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Category: International relations

From supporting migrants to protesting for change

By Lysanne Vrooman           Almost half a year ago, on the 25th of March 2017, it was the sixtieth anniversary of the treaty of Rome. In 1957 the treaty of Rome was signed by the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Germany and Italy. The treaty was envisioned to open borders, prevent war and create endless economic and trade opportunities. The countries would not restrict each other anymore. Now sixty years later the treaty that was supposed to unite the countries, is looked at with scepticism and frustrations by some citizens of Rome. The current migration-influx has led to tightened border controls and policies that divide instead of unite.

For my master’s thesis in Social and Cultural Anthropology I studied a group of citizens in Rome who started an association to support migrants in the city. Whereas the citizens started their association to provide the migrants with food, a place to stay and support, I found in my research that they also strive for a better situation for migrants in Europe in general. They question the current developments and policies of the European Union when it comes to migration, and aim to present a counter-message.

Protesting is one of the ways they try to send such a counter-message. And on this Saturday, March 25th, a big protest was organised to show their disagreement with the current situation and to question the (changed) implications of the treaty of Rome. Through pictures of this protest I will show what this day looked like.

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“Responsibility to Protect-lobbyisten hebben hun geloof in mensenrechten zo goed als opgegeven”

© UN Multimedia

Door Annette Jansen        Genocide en etnische zuivering komen al sinds het begin van de 19e eeuw voor, maar pas eind jaren 90 – na de bloedbaden in onder meer Rwanda en Oost-Timor – ontstonden er groepen activisten die pleitten voor militair ingrijpen door de Verenigde Naties bij massale wreedheden. Wie zijn deze antigenocide-activisten en wat beweegt hen om geweld met geweld te bestrijden? Annette Jansen onderzocht het mens- en wereldbeeld van twee groepen antigenocide-activisten: Oost-Timor-activisten, die actief waren van 1975 tot 1999, en Responsibility to Protect (R2P)-lobbyisten, actief van 2001 tot op heden.

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What war? Whose war?

Internal changes must come about. © Cindy Cornett Seigle, via creative commons.

By Thijl Sunier            The day after the attacks in Paris, the French President François Hollande declared war to Islamic State. In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte also declared that ‘we are now at war’. Not with Islam, he added.

What bewilders me is that these declarations suggest that we are only now dragged into a conflict we supposedly have no part in. Baffling and indeed cynical. The Taliban, al Qaeda and Islamic State are monsters that the West and Russia have co-created in a decades-long struggle for power, influence and resources. This war has already started a long time ago at the cost of many thousands of innocent victims primarily in the region itself and the West has been involved in this right from the beginning.


Europa kan vluchtelingen goed gebruiken

Door Erik van Ommering         Europa kan gemakkelijk oorlogsvluchtelingen op-vangen. Niet piepen dus, maar gewoon: welkom zeggen.

Het groeiende aantal vluchtelingen dat Nederland bereikt, is eerder een test voor onze waarden dan voor onze instituties. Met een comfortabele vierde plaats op de mondiale Human Development Index en een dertiende positie op de lijst van landen met het hoogste bruto nationaal product per hoofd van de bevolking hoeft Nederland gelukkig geenszins bang te zijn dat de instroom van een relatief klein aantal vluchtelingen onze samenleving of cultuur opeens zal ontwrichten.

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Propagating Romance: The Islamic State

is-on-twitterBy Yoram Kannangara            The commencement of the new millennium and the age of global networks, 9/11, The Gulf War(s) semantics, Al-Qaeda, and incessant turmoil in the Middle-East. These are all small pieces of the puzzle that, put together, shows a fragment of the Islamic State’s (IS) rise. Ultimately it becomes trivial to question how and why IS came into existence and who is to blame, a vicious circle many an academic has tumbled into. That would be similar to attributing the puzzle’s image to a starting piece, a redundancy because it doesn’t matter where one starts as in the end all the pieces will come together anyway displaying the same picture.

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Peace and justice in Uganda?

By anonymous Over a year ago, Standplaats Wereld reported on a documentary, screened on Dutch tv, dealing with issues of peace and justice in Uganda. What role, if any, can the International Criminal Court play in bringing peace and/or justice to Uganda? That was the question addressed by in ‘Peace versus Justice’ back in 2009. Meanwhile, the ICC concluded its first case on 14 March 2012, convicting Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese warlord, of the use of child soldiers.

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