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, which may describe the horrendous conditions in which the hostages are being held and the payment of ransom to criminal and political networks ( Callimachi, 2014a , 2014b ; Kiser, 2013 ). In the end, vital information about the abductions remains the monopoly of the political and criminal networks carrying them out, the aid-organisation crisis units handling them, the private security firms advising them and the intelligence services observing them. Keeping the public and aid workers

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

disinformation. But they have not yet closely examined their impact in humanitarian crises. This is a remarkable oversight. In humanitarian crises, false information can have life-and-death consequences. As Jeanne Bourgault, President and Chief Executive Officer of Internews, states, false information can ‘undercut efforts to improve health, make disasters worse than they already are, alienate vulnerable populations, and even incite violence’ (quoted in Igoe, 2017 ). This article introduces the emerging research about online disinformation and the many forms it

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

: geographic distances as national or international responders travel to a locale experiencing crisis, but also social, cultural, political and narrative distances due to the vastly divergent experiences of people caught up in crises. A key challenge for humanitarian ethics is to take account both of the steep asymmetries between those seeking to provide assistance (though not always succeeding) and others who require help due to a crisis, and the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)

rule of law, and the pros and cons of judicial activism are but three notable areas where in principle political inquiries have much to learn from legal scholarship. Thus political scientists studying democratization appear much taken with the idea of judicial autonomy as part of the institutional architecture for ensuring the horizontal accountability of the executive – a seemingly necessary counterpart to the vertical accountability that legislatures and electorates seem only imperfectly to exact. But here (Chapter 7) McEldowney’s approach from the side of legal

in Democratization through the looking-glass
Rousseau as a constitutionalist

just republic. It follows, therefore, that the enactment of legislation should be made conditional upon concurrent endorsements of at least two distinct political institutions, such as parliament and the executive, both chambers in a bicameral legislature, etc. To understand this tradition we must temporarily break off the narrative to take a look at its history – or rather its genealogy. The genealogy of constitutionalism It has been asserted – probably correctly – that constitutionalism was originally invented by (or entrusted upon) the Israelites. The law given to

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)
The German model of federalism

districts responsible for schools, public housing, airports, parks, sewerage, public transport, etc., and the French prefectures or German cities and counties in which virtually all public activities are the administrative responsibility of the local general purpose executives. “Participatory federalism” is another term frequently applied to Germany. This refers to the participation by the Länder in federal legislation, that is, national policy making. This occurs informally through a variety of committees and conferences, such as the conference of Land prime ministers

in The Länder and German federalism
Towards a union or not?

The European Union’s dilemma 125 7 The European Union’s dilemma: towards a union or not? From its humble beginnings, [the Roman Empire] has grown so much that it is now suffering under its own size. (Titus Livius)1 Summary In March 1999 the European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch, resigned under accusations of fraud, nepotism and mismanagement, leading to intensive soul-searching as to what could be the right form of management for the EU. How could the democratic aspects of the emerging entity be enhanced? How could democracy be improved

in Destination Europe

Building on earlier work, this text combines theoretical perspectives with empirical work, to provide a comparative analysis of the electoral systems, party systems and governmental systems in the ethnic republics and regions of Russia. It also assesses the impact of these different institutional arrangements on democratization and federalism, moving the focus of research from the national level to the vitally important processes of institution building and democratization at the local level and to the study of federalism in Russia.

powers to the federal government. This is a major reason why some observers refer to German federalism as “executive federalism.”44 Territorial vs partisan politics in the Bundesrat As noted above, there were two periods in the 1970s and 1990s in particular, when strong criticism of the Bundesrat arose because of the “gridlock” between the government and its majority in the Bundestag and the majority of Länder votes in the Bundesrat. This criticism is based not only on the traditional view that the Bundesrat has the function of territorial representation, while the

in The Länder and German federalism
Executive versus legislative power

FAD7 10/17/2002 6:01 PM Page 122 7 Federalism and political asymmetry: executive versus legislative power As we have noted, political institutions are of crucial importance during transitions to democracy, and for Mainwaring, among all the choices of institutions ‘none is more important than the system of government: presidential, semipresidential, parliamentary or some hybrid’.1 There is now a general consensus in the literature that parliamentary systems are more stable than presidential ones and that it is much easier to consolidate democracy in

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia