Friday, 16 October 2009

Lilies That Fester: Seeds of Corruption and Peacebuilding

Filed under: News Watch Blog — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 17:36 PDT

For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. Shakespeare, Sonnet 94.

Contemporary conflicts are complex, and corruption enables, reflects and results from this complexity. War economies are built on corruption as the parties in conflict rely on criminal syndicates, fraud and bribery to grease the wheels of the supply chain for everything from weapons to timber. Many rebel groups would not be able to operate at all, were it not for the international black market. They are not alone. In the post-war environment, even where state institutions remain intact, the ‘fog of war’ and its aftermath provides cover for private profiteering from those who should be leading the reconstruction effort. Peace agreements can make winners out of the same traffickers and warlords who used the conflict as a profit-generating event. Conversely, ordinary citizens’ lives are made even more difficult when corruption prevents them from participating in the economy, enjoying their basic rights and securing their property and families.

As conflicts are riddled with corruption, peacebuilding1 work should be appropriately riddled with anti-corruption efforts. This issue of New Routes, Pilfering the peace: The nexus between corruption and peacebuilding, is intended to contribute to the conversation between these two fields…. more

[Full issue of New Routes Vol. 14 (3-4)(2009) (pdf)]

Dan Ariely: Research on Cheating

Dan Ariely does research on cheating. Here are two videos. The first one describes an experiment that checks out whether wearing of “fakes” has any impact on cheating. How might one act of cheating create an affinity for another act of cheating? Watch this:

And here’s another lecture on “Our Buggy Moral Code” that suggests cheating is not done by “bad people” but by “good people” who cheat “just a little.”

There are clear implications for negotiation ethics, including the implications of getting on the “slippery slope” and some hopeful ideas about prevention of cheating and dishonesty.

The Costs of Drone Strikes

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Middle East,Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:40 PDT

No matter the outcome of President Obama’s deliberations about US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the tactic of using unmanned drone strikes should be taken off the table. The many costs of disrupting Al Qaeda and the Taliban via drone strikes outweigh the benefits.

(...more)

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