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The United Nations

The Organization of the United Nations is the largest international organisation and in fact includes almost all the states existing on the planet. There are currently 192 member states. The seat of the UN is in New York and the current Secretary General is the South Korean Ban Ki-Moon..

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Citizenship

Citizenship means the shared political belonging of those living in the same state and all this belonging involves in terms of rights and duties.

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Participation

It is possible to participate in a brutal event – such as gang rape, lynching, an ethnic cleansing operation – or in a humanitarian event – fund raising, collective adoption, sacrificing oneself in an exchange of prisoners..

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Refugees

Transnational migrations and global interdependence challenge the liberalism of western countries, which is becoming increasingly national and less universal.

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Revolution

Though its semantic origins are pre-modern, revolution has been a fundamental category of the interpretation of modern times.

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Reset
A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
ARTICLES for OCTOBER 10 - NOVEMBER 17, 2014

Islamic Philosophy in the Age
of Ethical Malaise and Local Turmoil

Like other classical world traditions and civilizations that seek renewal for survival, continuity and contribution to world affairs, the Islamic one is convened and questioned, maybe more than others and more than ever before, seeing its geographical and intellectual positions between the so-called East and West, an archaic dichotomy that disrupts politics and stirs philosophy at the same time. The ongoing dire socio-political chaos in the Arab-Islamic world questions the intellectual tradition of this part of the world, to see where it stands, and what contributions it offers to overcome the turmoil. Reset-DoC is pleased to present three reflections on Islamic Philosophy by Mohammed Hashas (PhD), as part of an ongoing conversation with a civilization that was, and a worldview that is still vibrant and confident that it can still contribute to world intellect and local politics. 

Analysis

From KGB to Reactionary Nostalgia for Imperial Russia. Who is Vladimir Putin?

Roberto Toscano

This text is drawn from a lecture held at Harvard University (HILR) on October 31, 2014.
I spent over half of my forty-year diplomatic career as a so-called sovietologist, including during four years at the Italian embassy in Moscow in the second half of the 1970s. Even after my subject-matter, the Soviet Union, disappeared, I continued being interested in Russia, in spite of being busy, professionally, with other areas of the world, and in spite of my absorbing experiences as ambassador to Iran and to India. What I saw, however, is that, starting from the last decade of the XX century, interest in Russia, attention to Russia, study of Russia, have sharply dropped in the West, and especially in this country. It was as if the Russian file had been moved from the desk to the archives. Today it seems to me that we are realizing that doing that was not a good idea, and that the file is back on our desk. The reason has to do mainly with the actions and the personality of one leader, Vladimir Putin.

FROM OUR VENICE-DELHI SEMINARS

Globalised populism and anti-politics: the rising threat to democracy

Antonella Rampino

This article was published by the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa on November 12th, after the 4th edition of Reset-DoC’s Venice-Delhi seminars held in Italy on 6-8 November 2014.

What if Islamic State’s contemporary terrorism, so clever at using the communication devices of affluent societies, were nothing more than a variation – an atrocious one – of populism? And what if modern western societies, gripped by deviant nationalist egoisms and the xenophobic particularism of “small homelands” shared this kind of danger with the democratic reawakening partly affecting the Arab world?

In depth

Why the West Needs to Reach an Agreement with Iran on the Nuclear Issue

Emma Bonino interviewed Antonella Rampino

Emma Bonino, Italy’s former minister of forein affairs, has returned from Iran, where, with a group of European and Arab experts on Middle Eastern affairs organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, she attended a two and a half hour long briefing with Foreign Minister Zarif. However, returning from the country from which, as Italy’s Foreign Minister, she was the first to sense a strong signal of political change when the reformists won, Emma Bonino has brought a warning: “Should negotiations on nuclear issues fail, the only real chance of beginning a stabilisation process for the entire region would be lost.”

Middle Eastern Turmoil

«We need an alliance with moderate Islam in order to defeat ISIS»

Italian MP Khalid Chaouki interviewed by Elisa Gianni

“The first to pay with their lives are those who profess this religion in a peaceful, calm and respectful manner.” With those words the Italian Speaker of the House Laura Boldrini commented on her meeting with the secretary of Italy’s Islamic Cultural Centre, Abdellah Redouane, and the faithful who were meeting for Friday prayers at Rome’s Great Mosque. This was an encounter that the Islamic community had wanted and requested and addressed at Italians and Muslims in order to say “no to terrorism” and reiterate that “Islam is a religion of peace.” Those words were part of the clear and explicit appeal read at a table at which the Italian state’s third highest ranking official sat next to authorities of the largest mosque in Europe.

Opinion

Malala and Satyarthi, an important Nobel Peace Prize. This is why it concerns us all

Roberto Toscano

This year the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize was greeted everywhere with a chorus of approval. It could not have been otherwise when the award was assigned to two very different people (Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year old Pakistani girl, and Kilash Satyarthi, a 60-year old Indian, she is a Muslim and he is a Hindu), but united by one of the most noble and undisputed causes; the right of all children, poor and wealthy, boys and girls,  to receive an education. The Nobel Peace Prize certainly needed this consensus, allowing one to set aside certain past decisions which were legitimately criticised and had tarnished its prestige.

In Depth

A frozen conflict in Ukraine: surrendering to Russia, or the lesser of two evils?

Marco Giuli | Research Fellow, Madariaga – College of Europe Foundation

The hypothesis of a stabilization of the Ukrainian crisis into a frozen conflict presents serious dangers. As mentioned, an unrecognized republic would come into existence on a fluid border that could be an ulterior cause of additional instability in the future. Like other unrecognised republics, it could transform itself into a hub of illegal trade, an aspect that is decidedly worrying seeing the potential size of Novorossija compared to the other small and isolated unrecognised republics.  It would certify the West as impotent when faced with the revisionist designs of other powers in the international system, with subsequent effects on other geopolitical situations. And yet, the alternatives risk being less attractive than yet another frozen conflict.

In depth

Rached Ghannouchi’s American tour
“Tunisia must become a model for the Arab world”

Paul Karamchand

They say he has not changed, that his ideas are the same as when he lived in exile in London. However, his influence over his country is totally different. Rashid Ghannouchi, is post-revolutionary Tunisia’s strongman, the president of Ennhada, the party with a relative majority in the current legislative assembly. The October 26th general election and the November 23rd presidential election are approaching, but from September 28th to October 1st he found time to spend a few days in the United States.

In depth

Afghanistan inaugurates the post-Karzai period: a two-headed government and disillusioned citizens

Giuliano Battiston

On Monday, September 29th, the curtain will drop on the lengthy rule of Hamid Karzai, in power since 2001. He will be replaced in Kabul’s large Arg presidential palace by Ashraf Ghani, whose appointment will be sealed at a solemn ceremony, albeit one less festive than expected. The Afghans and the international community would have liked to celebrate the central Asian country’s “first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in recent history”, but things did not turn out as expected.

Democracy in Europe

Scotland decides: a call for self-determination within the state

Gaetano Pentassuglia, University of Liverpool

Scottish residents headed to the polls on 18 September to decide whether Scotland should sever its ties with the United Kingdom and become an independent country. The ‘no’ vote obtained a robust 55% majority while the ‘yes’ campaign still managed to attract over 1,600,000 votes from those who exercised their right to cast a ballot. The Union with England dating back to 1707 remains thus intact, as indeed does the place of Scotland within the United Kingdom. A new referendum on independence is not on the cards for the foreseeable future. And yet, the no vote was hardly a vote for the status quo.

Middle East

Silence, Violence and Carnage: What I Have Seen of Syria

Lorenzo Declich

From the onset things on the field were already very clear. The violence of the regime manifested itself immediately. In fact, the revolt was symbolically born as a “civil” response to an act of violence: a group of children, beaten and tortured for having written what they thought of Bashar al-Asad on a wall. At that stage the propaganda machine was already well greased, but nobody with any sense thought that these images and videos of the repression against peaceful protestors were fake. However, this would actually become one of the pillars of misinformation in the years to come.

Women

Syrian Kurdistan: the role of women in the battle against IS

Antonella Vicini

In the ‘Great Game’ developing in the Middle East and amidst constant changes in diplomatic equilibria, as well as the deployment of armed forces to try and stop ISIS’ advance, the only certainty for the moment is the role the Kurds have over time cut out for themselves and their mandate from the most important European countries and the United States. This concerns not only the often discussed Peshmerga, Iraqi Kurds who have rather effectively opposed the Islamic State’s penetration since the beginning of the summer, but also Syrian Kurds, active since at least 2012 and without doubt less visible at least from a media perspective.  

Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

ISIS, Radicalization, and the Politics of Violence and Alienation

Conference

Reset-Dialogues is pleased to republish the summaries and video of a panel discussion organized at the National Press Club in Washington by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. Islam and foreign policy experts - among whom John Esposito, Shadi Hamid, Michele Dunne, and Michael O'Hanlon - talked about the causes for the rise of radicalism in Iraq and Syria and the creation of militant groups such as ISIS. They discussed the intentions of ISIS and the threat posed to the Middle East and the rest of the world. The panelists provide criticism of the Obama administration’s response to ISIS and offered recommendations for moving forward.

In depth

Is Turkey moving towards a presidential system? Erdogan's plans and challenges

Matteo Tacconi

As expected, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected president of Turkey and was sworn in on August the 28th. He won the August 10th elections, once again, by a wide margin. The outgoing prime minister obtained 51.79% of votes, surpassing the best results ever achieved by his party, the AKP, thus avoiding a second ballot and winning in many constituencies, both less urbanised ones and in the country’s two main cities; Ankara and Istanbul. This confirms that Erdogan’s success transcends the urban-rural divide.

Middle East

Arming the Iraqi Kurds, a minority in search of a state

Giuseppe Acconcia

Iraqi Kurds are gaining ground thanks to United States’ air strikes in northern Iraq and support from the regular Iraqi army. On the one hand they have the decision made by the U.S., France, Germany and Great Britain to provide the Kurdish peshmerga with weapons, and on the other, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is providing logistic support to Kurdish fighters. Furthermore, the PKK’s historic leader, Abdullah Ocalan, following a letter dated 2013 in which he asked for the armed struggle to end, has reiterated a request to end all conflict with the Turkish authorities in a document signed in Imrali prison (Sea of Marmara).

Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

CSID Condemns Violence of ISIS
and Murder of Journalist James Foley

Press release

Reset-Dialogues is pleased to republish and subscribe to the following press release in which the Center for the Study for the Studi of Islam and Democracy (CSID), based in Washington DC "condemns in the strongest possible terms the gruesome and barbaric killing of journalist James Foley by the so-called Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or of Iraq and Shem (ISIS))."

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