has a growing web presence. Previous to this app, we spent too much time going through separate websites and feeds on Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and various blogs and websites from the region in an attempt to find out what people here are talking about. This app gathers the best of all in a single location, whether you're trying to see what people in Friendfeed are saying from Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc or whether you're trying to connect with Twitter users in the Middle East, or trying to explore how Facebook is being used to spread awareness about various human rights abuses in the region - this app has it all!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Afghanistan's treasure comes to the British Museum

(Picture from the Guardian)

Some of Afghanistan's most beautiful treasures will be on display at the British Museum this spring, including a crown made for a princess 2,000 years ago that was believed lost as war engulfed the country but survived thanks to the courage of staff in the national museum.

(For the rest of this article from the Guardian, click here)