Monday, March 28, 2011

  We are currently experiencing  a very important shift in the Middle-East area. Firstly, it was Egypt and Tynisia then Bahrain and Libia, and the domino seems to continue without anyone knows for sure what do these revolutions mean. This area though is undoubtedly absoloutely crucial for the stability of the international system as the global economy and the security of the West is directy related with the evolutions on the area.
 For this reason, the importance of a succesful peace process is absolutely essential. So far the liberal peacebuilding agenda is moving somewhere in between the idealistic declarations for demcocracy and human rights which are incorporated within the R2P UN agenda and the will for stability, even if this means that  auhoritarian regimes should be supported. The reason for that is that one of the main aims of the liberal peacebuilding is to continue promoting the current neoliberal development agenda within the context of the neoliberal governmentality that we are experiencing in the era of globalization.
 Right now though after the recent economic crisis, the wide acceptace that global poverty and inequality is rather increasing than decreasing, and of course the revolution in the Arab world, it is time for some re-evaluation. Neoliberal economic-development agenda and globalization itself seems to undermine for years the peacebuilding process. People in the countries that were rebeled against, were for years excluded from basic goods and any opportunity for a change of their social status, factors that are mainly related with the problematic results that the current developement agenda gives. This was the main reason of the revolutions. Democracy or Islam are just two different political discources that try to capitalize the mobilization that poverty and inequality brought. Hence, it is time a different peacebuilding agenda to be put forward, one that will understand the problems that neoliberal globalization creates in terms of stability and security and that will first try to create strong institutions and then to promote any kind of democracy.   

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wake-up call from Jerusalem

As revolutionary movements are sweeping the Arab world with a varying degree of success, the recent bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem reminded the world that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is still very much alive. For people in Jerusalem, it was a disturbing message that they are not safe from such attacks, despite the relative calm that the city has experienced during the past few years. No one has so far assumed responsibility for Monday's attack, which killed a Scottish missionary and wounded around 50. One of the usual suspects, Islamic Jihad, claims it was not their job, but praised the attack.

Whoever was behind it, the event may be part of a resurgence in violence. Most likely it is not a coincidence that it happened right after an increase in tensions on the Gaza strip, with rockets flying in both directions across the border. The increase in violence there and the awful recent attack in one of Israel's settlements on the West Bank could easily spread bringing more violence to Jerusalem and other cities as tensions are growing. The peace process seems to be going nowhere, so there is every reason to be pessimistic about the situation. And with Netanyahu's stated "iron will" to "to defend the state and its citizens", there seems to be little room for rapprochement, despite Palestinian PM Fayyad's condemnation of the attack.

The Arab spring may quickly turn the conflict into an even uglier situation. We hope it will not, but unfortunately this region is a testatement not only to what successes hope may bring, but also to what disappointments.