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The Policy Unit

The Policy Unit produces topical and timely analysis on major policy issues in international affairs, including human rights issues, foreign policy analysis and conflict monitoring. This division is responsible for the production of the Human Security Centre’s regular Policy Briefings.

The Graveyard of ‘Fortress Europe’: Migration crisis in the Mediterranean one year after Lampedusa

On 3 October 2013 a boat carrying over 500 migrants from Eritrea and Somalia sunk off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, leading to the deaths of over 350 people; a few days later, a second incident occurred adding at least another 34 lives to the death toll. Following the tragedy of Lampedusa, the EU and its member states pledged that an end must come to migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, with the EU Parliament calling the incidents a turning point towards a new policy guided by ‘solidarity and responsibility’.[1] One year on, the pledge echoes hollow as new reports of incidents across the Mediterranean surface weekly.

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Sanctioning Non-State Armed Groups: Does it work?

Sanctions have become an increasingly popular method of discouraging groups, states and individuals from violating international law and norms. Blacklisting groups became particularly popular after 9/11, after which a number of anti-terrorist legislations were passed by the UN and its member states, including UN Security Council Resolution 1373, the US Patriot Act and the UK Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill.

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South Sudan, UNMISS and International Responsibility

When the most recent state in the world celebrated its third anniversary in July this year, it was amid renewed ethnic violence and a protracted refugee crisis influencing both the country and the wider region. Having fought for independence from Sudan for decades, the South Sudanese state established in 2011 exhibit all the signs of a weak, and possibly failing, state.

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Why NATO? Searching for Relevancy in the 21st Century

Hastings Ismay, the first Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), famously stated that NATO was meant to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”[1] Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it would be difficult to argue that NATO had been unsuccessful in attaining these goals. Russia no longer posed a substantial threat to NATO member states, substantial amounts of American political will and troops remain committed to Europe, and a resurgent and militaristic Germany is a laughable thought.

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Mobilisation for elections in Ukraine: Risk-assessment in frames of the military conflict

On July 24th two parliamentary factions left the “European choice” coalition in the Ukrainian parliament.[1] This coalition was formed in February as a result of the Maidan protests. On August 25th, after a month of the coalition breakup, president Poroshenko exercised his constitutional right to dissolve parliament and call for elections, which are likely to be held on October 26th.

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Turkey’s Neo-Ottomanism: Engaging The Pivitol Middle-Power

On August 10th, 2014, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Justice Party and Development Party (AK) made history by winning Turkey’s first-ever direct election for President[1]. The victory capped off a tumultuous third term as Prime Minister which saw Erdogan feud with the judiciary, accuse top military brass of treason, and preside over the violent suppression of peaceful protests[2].

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