Tag: Conflict Resolution

The Shimmering Illusion

Filed in Perspectives by on 15th Nov 2015 7 Comments

Based on presentation to the Thomas More Institute in Montreal, Canada in November 2015.

Wouldn’t it be nice if political leaders actually served their citizens? However, despite noble words of taking office to serve people, over time consensus, negotiation and agreement tend to give way to such sentiments as ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.’ One compromise leads to another and democracy slowly shifts from serving the people to serving those in power. In extreme cases, violence replaces dialogue. The Fragile States Index for 2015 assigns countries a score based on such social, economic and political criteria as mounting demographic pressures, massive displacement of refugees, uneven economic development, severe economic decline, and wide spread human rights abuses. Countries such as the United States have a score of 35.3, Canada 25.7, Germany 28.1, the United Kingdom 33.5 and France 33.7. The lower the score, the better political leaders serve their citizens. However, if we choose four countries in Africa in various states of development, we see a marked difference in the score. Mali, for example, comes in at 93.1, Malawi 86.9, Togo 86.8 and Côte d’Ivoire 100. Continue Reading »

The Dilemma of Intervention

Filed in Case Studies by on 24th Mar 2009

Should outsiders such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation intervene in internal wars? The U.N. mission to end wars and promote peace is still an illusory goal that remains as out-of-reach as an ever-shifting mirage in the desert. During the years of the Cold War, the U.N. could not do what it set out to do because of a contest of wills between East and West, with each wanting its system to dominate at the expense of the other. The euphoria at the end of the Cold War gave multi-lateral diplomacy a new thrust. Continue Reading »