Marginalisation of the majority world

A complex interplay of discrimination, global poverty, inequality and deepening socio-economic divisions, together make for key elements of global insecurity. While overall global wealth has increased, the benefits of this economic growth have not been equally shared. The rich-poor divide is actually growing, with a very heavy concentration of growth in relatively few parts of the world, and poverty getting much worse in many other regions. The ‘majority world’ of Asia, Africa and Latin America feel the strongest effects of marginalisation as a result of global elites, concentrated in North America and Europe, striving to maintain political, cultural, economic and military global dominance.

Minority Youth Bulges and the Future of Intrastate Conflict

Richard Cincotta | The Stimson Center | November 2011


The global distribution of intrastate conflicts is not what it used to be. During the latter half of the 20th century, the states with the most youthful populations - a median age of 25.0 years or less - were consistently the most at risk of being engaged in a civil war or in an internal conflict, where either ethnic or religious factors, or both, came into play (an ethnoreligious conflict). However, the tight relationship between demography and intrastate conflict has loosened over the past decade. Ethnoreligious conflicts have gradually, though noticeably, increased among a group of states with a median age greater than 25.0 years, including Thailand, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Russia.  The salient feature of these intrastate conflicts has been an armed struggle featuring a minority group that is age-structurally more youthful than the majority populace. The difference in age-structural maturity reflects a gap in fertility between the minority and majority, either in the present or in the recent past. 

Article Source: The Stimson Center

Image Source: CharlesFred

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A Thai Perspective on Proposed Mainstream Mekong Dams

Teerapong Pomun | The Stimson Center | September 2011

Issues:Competition over resources, Marginalisation

The Mekong River is very important for millions of local communities along the mainstream and its tributaries who depend heavily on the river's natural ecosystem functions. The health of the river is the health of the communities. Changes in the river basin mean a lot to those marginalized people who too often have no voice and have limited alternatives for sustaining their livelihoods.

Article source: Stimson Center

Image source: Roberto Moretti

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Déjà vu: Famine and Crisis in Somalia

Mary Hope Schwoebel | USIP | September 2011


Kenya and Ethiopia have large semi-arid regions that are also suffering from drought, but because they have governments in place and a modicum of infrastructure, and because they allow aid organizations access to populations in need, the immediate humanitarian threat is not as great. At the same time, however, these semi-arid regions are characterized by less development -- and less security – and are thus more vulnerable to conflict.

Over the past two decades, members of Somalia’s armed militias in the Horn of Africa have included violent Islamist extremists. Refugees and IDPs are particularly vulnerable to recruitment efforts by violent extremist groups and those fighting against them. And these spillover effects will continue to contribute to instability throughout the region until their root causes are addressed.

Article source: United States Institute for Peace

Image source: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/TURKEY

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Socio-Political Factors and National Security

Ikram Sehgal | East West Institute | September 2011


National security in the traditional sense is connected with the idea of sovereignty; territorial security means freedom from risk of danger of destruction and annihilation by war, physical violence and/or aggression from outside. Traditional threats emanate from inter-state conflict and cross-border aggression. Since the nation state is supposed to have a monopoly of power for protecting the life and property of the members of the nation, they are deprived of power to defend themselves against aggression. The focus therefore previously being on external threats, state security has dominated the national security agenda. 

With progressing globalisation, borders have become increasingly irrelevant, thus reducing the probability of external aggression. Conversely threats to a country’s security emanate internally because of lack of economic development, unemployment, failing internal security because of religious, sectarian and/or ethnic strife, shifting of identities in the wake of globalisation, radicalisation of society and growing terrorism thereof being recent additions. 

Article source: EastWest Institute

Image source: NB77

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Is it Time for Sustainable Development Goals?

Alex Evans | Global Dashboard | September 2011


From Millennium Development Goals to… Sustainable Development Goals? That’s one of the ideas swirling around in discussions ahead of the Rio 2012 sustainable development summit next year, writes Alex Evans for Global Dashboard. 

Image source: UNDP. 

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A War Gone Badly Wrong - The War on Terror Ten Years On

Paul Rogers | Oxford Research Group | September 2011

Issues:Global militarisation, Marginalisation

The atrocities in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 led to protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ten years after the attacks, this briefing assesses the consequences of the response from the United States and its coalition partners. It questions whether the response was either appropriate or wise and whether the results so far have been counterproductive and may indicate the need for a changed security paradigm.

Such a fundamental rethink of the way western governments respond to insecurity must go beyond the current approach in which intelligence, counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism are all beginning to merge into a seamless web of a single security posture. Such a posture is likely to be no more successful than the policies adopted in 2001.

Photo credit: Brian Boyd

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