Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Germanys Refugee Intake

Germanys Refugee Intake Germany’s important model in aiding refugees but limitations arise Introduction A streamline of images appeared on the television screen located in the living room of a German household. Various colors from the news segment on Syrian refugees reflected on the faces of the viewers. The topic of refugees was a highly discussed one throughout Europe. Many of the refugees consisted of Syrians as a result of the Syria crisis that began in 2011. Germany has been one of the most prominent figures as their participation in assisting refugees has been high. Germany receives the highest number of refugees, compared to other countries in the world, with the United States, who is considerably larger, coming in second (Marks, 2018). Germany has provided a lot of assistance towards refugees as there are programs, such as German language program and designated housings as a part of local integration. It is important to note that â€Å"Germany’s refugee policy is an important model† (Nanette, 2016); however, there are implications that arise as there may be limita tions on how far the generosity of one country can go. For example, as new people arrive in a country, the competition for markets such as the ones for jobs, increases significantly and this may create narrower job opportunities for current German citizens. As a result, several questions come up, with one relating to if it is okay to put the needs of others before citizens of the host country in any particular situation. Germany has been a good model of a country wanting to aid refugees and the events occurring in the country surrounding refugee issues but it is also an unfortunate term of being generous and welcoming and it is restrictive at the national level. Migrant Crisis in Europe In the year of 2015, about more than one million people, including â€Å"refugees, displaced persons and other migrants† (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, 2018). have arrived in Europe, with hopes of a better life because of constant conflicts or few opportunities in their home country. These migrants arrive in Europe, typically after strenuous and draining journeys by land or sea and upon arrival, they often need help with basic human needs such as â€Å"clean water, health care, emergency shelter and legal†. This large increase in number also affects countries that are part of the transit route such as â€Å"Turkey, Greece and Libya† as they receive large amounts of people at a period of time that exceeds their capacity. The top countries in which persons who are applying for asylum Europe are from Syria (360,000), Afghanistan (170,000) and Iraq (120,000). The European country that had acquired the most asylum applications was Germany, a total of 476,000 in 2017. There are problems with the responsibilities shared by each country in Europe. This is because there are some countries in which more migrants arrive to, such as Greece, Italy and Hungary and this results in them taking in more responsibilities and using their resources. European countries have certain quotas established for the amounts of migrants that they can take from the transit countries such as Greece and Italy. Germany has the highest quota at 27,000, then comes France at 19,000 and Spain comes in third with 8,000. Top countries in which people are granted asylum status are Syria, Eritrea and Iraq. This from an economic perspective which helps further illustrate the seriousness of the crisis in numbers. Refugee Politics in Germany Flà ºchtlingspolitik or refugee politics in Germany is a topic discussed rampantly in the country. The German refugee policy is considered as â€Å"admirable in many ways† because of its attempts of trying â€Å"to fulfill its moral duties to refugees† (Nanette, 2016).There are many legalities of the policy taken from the German Basic Law, specifically article 16a, where people have the right to asylum. It states that â€Å"persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum† and this relates to the issue of refugees. Two important laws of the refugee policy, the Asylum Law and Integration Law, were created and passed on July 7, 2016. Through these policies, refugees are first â€Å"granted either asylum or protected refugee status† (290) for a duration of three years or the other option of â€Å"subsidiary protection† for only one year. They then go through a series of regulations to determine their status in Germany. One of the restrictions include from this process includes that if the country that they arrived from was considered a â€Å"safe country†, then they would automatically face rejection and their future is decided, â€Å"a scheduling for deportation† but there could a ban placed upon this deportation if it one of several reasons is determined such as if their life would be endangered, â€Å"because of their health or conditions in their country†. Even so, there are problems with establishing clear boundaries for these categories of what is considered as a â€Å"safe country† and what would be â€Å"life-endangering† and questions about who gets to decide the fate of these refugees arise too. At this period, the refugees are not fully accepted, instead they are â€Å"tolerate† or geduldete in German. In addition, these refugees also have the opportunity to obtain further extensions for the categories mentioned previously or attempt to have a repeal of their decisions. Furthermore, there are specific requirements to be granted â€Å"asylum or protected refugee status† as the refugee needs to fulfill having a â€Å"well-founded fear of persecution in [their] country of origin† relating to several traits of â€Å"race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group† (Nanette, 2016). And those who want to acquire â€Å"subsidiary protection†, must have â€Å"substantial grounds for believing that [they] would face a real risk of suffering serious harm in [their] country of origin†, which does not exclude the conflicts relating to international or internal arms. It is important to gain refugee status as it is also necessary perquisite in order to have access to some benefits for refugees to support their family’s migration as well or allowed participation with â€Å"priority for job training and language courses†. In Germany, the refugees are organized into big buildings that are funded by the state but organized by private organization. They are housed in these large buildings until they receive news or updates on their status for asylum. There are many refugee housings throughout Germany and they are located in various areas, from â€Å"large cities to small towns† (Nanette, 2016), They are often cramped and in many buildings. Definitions for Refugees   It is important to note that there are establishments of the definition of who are regarded as refugees, even though in many places like Germany may regard the terms â€Å"refugee†, â€Å"asylum seeker† and â€Å"migrant† as similar and use them interchangeably (OECD, 2018). However, it is essential to learn about the proper definitions of the terms to avoid any possible confusions. Migrants basically encompass any persons that relocate to a different country â€Å"with the intention of staying for a certain period of time†. Permanent and non-permanent â€Å"migrants with a valid residence permit or visa, asylum seeks and undocumented migrants† can fall under this term. Furthermore, refugees are persons who have completed their applications for asylum and have been granted a bit of protection, which can fall under â€Å"formal refugee status according to the Geneva Convention or to the German fundamental law†. This term can also relate to other persons such as those that have participated in resettlement programs that were facilitated by UNHCR, especially in the host countries of Australia, Canada and the U.S. In addition, this term covers persons that have subsidiary protection. Subsidiary protection is typically granted to persons who have not qualified as a refugee but there are complications to their safety if they were to participate in repatriation or return to their home country. The third term, asylum seekers define persons that have completed their applications for asylum, but are in the process of waiting for their results. Unlike other Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Germany’s process for asylum registration has two tiers. First people are required to complete their registrations â€Å"as prospective asylum applicants† and then they will be able to â€Å"file an asylum request†. However, there has been few problems and complications that came from this two-tiered process as the amounts of requests has increased, so there have been â€Å"long delays in asylum seeking† in Germany. Solutions for Refugees The United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has detailed several categories that are used in the process of finding possible and viable solutions for the problems of refugees. These categories include legal, economic, social/cultural and civil/political processes. Some things that need to be considered are the legalities such as rights that the refugees are designated that include basics rights such as â€Å"right to work, freedom of movement† and etc. (Refworld). When regarding economic factors, refugees should have the opportunity to â€Å"participate in the local work force either through jobs or self-employment† and have â€Å"access to land, acess to financing or credit and etc†. Furthermore, some features in the social or cultural process are that the refugee should be â€Å"accepted by the host community and State into the community without fear of discrimination† and they should have the opportunity to the â€Å"establishment of joi nt businesses and access to community centers†. Leading to civil or political processes, there should also be the right to â€Å"participate in civil society†, which includes being able to have the opportunity to government jobs and participate in the processes of elections. Even so, refugees could only be â€Å"granted† these rights or supervised by the UNHCR if they are mandated by them, which requires a long process to get to. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) details several solutions for the refugee crisis. The first solution involves voluntary repatriation, which is essentially, refugees returning back home if it is deemed safe. However, this solution has little implementation because of the problems with numerous amounts of refugees not being able to simply return because of ongoing â€Å"conflict, wars or persecution† in their home country. Another option would be resettlement in a different country. If voluntary repatriation is not a viable option. This solution encompasses several programs to help refugees with settlement such as â€Å"cultural orientation, language and vocational training† and â€Å"access to education and employment†, which are important in helping refugees adjust in a new country. Even so, this solution is not often implemented as only less than 1% submit for resettlement out of the total of 14.4 million refugees considered as concern to UNHCR. If the two previous options do not appear to work for the refugees, then local integration in a host country could work. This solution involves an extremely â€Å"complex process† as it places a lot of responsibilities and weight on both the refugee and the host country that is helping. Even though this is the case, there are also positives as the refugees that settle into their new host countries can positively contribute in a social and economic manner. This solution appears to be the most used, but it is not the most effective as there are complications. There is a total of 1.1 million refugees that have taken this route throughout the past ten years. Voluntary Reparation There will be a more detailed explanation of these three solutions that the UNHCR currently has in place. It is important to note that the term voluntary is taken seriously when discussing voluntary repatriation as it is crucial that this solution allows the refugee to make the decision to return to be â€Å"free and informed†. There should not be any pressures from any external sources and the refugee should not be convinced otherwise. Regulations are needed to appropriately measure this process as there needs to be the fulfillment that the refugee will return to â€Å"physical, legal and material safety†. UNHCR â€Å"provides the framework† for this process as it includes the responsibilities and roles involved. Some examples of the implementation of this solution include 4,600 Angolan refugees returning back in September 2015 and overall, 18,000 have returned since the year of 2014. Another example includes 5,000 Rwandans returning home in the year of 2015, to taling the number to 160,000 since the year of 2,000. Even though there has been somewhat some success with this solution, it is quite on a small scale and it not used often. Local Integration Local integration is the second option for refugees. The document that supports and is important in providing the legalities and the basis for this solution is the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. After a willing and able State, such as Germany, decides that they â€Å"will offer local integration prospects†. There will be a comprehensive process that will determine how the solution will get played out and this is determined with â€Å"a number of factors† (UNHCR, 2018). These factors are determining for which groups would this option be the most viable or important to and these can include â€Å"refugees born on a host country’s territory† and they are at a high risk â€Å"of statelessness† or have no determined nationality. The host country should also be able to recognize the possible challenges that come from opening up their country to refugees, which could be negative impact of refugees â€Å"living many years and decades without a clea r idea of possible options† but should also keep in mind advantages as the refugees can create a positive impact as they â€Å"invest in the country and contribute to the community†, such as in economical ways. There have been some instances in the past in which countries have been willing but are not completely able to help with local integration as they do not have enough resources and as a result, need help from the larger community at an international level. The number of able and willing is so small compared to the rest of the options and this raises the question about what could be done about the other possible states that could help with characteristics of willing and not able or not willing but able (UNHCR). An example of local integration includes Brazil as there has been a gradual increase in refugees in the country since the year of 2010 and as a result, there has been the decrease of employment opportunities available. Some steps that were taken were that there has been â€Å"increased partnership with the private sector†, to provide more opportunities for jobs for the refugees and also with public and private universities, to help support the education of the refugees, specifically higher-education. Local integration in Germany includes several projects such as leisure and sport program, cultural and languages program, program for women and more (Bundesamt fà ¼r Migration und Flà ¼cthling, 2018). Regarding leisure and sport programs, there are many opportunities for refugees to get to know other civilians as they participate in after-school programs that involve music, dance or sports. This provides several benefits as it aids the process in refugees being able to be involved in the process of creating something together and â€Å"breaks down prejudices† as others get to know the refugees and will be able to make their own perceptions, instead of preconceived notions from stigmatization. There are programs to help younger refugees to get integrated into German society with special programs in gymnasiums, or high schools and cultural programs to help them get accustom to German cultures as they interact with German students daily. There are also specialized programs for women refugees as there are courses to also learn German and courses that relate to issues of â€Å"everyday life, family, health and school†. There are also additional programs and services made available to refugees to help them comfortably integrate into the German community. Resettlement The third solution for refugees is resettlement and it is the option that is most widely used. This solution is important for refugees that are not able to find sufficient protection in their home or asylum country. Resettlement has the possibility of being â€Å"an effective mechanism for responsibility sharing and international cooperation† and this aligns with the principle of international solidarity as it provides possibilities of options to help (UNHCR, 2018). Agreements within the resettlement umbrella can help with refugees that travel overseas to disembark at coastal states. This is helpful as it differentiates responsibilities for â€Å"initial reception and processing arrangements from the provision of long term solutions. And this reason is now more important as resettlement being used as a solution has increased drastically as more States are interested in hosting and more cases are being submitted to UNHCR since the year of 2012. A case relating to resettlement involves Egypt and trafficking victims. Since 2006, there have been many cases of smuggling of humans from Africa through East Sudan going into Israel, which originally began as a voluntary movement and then progressed into kidnappings in 2010. Some actions that have been taken place by the UNHCR is resettlement to protect these victims. It is interesting to note that local integration was not a realistic option for this case because the UNHCR had considered that there were not any â€Å"adequate services for treating severely traumatized victims of trafficking†. The victims were given priority for the registration for refugee status and often resulted in the implementation of resettlement to another country (UNHCR, 2018).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Germany has had a program with the solution of resettlement since the year of 2012 and before was only ad-hoc for resettlement. In the year of 2016, the admission target was 800 but increased to a maximum of 14,300 the following year. Germany has had an annual amount 300 persons that participated in the resettlement program from 2012 to 2014. There was a slight increase to a total of 500 in 2015. And Germany has plans to resettle a total of 1,600 in the following two years. Refugees arrive in German after going through the application process for resettlement from the UNHCR, who then â€Å"grants mandate refugee status† (UNHCR, 2018) and this appears to be the only way for admittance of resettlement for now. Effectiveness of the Solutions Discussing the effectiveness of the solutions that UNHCR has for refugees and its implementation in aiding refugees, it has helped few but truthfully not have had a lot of success. The solutions appear to work for a short period of time and is not effective for long periods of time. Data show that out of the refugees that UNHCR is accounted for, approximately 5.6 million, there are only 3% that participated in voluntary repatriation and 1% that are resettled (UNHCR, 2018). In the past, voluntary reparation has â€Å"been the solution for the largest proportion of refugees†, but the number of participants in this solution has dramatically declined since the year of 2011 because of problems of conflicts in the home country not ceasing. . Some statistics to illustrate this are that the number of participants decreased to 526,000 in the year of 2012 and to 414,000 a year later. As a result, only â€Å"6.5 million refugees were able to return to their country of origin in the past decade† in comparison to the number of 14.6 million in the decade before. Even UNHCR are discussing about how this solution has not been extremely effective as of late. Resettlement has only been able to have helped about 1% of the refugees and requires a lot of resources to implement. There have frequently been low numbers of participants in this solution, reaching only about 69,252 refugees in 2012 and 71,411 in 2013 (UNHCR, 2018). There are additional problems as because resettlement requires so much resources that they have limited availability and are only able to accommodate a restricted amount, which further limits its impact. Furthermore, UNHCR estimates â€Å"that 691,000 people† needed resettlement in the following year of 2014. The host country with the most acceptance of resettlement cases is the United States, about 67% of the toal cases, even so, there are not many host country participants in this solution. Some staff members of UNHCR reasons that a general consensus is that resettlement is not the best solution because there were a small number of refugees that are aided and the process details so much rigor. Compared to the other solutions, it is the most difficult to measure the success of local integration because there are so many differing ways to define integration and there are also a lot of â€Å"high political sensitivity in host countries†. This solution involves a selection of categories such as â€Å"legal, economic and/or social integration† (UNHCR, 2018). UNHCR has been working on ways to improve this solution for refugees and has worked for â€Å"better naturalization statistics†. Overall, approximately 431 host countries of asylum have â€Å"granted citizenship† to approximately 716,000 refugees†. An important part of local integration is detailed in the 1951 Convention relation to the Status of Refugees and this includes that the refugees have â€Å"the right to work† but results of this have proven to be not quite implemented, as 28 States a part of the convention have placed restrictions for refugees regarding the right. In addit ion, it was difficult for some refugees to obtain job opportunities as some states have made restrictions on this with â€Å"a legal bar on employment†. Generally, the three solutions detailed have not been extremely effective as exemplified by statistics in the past years. And this raises the question of possible improvements to these solutions or new additional solutions that could be implemented. Finding solutions for refugees is a difficult task and working out its implementation is even more so and has been proven a challenge for UNHCR and it host country participants. Addition of Complementary Pathways   In addition to these solutions, a question arises about any possible additional solutions that could also be implemented. Furthermore, there are â€Å"complementary pathways† that can be used in conjunction with the solutions (UNHCR, 2018). These pathways can be used to further help refugees reach the solutions that meet their â€Å"international protection needs†. Some examples of complementary pathways are family reunification, especially for â€Å"extended family members† who do not meet the guidelines of resettlement for a refugee or educational-based programs that require communities and educational institutions to become involved and regulate. Pathways are not limited to a level of scope and can be either â€Å"local, regional or global† and can be used in implementation to help â€Å"a limited number of nationalities, professions and skills or other categories†. Reason for Migration: Conflict in Syria (journal on migration) Numerous amounts of Syrians have been fleeing Syria since 2011 as many conflicts appear as a result of â€Å"the government of Bashar al-Assad† and others. This creates a plethora of displacement that occurs throughout the war-torn country. In 2014, there were approximately 7.6 million Syrians that fell under the category of internally displaced persons, people who have migrated without crossing borders because of conflict and an additional 3.7 million left the country. In the same year, about â€Å"one million Syrians† were able to have their statuses as refugees approved. Even though many Syrians were granted refugee status in their host countries, there were still 117,590 that were a part of the waiting process on being notified about their status decision. The conflict had a huge toll on countries that were nearby, such as â€Å"Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey shouldering the largest burden†. This is especially illustrated in statistics, as Lebanon with a population of 4.8 million, has about a million Syrian refugees residing in the country, a 1/5 of their population. Furthermore, Turkey had the most Syrian refugees at 1.5 million and Jordan was in third with 500,000 refugees. The conflict has caused many problems relating to refugee issues, creating an influx of migrants that are displaced. Refugee Situation in Germany There is a total of 7,594,000 persons in Germany with a migrant background and about 1,099,363 (DESTATIS) are from Turkey and 698,950 are from Syria. Furthermore, almost everywhere in Germany, people are discussing the topic of refugees, especially in the city of Berlin. Often these questions may relate to the physical characteristics of refugees as some are not quite sure what the refugees look like as in some areas, refugees are sometimes separated from other civilians for a period of time, in their designated housing. In the German state, there have been about one million refugees that have entered in the year of 2015 only and there was also the â€Å"adoption of integration politics† (Nanette). Germany’s policy on refugees has been somewhat established as a good and essential model for European refugee policy, however, it does have areas in which it needs improvement. In the years of 2015-2016, Germany received the most asylum applications from persons from Syria, with a total of 424,907 applicants (OECD, 2018). The next countries with the highest amounts of applicants for asylum in Germany were Afghanistan with 158,394 applicants and Iraq with 125,900. Syrian applicants received a lot of recognition for obtaining asylum with a total of 98% of the total applicants, while only 56% Afghan received less recognition. This shows how some countries have more priority over others as they gain asylum status throughout Germany, most likely dependent on the direness of their situation. Some more statistics on refugees in Germany include job-seekers, with Syrians being on top of the list with 252,231 persons (OECD, 2018). There are also statistics on the rates in which refugees are employed. Only approximately 28% refugees that had basic or worse German language skills were employed, while 65% with intermediate German were employed, which is the same percentage as those who were fluent. This illustrates the importance of obtaining or learning the German language for refugees in Germany as it increases job opportunities and that is why Germany has been making language programs easily accessible to refugees, which includes online courses as well. Other statistics illustrate how the asylum seekers are distributed throughout Germany and its municipalities as it is dependent on the size of the population. The top three municipalities that receive the most are North Rhine-Westphalia (north-west) with 21.2%, Bavaria (central) with 15.5% and Baden-Wà ¼rttemberg (south-west ) with 12.9%. In years of 2015 until 2016, Germany â€Å"embarked on a ‘Welcome Politics’ of care for refugees† and also â€Å"Integration Politics† supported by Chancellor Merkel as she enforces with her statement of â€Å"Wir schaffen das† or â€Å"we can do it† (Nanette, 2016). And as a result of this, Germany has allowed open borders throughout its country, allowing numerous amounts of refugees to enter and participate in the application for refugee status. This also â€Å"fulfills moral duties to refugees† as part of German’s culture of welcome, which basically encompasses a part of the German identity of human morality with the wanting to help, compared to other countries. Even so, as a result of the crisis, it is unknown what the future for the country that has â€Å"tendencies toward both xenophobia and welcome culture† (Holmes, 2016). Furthermore, there are problems with negative connotations and stigmatization that the refugees receive as current civilians are worried that the new refugees would take their jobs or that they are labelled as â€Å"terrorists† because of some recent events that have been occurring in Europe with attacks from migrants. There is also the problem of xenophobia as they are fearful and not super knowledgeable or aware of negative stereotypes. And as a result, there have been â€Å"criticisms of Germany’s refugee policy† and the creation of hostility from others to refugees. These issues that arise are related to â€Å"serious applied ethics† and created discussions on limitations of responsibilities with questions of â€Å"Where does my responsibility end?† (Nanette, 2016). There have been more problems as Nanette adds Konrad Ott’s, a German philosopher, words of criticizing â€Å"defenders of Merkel’s refugee policy† and referring them to as deontologists, as he questions the realistic sense of wanting to help â€Å"refugees purely as an end to itself†, which is â€Å"an ethics of conviction†, not having regard for possible consequences that could arise for others in the process. This raises questions about what is Germany’s duty on how many refugees they should except and is that number within their threshold? This has been a large debate among many Germans as there is no clear definition of German’s responsibility, which has caused a lot of problems for the country. Continuing on with criticisms, retrieved from various German authors, some Germans are afraid of the possibility of â€Å"Muslims threaten[ing] German cultural identity† (Nanette, 2016). As a result, this had fed into the further xen ophobic ideas as â€Å"wearing the burka† has come to represent danger in the country, even though there are few women in the country that actually do wear them. In this context, cultural change has not really been viewed in a positive context as enrichment, but always in a negative context as a threat. There are additional criticisms towards other things that allowing an influx of refugees to arrive â€Å"provided†, such as â€Å"threats to safety and social peace† which creates negative stigmatizations towards the refugees as some Germans are hostile and violent in regards to them because of their arrival (Nanette, 2016). Another problem relates to the â€Å"costs of refugee programs and its consequences†, it takes a lot of resources to aid refugees, as citizens that are poorer in terms of economic status could be negatively affected as there are â€Å"increased taxes, a higher retirement age and reduced state benefits† as Germany needs to accommodate more people. This raises the question of how much could Germany’s own citizens be negatively affected in order to fulfill the moral duties of the countries and its individuals of helping those in need such as refugees. This further raises the issue of sense of moral obligation and capabilities. Voice from the German Public A county in Germany named Passau has been â€Å"accepting more refugees than whole countries in Eastern Europe† (Feichtinger, 2016). And in this article titled Refugees in Germany by Hans Feichtinger, he details his opinion on the refugee situation in his home country. He states that he is â€Å"proud of the charity and hospitability† that he observes from Germans but because the number of refugees has increased dramatically in the past year, there needs to be a limitation established as there are many challenges that come with allowing refugees to arrive, especially with such a large amount. Some examples of challenges that are mentioned are the difficulties of finding â€Å"suitable living quarters†, â€Å"accepting refugee children in schools† and adds that the recent attacks in Europe, such as Hannover were from refugees that entered Europe. He continues to voice his opinion and states that there are reasons why Germany has been so â€Å"generous† in allowing numerous amounts of refugees to enter the country, which are because it aligns with the philanthropy of Germans and the chancellor and also provides economic benefits, as â€Å"economic leaders have acknowledged that the Federal Republic needs immigration to maintain its economic prosperity†. And continues to address the issue by stating that it is â€Å"slightly unfair† to â€Å"accuse refugees of wanting to immigrate to this prosperity and security† as it depends on immigration in Germany. Even so, the refugee situation in Germany has been shown to â€Å"become the ultimate ‘wedge’ issue of German politics† as problems arise and become obvious (Dorstal, 2017). As mentioned previously, it is difficult to define some terms such as â€Å"refugee† and â€Å"migrant† as various interpretations can be made for each term. To obtain the refugee status, it was suggested that the persons need to be â€Å"facing individual persecution† relating to their â€Å"race, religion, nationality or political beliefs†. And those who do not fall under this category may have the opportunity to gain â€Å"temporary protective status† until the conflict ends. However, there are problems as the protective status is stated to not guarantee â€Å"permanent residency in Germany†. There are also expectations set in place for migrants that arrive in Germany as they should be able to â€Å"integrate into Germany society† and the eco nomy that would â€Å"benefit both sides†. There continues to be a problem in Germany, as shown on social media and television, with defining the boundaries for the terms as they have been used â€Å"without any clear distinction by politicians†, which further adds to the confusion for German individuals as observers as some political figures cannot distinguish them properly either. Conclusion In conclusion, it is important to note that there have been the recent resurface of refugee problems as there was recently a large increase of migrants as a result of conflicts such as the ones in Syria. This has caused a lot of problems as responsibilities are not evenly dispersed, with able countries not willing to help and partake in a share of the responsibilities. There are also implications with limitations of aiding refugees as there could be negative benefits that affect the host country’s current civilians in the process of helping the refugees. It is important to use statistical sources to help illustrate the large picture of the numerous amounts of refugees in the refugee crisis, easier to see in images. Works Cited â€Å"BAMF Bundesamt Fà ¼r Migration Und Flà ¼chtlinge A Culture of Welcome.†Ã‚  BAMF – Bundesamt Fà ¼r Migration Und Flà ¼chtlinge Information for Refugees in Several Languages Information Sheet on the Asylum Application, www.bamf.de/EN/Willkommen/Integrationsprojekte/Willkommenskultur/willkommensk ultur-node.html;jsessionid=53FD018FDEB9DC20337BADA8EC30DA63.2_cid368. Dostal, Jà ¶rg Michael. â€Å"The German Federal Election of 2017: How the Wedge Issue of Refugees and Migration Took the Shine off Chancellor Merkel and Transformed the Party System.† Political Quarterly, vol. 88, no. 4, Oct. 2017, pp. 589–602. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1467-923X.12445. â€Å"Europes Migration Crisis.†Ã‚  Human Rights Watch, www.hrw.org/tag/europes-migration-crisis. Feichtinger, Hans. â€Å"Refugees in Germany.† First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life; New York, no. 260, Feb. 2016, pp. 20–22. Holmes Seth M., and Castaà ±eda Heide. â€Å"Representing the ‘European Refugee Crisis’ in Germany and beyond: Deservingness and Difference, Life and Death.† American Ethnologist, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 12–24. anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com (Atypon), doi:10.1111/amet.12259. Marks, Amy K., et al. â€Å"National Immigration Receiving Contexts: A Critical Aspect of Native-Born, Immigrant, and Refugee Youth Well-Being.† European Psychologist, vol. 23, no. 1, 2018, pp. 6–20. 2018-12389-002, EBSCOhost, doi:10.1027/1016-9040/a000311. â€Å"Migrant Crisis: Migration to Europe Explained in Seven Charts.†Ã‚  BBC News, BBC, 4 Mar. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911. Nanette Funk (2016) A spectre in Germany: refugees, a ‘welcome culture’ and an ‘integration politics’, Journal of Global Ethics, 12:3, 289-299, DOI: 10.1080/17449626.2016.1252785 â€Å"Navigation and Service.†Ã‚  State & Society Births  Ã‚  Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), www.destatis.de/EN/FactsFigures/_CrossSection/Refugees/Refugees.html. â€Å"Refugee Crisis in Europe European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations European Commission.†Ã‚  Social Protection Statistics Unemployment Benefits Statistics Explained, ec.europa.eu/echo/node/4115. United Nations. â€Å"Solutions.†Ã‚  UNHCR, www.unhcr.org/en-us/solutions.html. United Nations. â€Å"The Relevance and Effectiveness of UNHCRs Durable Solutions Activities in Protracted Refugee Situations.†Ã‚  UNHCR, www.unhcr.org/en-us/research/evalreports/5568170d9/relevance-effectiveness-unhcrs-durable-solutions-activities-protracted.html. United Nations. â€Å"UNHCR Resettlement Handbook: Country Chapter Germany.†Ã‚  UNHCR, www.unhcr.org/en-us/protection/resettlement/5162b3bc9/unhcr-resettlement-handbook-country-chapter-germany.html. https://www.oecd.org/els/mig/Finding-their-Way-Germany.pdf http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/583714a44.pdf Refugees in Germany: Invasion or Invention? On JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/488464. Accessed 10 May 2018. Janning, Josef, (DE-576)164309039. Leading from the Centre [Elektronische Ressource]†¯: Germany’s New Role in Europe / Josef Janning & Almut Mà ¶ller. European Council on Foreign Relations, 2016.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Economy stability, standard of living, labour laws and disparity of wea

Economy stability, standard of living, labour laws and disparity of wealth and product. Flowers are beautiful. Flowers can grow in the wild, alone, with only nature affecting their growth, or they can grow in a greenhouse, where all their conditions are controlled. With either option we find different effects on the flowers. In nature the environment can destroy the flower, but the flower in the greenhouse lacks natural nutrients received by the outside world and usually become withered. This can be related to government control within the economy. With too much control, the economy can become smothered and with not enough, it can collapse upon itself, therefore a healthy balance must be found. This brings up the issues of economy stability, standard of living, labour laws and disparity of wealth and product. On the right side of the spectrum we find capitalism. Capitalism is an ideal of free trade with no government involvement in the economy. It was created by Adam smith, and exercises the theories of laissez faire. Although in a capitalist economy the economy can see great times of boom or bust. Monopolies are also prevalent within these societies because there are no laws against such things. On the left of the spectrum we find socialism. Karl Marx created this concept. His was an ideal of scientific, where he stated there would eventually be no class, and a pattern would be followed in the economy. Another form of socialism is utopian created by Robert Owen. Owen believed the same concept, but he believed through providing more he would get more in return. This however did not happen because the workers ended up becoming lazy when they were guaranteed the things they needed. Socialism follows the ... ...risk the consequences of the abuse of people, poor quality goods and lack of advance in products. But if you have too little you face booms and bust, disparity, and an unstable economy. Finding equilibrium of the two extremes is a problem that nations struggle with constantly and a popular choice of many, including the successful Canada, is welfare capitalism. It's the best choice because it promotes the ideals of both capitalism and socialism. The spirit of capitalism with its free trade and market economy with advancing products and aggressive markets and the control of socialism with state programs like healthcare and unemployment coverage, education taxing and the regulation that government can provide. So when asked the question, to what extent should government be involved in the economy an impeccable answer that comes to mind is welfare capitalism.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Emerson :: essays research papers fc

The relatively obscure release of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first book, Nature, in 1836, gave few clues to the celebrity and influence which would later be enjoyed by its author. The piece was originally published anonymously but did mark the beginning of Emerson’s future role of mentor, lecturer, and teacher. His scope was wide, attracting a number of admirers across Massachusetts, reaching audiences from both his literary works, as well as his numerous appearances on the university lecture circuit. One such admirer was a young Massachusetts neighbour, Henry David Thoreau. A schoolteacher by trade, Thoreau ended up as a boarder at Emerson’s home, beginning a lasting, if not frustrating, friendship. This complex relationship introduced Thoreau to the literary world, as well as to the art of lecturing, as performed by Emerson. One such lecture, delivered by Emerson in 1837 to a Harvard audience, spoke about the past, present, and future of “The American Scholar.'; Twenty-five years later, in 1862, shortly after his death, a monthly periodical published an article constructed from Thoreau’s journals, entitled simply “Walking.'; Though very different in general subject matter, both pieces contain very similar philosophies, applicable to many areas of life and society. The application of these philosophies from one work to the other, show not a taste of plagiarism, but rather act as a testament to the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson on the thoughts and ideas of Henry David Thoreau. One recurring theme of this era of American literature was the idea of establishing independence for the United States from the historical ties to Europe. A cry went out for Americans to marvel in the wonders of their own backyard, rather than to look overseas to the previously dominant western European nations. Emerson was no exception to this movement and took time during his “The American Scholar'; lecture to speak of the need for the present generation of Americans to establish their own history: “Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this.'; Emerson called for active, original thought on the part of American scholars and criticized those who wrote as they: “set out from accepted dogmas, not from their own sight of principles.'; His criticism more specifically, was directed to those scholars who looked abroad for inspiration, only to find: “That which h ad been negligently trodden under foot by those who were harnessing and provisioning themselves for long journies into far countries, [are] suddenly found to be richer than all foreign parts.

Flaxseed to reduce plasma cholesterol and the formation of atherosclero

Regarding the study â€Å"Flaxseed reduces plasma cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesion formation in ovariectomized Golden Syrian hamsters†, the research question for Lucas et al. (2004) study is: Can flaxseed reduce plasma cholesterol and the formation of atherosclerotic lesion in women who are deficient in ovarian hormones or menopausal women? According to the study, in menopausal women, the deficiency of ovarian hormones will increase the level of plasma cholesterol and the risk of plaque formation which lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Previously, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was used to solve this problem. However, it is related to an increased risk of some serious diseases such as ovarian cancer and breast cancer; therefore, a lot of women are turning to a safer way to deal with this problem. Recently, functional foods, foods which have the potential for health protection, are considered alternatives to use for reducing CVD risks, and flaxseed is one of those which is used to lower factors that cause CVD. Since it is rich in lignans, ÃŽ ±-linolenic acid (ALA) and soluble fiber which can lower cholesterol level, flaxseed would be beneficial for decreasing CVD risks in postmenopausal women. From previous animal and human studies, we know that flaxseed has the potential to reduce concentrations of cholesterol. Moreover, it can also prevent atherosclerosis by interacting with the vessel wall. However, the effect of flaxseed in reducing plasma cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesion formation associated with ovarian hormone deficiency has not been investigated (Lucas et al., 2004). For these reasons, this study focused on the dose-dependent effect of flaxseed on cholesterol concentrations and atherosclerotic lesion formation. S... ...study and methods to measure and analyze data. Ovariectomized hamsters were proper representatives of postmenopausal women, since after ovariectomy, their plasma cholesterol and the formation of lesions were also increased. Moreover, the authors referred to related studies to develop the experiments and this also provides information about the importance of the project. However, samples collected during the study had to be kept and analyzed later; therefore, this may affect their condition and an accuracy of the results. Works Cited Lucas, A. E., Lightfoot, A. S., Hammond, J. L., Devareddy, L., Khalil, A. D., Daggy, P. B., Smith, J. B., Westcott, N., Mocanu, V., Soung, Y. D., Arjmandi, H. B. (2004). Flaxseed reduces plasma cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesion formation in ovariectomized Golden Syrian hamsters. Atherosclerosis, 173, 223-229.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Crisis Management Essay

Crisis management is easily becoming a concern and priority because of the needs of the modern world. More than ever, there is advancement in technology. Technology can be used to assist prepare for crisis and to make them more manageable. Man made crisis can arise from disasters created by human activity like bombs or war equipment. They require preparedness so as to minimize or eradicate effects on society. Crisis from natural disasters like tsunami, volcanoes also require preparedness since even when they can be predicted, their effects can be quite extensive and hard to wholly avoid. An earthquake of 8. 9 magnitude hit Indonesia, creating a tsunami that led to extensive costs in human life, buildings and finances. As a result, many countries accessed their crisis management systems so as to be prepared in future against such a disaster. Tsunami emergency management systems Due to the 2004 tsunami disaster, countries have amplified their systems for warning, planning and monitoring tsunami. TsunamiReady is such an initiative encouraging alliance between several sectors. StormReady cites these sectors are emergency management agencies in the local, state and federal levels as well as the National Weather Service and general public population. The first task of the alliance is to create tsunami awareness among the population. More awareness will lead to better response. Concentration is on those who are more vulnerable, for example, those along the coasts who would be in direct line of a tsunami. An example is the Australian Tsunami Warning System that deals with exclusively with tsunamis. Governments have launched initiatives to assist in this. In the UK, for example, the contingency planning outlines the management of a crisis from what constitutes a crisis, its declaration as a crisis, what follows after and the role of the various part in the management. In this case, a crisis is an occurrence within the UK threatening grave harm to the public wellbeing (Civil Contingencies Act 2004). It outlines the responsibility of the leaders and accountability. The programs responsible for tsunami crisis management are operated in coordination with Meteorology, Geosciences, and Emergency Management departments. It is through this effort that communities can be served effective tsunami warnings. Information and knowledge gathered by individual countries is also contributing towards international establishment of regional Tsunami Warning System, for example, Indian Ocean Tsunami warnings, West Pacific tsunami warnings among others. These tsunami warning services provide 24hour analysis and monitoring of tsunamis. Documented seismic and sea-level networks are continually extended to facilitate efficient tsunami warnings. They are also actively involved in improving community tsunami training and education programs countrywide. Governments have also set aside radio service that will be operational during tsunami crisis and the frequencies distributed to those at the coastline so that communication can be facilitated during threats of tsunami. National websites have been set for these areas for updates and warnings including tracking tsunami movements. In additional, toll free emergency telephone numbers for tsunami crisis have been set aside in many countries for the dispensation of information. In the America pacific area, tsunami threat is handled by the StormReady under Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Its one of the programs affiliated with TsunamiReady. It was created in Oklahoma USA in 1999. Its main goal is to assist communities increase safety and communication skills. These two skills are important before, during and after a crisis. StormReady (2010) assists those responsible for community wellbeing to reinforce local safety programs through more education and awareness and better planning. Interagency coordination According University of Defense ( 2003. p. 3) managing crisis effectively means a synchronized addressing of all spheres of a crisis. The University of Defense (2003. p. 3) states that these spheres could be the political, diplomatic, economic, humanitarian or social. Without coordination in planning, operations and communication it is easy for responsibilities to be unmet because it’s unclear whose obligation it is. Interagency coordination also assists maximize efforts and avoid redundancy. When each agency concentrates on one area, another takes a different route and more service and help is offered to those in need. Government role in a crisis Haddow et al (2008, p. 9) states that the government has a major role to play in helping its citizens prepare for crisis like the tsunami crisis. One of the best things the government can do is grant funding that will facilitate smooth running of emergency management services. Paramount in crisis management is education of its citizens, coordination of evacuation procedures and funding for recovery efforts. It is not easy to know the best way to respond to a threat when one does not know the nature of the threat. If a threat is from weather, the citizens need to know all the aspects that are involved and how to respond. Education should aim to educate those who are especially vulnerable. For tsunami, all those on the front shores, coastlines, or are involved in marine life should be well educated as to proper response incase of a crisis. According to Haddow et al (2008, p. 101) The local communities on their part should seek to educate its local population before a crisis hits. They should ensure continuous education and that the local population is well knowledgeable on the crisis that are most likely to affect them and they are able to respond in an effective way incase of a crisis. Practice should be used so that all members of a family, for example, know what to do incase of a crisis. The government should also ensure effective communication before, during and after a crisis. That way, it is able to give warning in time, communicate evacuation routes, assist with information during evacuation and offer necessary services in any aftermath. Some of the services that the government can offer during a crisis proposed by Haddow et al (2008, p. 105) are search and rescue missions, medical services and food provisions to survivors. The role of media in a crisis The media tends to provide information fast. Due to modern technology, the media is able to relay information widely too. During the 2004 tsunami crisis, the local media coverage drew attention to what was happening. Although the tsunami was not expected, media worldwide was able to communicate the disaster and rescue missions were launched. This was one instance where the media really played a crucial role in dispensing information. Sommers et al ( 2006, p. 1) states that media raises awareness and can be challenging to authorities as was seen in the hurricane Katrina disaster. It is argued that sometimes also becomes directly involved in the events as happened in New Orleans during the disaster. However, media can be discriminatory in its coverage. Even as media was creating tremendous awareness on the situation, its response was considered sluggish. In an ironical twist, racism was blamed for the slow response to the disaster by media even as the media blamed the government’s slow response on racism as Sommers pointed out (2006. p. 2). Sommers et al ( 2006, p. ) found that sometimes the media can also pick a spin on a crisis that might not be of most importance as long as it will give their news an edge. This has been cited as what happened during hurricane Katrina where there was undue focus was on crime happening. Sommers et al ( 2006, p. 7) also argues that media is also prone to exaggerations especially in the heat of the making of a story as was also evident in hurricane Katrina coverage. Public perception during a crisis Public perception in crisis is largely influenced by information that the public receives. This is because in most cases the public is far from firsthand information. If they receive erroneous information from the media or government, they will respond according to that. Sommers (2006, p. 8) found that in the case of hurricane Katrina crisis the emphasis on crime coverage may have greatly discouraged some individuals from rescue efforts and had potential to bias people outside that state. In the age of free media where overload of information seems like the norm, the role of responsible media coverage can not be over emphasized in the formation of healthy public perception. While crisis are hard to deal with, the media can find itself pressured to create scapegoats when the public wants to allocate blame. In the case of 2004 tsunami many reports especially on the Internet tried to blame the victims, global warming, western countries and even God. It can sometimes feel easier to blame victims for what happens to reduce feelings of vulnerability in the general population as Sommers et al noted (2006. p. 9) Post crisis recovery and continuity strategies Post recovery and continuity plan are integral parts of managing a crisis. The process of crisis management is not over until those affected are able to continue with their economic, social and productive life. According to research by Gartner (2001, p. 2) the economic aspect is especially imperative since it accelerates the recovery of businesses and thus peoples lives and their communities. Post crisis recovery strategies need to be in place before the disaster for best effect. It is necessary to set recovery objectives. Gartner cites one of the most important post recovery strategies as recovery of data and critical technology. Loss of information is one of the hindrances to quick recovery. For example, businesses find it important to have human resource information so that it can facilitate services to its employees, for example, as they claim benefits. Another strategy is government funding and dispensation of emergency funds. Finances play a big part in the recovery process especially in rebuilding. Finances also facilitate businesses to begin their functions and rebuilding of communities can begin. Gartner (2001, p. ) states that in addition governments require financial institutions to continue their services in areas hit by crisis as a means of encouraging growth and to avoid disruption of economic endeavors. This was helpful after hurricane Katrina for example. Through policing peace and security are enforced to avoid lawlessness. Other human needs are addressed through various agencies offering humanitarian assistance that caters for social requirements. Doctors and counselors are especially helpful in dealing with the physical and psychological effects of a crisis. Conclusion Crisis can come from human activities or through natural forces. It can be hard to anticipate them. Even when they are anticipated, it might not be easy to avoid their impact on communities. There is better preparedness today against crisis but at the same time, there are increasing threats to human wellbeing. While nature continues to threaten human wellbeing with better planning and execution of crisis management much of the effects can be reduced. Human threats like chemical warfare are best avoided and stringent measures put in place to reduce loss.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Arab Spring: Implications for US Policy and Interests

Introduction The political uprisings in the Arab world during 2011 undeniably transformed the Middle East and the North of Africa (MENA) (Dalacoura, 2012: 63). An explosive mix of deepening political grievances and a series of socio-economic problems, such as: high unemployment, especially among youth, corruption, internal regional and social inequalities, and the deterioration of economic conditions were the common causal factor behind all the uprisings (ibid: 66-67). Internationally, these uprisings have had profound consequences for the pursuit of long-standing United States (U.S.) policy goals and interests in the region, with regard to: regional security, energy supplies, military access, bilateral trade and investment, counter-proliferation, counterterrorism, and the promotion of human rights (Arieff et al. 2012). The profound changes in the region may alter the framework in which these goals are pursued and challenge the basic assumptions that have long guided U.S. policies in the international system (Keiswetter, 2012: 1). Regionally, the contagious nature of the uprisings, which started in Tunisia in December 2010 and later on spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain or Syria (Dalacoura, 2012: 63), led either to the overthrow of dictators or to internal fracturing (ibid: 66). While Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia underwent troubled transitions away from authoritarian regimes, in Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, modest protests produced tentative steps toward reform (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 41). In view of such differences, policy makers in the U.S. have adopted case-by-case (and highly unequal) approaches, which range from tacit support to outright military intervention (Shore, 2012). For instance, in countries such as Yemen or Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has turned a blind eye to governmental corruption and human rights violations. In non-allied countries, however, like Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, the U.S. has condemned dictatorial practices, issued sanctions and even wars in the name of democracy (Shore, 2012). It could be argued, thus, that the U.S.’ response to the events of the Arab Spring has been cautious and contradictory at the same time. On the one hand, Obama’s Administration has been criticized for its apparent lack of a coherent approach, and its willingness to talk of democratic ideals while protecting national interests. On the other hand, supporters have praised both the pragmatism and principle as a smart approach to international affairs (Kitchen, 2012: 53). Within this framework, this paper will assess the impact of the so-called Arab Spring on the US objectives regarding political and economic reform prospects for the Middle East peace negotiations, energy issues, and security concerns. The main hypothesis of this paper is, thus, that as part of the current international system, where the concept of security acquires multiple and more complex dimensions that go beyond military terms, the U.S.’ policies in the Middle East are extremely â€Å"shy† and cautious. This paper argues that this obvious â€Å"cautiousness† and what many call a contradictory foreign policy of the U.S. is the result of a series of economic interests to maintain oil-flows and global security concerns that cannot be forgotten in the political international arena. The U.S., thus, faces the difficult position of supporting its ideal of democracy and values on the one hand, and its long-term interests and security concerns on the other. This essay, thus, is divided in two main sections. On the one hand, a brief theoretical background on International Relations (IR) theories will serve as a basis to understand the motivations and approaches of the U.S. foreign policy in the region. On the other hand, an analysis of the old and current U.S.’ interests and policies in the Middle East will reveal the contradictions and concerns of the current U.S. Administration and the possible outcomes.Foreign Policy through the Lenses of International RelationsIn order to understand the U.S. foreign policy in the international system and more specifically in the Middle East, with its wide encompassing spectrum of foreign policy decisions, this paper shall approach the issue from the theoretical framework of International Relations (IR) (Vale, 2012: 6).The International SystemThe international system, driven mainly by states, power, and anarchy, has had a profound effect on the United States since its inception (Vale, 2012: 8). It could be said that there are three main different forms of the international system: the multipolar, the bipolar and the unipolar system. Tin the multipolar system, there are several great powers influencing international politics and competing for dominance (Vale, 2012: 10). Bipolar systems, could be described as a battle of titans of sorts –as it happened between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War-, namely, where two major powers oppose one another for dominance in the system. Finally, the unipolar system, is when there is one superpower and no other major powers in the international system –such as the Roman Empire or the United States after the fall of the Soviet Union until arguably the beginning of the 2003 War in Iraq (ibid: 10). It can be said that contemporary international politics does not fit any of these models. Nevertheless, during the last decade a new structure seems to have appeared: the uni-multipolar system. This system has a single world superpower but with several major powers around it in the system which constrains the superpower so that it cannot act as if it were within a unipolar international system (Vale, 2012: 10). Some authors, like Huntington, argue that this scenario is closest one to the current international system; where the settlement of international issues requires action by the single superpower, the United States, but always with some combination of other major states (1999). Indeed, 21st century scholarship within IR moves away from the primacy of the state and second order analyses towards the relationship that individuals have within the international system. This intellectual movement reflects experiences in international history that diminish the role of the state and reinforce the humans and humanity into the heart of a discipline whose origins lie in the motivation for action. This change is a 21st century phenomenon with experiential roots in the terror attacks of 9/11, the Global Financial Crisis, the Arab Spring uprisings, and the rise of hacktivism. These global, historical experiences are fostering the rise of cutting-edge and revolutionary IR theory that embraces complexity and multidisciplinarity (Oprisko, 2013). In other words, â€Å"the trend within IR theory is mirroring the shared experiences of the 21st century: renewed emphasis on terror, revolutions against inequality and social-immobility, and the success of hacktivism† (ibid. ). According to the Neoclassical Realism theory of IR, the international system determines how states act and behave towards each other because the international system is anarchic and states compete for status quo power (Rose, 1998:146). In other words, â€Å"the scope and ambition of a country’s foreign policy is driven first and fore most by its place in the international system and specifically by its relative material power capabilities† (ibid.). The 21st Century, however, is marked not with the political maneuvering of great states with competing visions, but with the elite few accumulating power, on the one hand, and the general public, rejecting such elitism, on the other. The first movement toward a revision of the status quo interpretation of the international system was the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The reaction against this â€Å"new kind of enemy† and the â€Å"war on terrorism† exemplified â€Å"an important reengagement with the social contract ; the state, the sovereign authority of the people, was no longer the only independent actor in the international political arena† (Oprisko, 2013). Closely related to the emergence of the above-mentioned â€Å"new enemies† there is the change of the security concept during the last decades. Authors such as Ole Waever or Barry Buzan were some of the most predominant constructivists who define security after the Cold War, which included non-traditional elements such as human rights (Layman, 2012: 4). The place of human rights in security is widely debated. Although before the Cold War security was traditionally defined in military terms, since Realism was the main school of thought, Constructivism argued for different perspectives, permitting the most thorough definition for security and national interests due to its ability to allow for change in the perception of what defines threats (Layman, 2012: 6). Indeed, as Barry Buzan argues, social norms and cultural phenomena dictate what is a security threat (Layman, 2012: 6). Waever and Buzan define security â€Å"as perceived threats to anything such as the traditional view of a state to non-traditional views of threats† (Buzan et al. 1998: 7) which include society, the environment, and economic laws. Threats are, thus, divided into different sectors: the military sector, concerned with the armed capabilities of a state; the political sector, concerned with the stability of a state; the economic sector, concerned with the accessibility to resources and the market; the societal sector, concerned with the security and sustainability of culture; and the environmental sector, concerned with the security of resources (Layman, 2012: 8). Thus, the Financial Crisis in 2008 and the subsequent austerity endured by common citizens hit a breaking-point with the suicide of Tarek al-Tayeb Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia in 2010. â€Å"Dignity-filled rage erupted across four continents as the Arab Spring spread across the Middle East and North Africa and Occupy protests engulfed Europe and North America† (Oprisko, 2013). As we progress from the competing idealist traditions of the 20th Century, the emphasis from structural impositions are waning (ibid.). â€Å"Human social agents and social structures are mutually constitutive, and social change can proceed causally in both directions [simultaneously] from agents to structures and from structures to agents† (Bennett, 2003: 489)U.S. Contradictory Approach to the Middle EastBearing in mind the previously described theoretical framework, the core American national interests at stake in the Middle East over decades should not come as a surprise; namely: protecting the U.S. homeland from the threats international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; ensuring the free flow of oil, vital to the U.S., regional, and global economies; ensuring the security of Israel (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 48); discouraging interstate conflict that can threaten allies and other interests; ensuring transit and access to facilities to support U.S. military operations; countering terrorism; and stemming the proliferation of weapons (Arieff et al., 2012: 1). Over the years, these interests have resulted a series of U.S. policy objectives – advancing Arab—Israeli peace, protecting key oil-producing states, limiting the spread of regional conflicts, or ensuring U.S. military access and freedom of action within the region. Consequently, to ensure these objectives, the US has usually behaved as a status quo power in the Middle East, prioritizing the regional balance of power and a certain order over backing political change (ibid). During the past 50 years, â€Å"the U.S. has played two dueling roles in the Middle East, that of a promoter of liberal ideals, willing to wage war to build democracy, and that of a supporter of dictators who adhere to American interests and ensure stability† (Shore, 2012). It can be said, thus, that the U.S. reaction to the Arab Spring uprisings has exemplified these two opposing policies. While the US was quick to defend the peaceful protesters in Egypt and oppressed citizens of Libya, taking any necessary measures to prevent gross humanitarian crimes, the U.S. has issued little more than formal warnings to the fact that Syrians are being killed under Assad’s rule, Bahrain is cracking down on protestors, and Yemen is moving towards disaster (ibid.). However, the U.S.’ commitment to stability and the status quo partly sustained the regional stagnant economic, political and social systems, leading to the rise of Islamism and Salafism. After failing to overthrow the authoritarian regimes of the region, from the 1990s, terrorism came to focus. Thus, and particularly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the hegemonic interest in the Saudi monarchy -as the largest oil producer- came into conflict with American national security priorities (Kitchen, 2012: 54). However, after 9-11 the U.S.’ determined that the region’s authoritarian regimes were actually the root of the terrorist problem, prescribing, thus, democracy as the solution to the Middle East’s socio-economic issues (Kitchen, 2012: 54). Thus, in 2003, the Bush Administration launched the ‘Freedom Agenda’, asserting that stability could not be purchased at the expense of liberty, emphasizing that promoting democracy was not just about promoting American values, but was in the American national interest, since oppressive regimes created the conditions for radicalization and terrorism (ibid). However, the â€Å"Freedom Agenda† as part of the wider â€Å"war on terror† had obvious contradictions. While on the one hand the US was seeking short-term counter-terrorism measures through the security apparatus of allied authoritarian regimes, on the other hand, it was prioritizing the long-term emancipation of Middle Eastern societies to address the deeper roots of marginalization and underdevelopment (Kitchen, 2012: 54). It could be argued that these contradictions were the background to the US’ response to the events of the Arab Spring (Kitchen, 2012: 55).The Obama Administration and the U.S. Strategy In The Middle EastEven though the uprisings and political change in the Arab world have challenged many of the assumptions that have long informed U.S. policy makers, it can be said that many long-standing U.S. goals in the region endure (Arieff et al. 2012: 1). The Bush administration’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, overturned this preference for the status quo. The invasion of Iraq created a power vacuum in the Gulf that Iran tried to fill. The war exhausted the U.S. military, spread sectarianism and refugees throughout the region, and unleashed a civil war. The ‘‘Global War on Terror’’ also brought the US into far more collaboration with Arab security services (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 48). The Bush administration failed to match its rhetoric on democracy with meaningful support for democratic change (ibid). The legacies of Obama’s predecessor’s war on terror had to be addressed, in order improve the US’ credibility and standing in the MENA region (Kitchen, 2012: 55). Thus, during President Obama’s first term, the U.S. announced its desire for a fresh start with the Muslim world, which started by withdrawing the U.S. military presence from Iraq and scaling down the worst excesses of the War on Terror, while maintaining a lower-key counter-terrorism campaign. While the administration has not managed to resolve the Iranian nuclear challenge, it has assembled an international consensus and rigorous sanctions to pressure Tehran. Obama also made the peace process a top priority, although his efforts proved no more successful than his predecessor’s. Then the Arab Spring erupted, reshaping the regional agenda (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 49). It has been said that the events of the Arab Spring took Obama’s Administration by surprise and underprepared (Kitchen, 2012: 55). While the political reform was in the overarching interests of the US, and was both sustainable in the region and compatible with America’s other priorities (ibid: 56), the White House, however, was worried that over-enthusiastic American support could undermine the revolutions’ authenticity. Thus, Obama’s rhetoric in public was cautious, as he sought to balance competing interests in the context of uncertain events, while at the same time the administration used its long-developed relationships in the region to try to shape developments (ibid.). Egypt constitutes a clear example of this delicate situation. While the clear win for the Muslim Brotherhood did not fall within the U.S. ‘s â€Å"expectations† and interests in that country in particular, the following military coup, although morally questionable (at least in the 21st Century), has hardly been challenged. Indeed, having a military regime that wants to maintain the peace with Israel, is probably the most comfortable option for the U.S. in a region where nothing is settled so far. Despite the massive changes across the Middle East ever since 2011, there are still several rapidly evolving dynamics that any viable U.S. strategy must account for. First, the so-called Arab Spring has altered key regional dynamics, regime perceptions of internal and external threats, and the role of different political actors, whereby a mobilized public opinion has an unprecedented role in regional politics. Second, Iranian nuclear and hegemonic ambitions continue to worry its neighbors, Israel, and the West. Third, while al-Qaeda has suffered organizational and political setbacks, its affiliates have adapted in disconcerting ways. Fourth, the Israeli—Palestinian issue continues to be a core element of regional instability and a source of potential violence (Khal and Lynch, 2013: 41).The Arab Spring and the US Interests; Challenges and OpportunitesIn response to the Arab uprisings, the Obama Administration has taken a reactive approach, trying to adjust U.S. regional pol icies while coping with multiple ongoing crises (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 49). In 2011, when addressing the impact of the Arab Spring on U.S. interests, Obama admitted the unsustainability of the status quo and advocated relations based not only on mutual interests and mutual respect but also on a set of principles, including: opposition to the use of violence and repression; support for â€Å"a set of universal rights; and support for political and economic reform in the MENA region that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region (Keiswetter, 2012: 4). However, contradictions were again inevitable. Although the administration recognized the importance of seeking to change in Egypt and across the region, it was quickly pulled up at the prospect of confrontation with Saudi Arabia over a possible political transformation in Bahrain (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 49). Similarly, while the administration recognized the need for democratic change in the region, allowing, thus, the democratic process to develop even when elections produced Islamist victors (as it happened in Tunisia and Egypt), it always resisted calls for a more costly and risky intervention in Syria (ibid.). Despite the Administration embracing democratic reform and public engagement, a workable strategy to implement these principles has yet to be put in place (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 49). Indeed, even when sensible policies were pursued, they have frequently not been communicated strategically, which transmits uncertainty about American priorities in the region. Given the current environment in the Middle East, any attempt to draw a more coherent approach must consider five strategic dilemmas: First, maintaining the free flow of oil may require robust security ties with Gulf regimes, which would increase the U.S. dependence on the least democratic and iron-fist ruling governments in the region. This dependence would undermine the U.S. soft power with the Arab public and may contribute to the emerging Sunni—Shiite Cold War in the region (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 51). The Saudis, among others, have been able to compensate for the disruptions caused by the Libyan events. Thus, a strong US commitment to the security of the Gulf will be vital to oil market stability in the future (Keiswetter, 2012: 2). It could be said, thus, that the main challenge for the U.S. here will be being able to maintain traditional allies while supporting the democratic values it has been forever defending. Second, while a U.S. presence throughout the region and close cooperation with partner governments’ security services may be necessary for combating terrorism, this American military presence in the Arab world will continue to provide extremists with propaganda and recruitment opportunities (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 51). The Arab Spring uprisings, based on universal values and rooted in the demand for jobs, justice and dignity, highlight the bankruptcy of Islamic extremism sanctioning violence as the only way to obtain societal changes (Keiswetter, 2012: 2). While none of the 2011 uprisings in the Middle East was led by Islamist movements or had an Islamist agenda (Dalacoura, 2012: 74), Islamist movements have proved to benefit from them politically (ibid: 75). Indeed, the upheavals provide opportunities, as it happened in Yemen, for Islamic extremists to gain ground (Keiswetter, 2012: 2). As exemplified before with the case of Egypt, the U.S. faces the challenge of having Islami st regimes freely elected in stagnant countries, whereby radical movements are like to mushroom, or take an active role in the future political direction of the region, which will probably lead to international criticism. Third, tilting toward Israel in the Palestinian conflict may be essential to reassure Washington’s commitment to Israel’s security (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 50). However, Israeli leaders argue that the wave of unrest in the Arab world is endangering Israel’s security by potentially replacing relatively friendly neighboring governments with Islamist and potentially hostile governments (Arieff et al., 2012: 3). Fourth, a forceful military U.S. intervention in Syria could hasten the demise of Assad’s regime, reduce humanitarian suffering, demonstrate leadership, and weaken Iran. However, such intervention would also require a major investment of military resources, returning the US to the protracted commitment that it just escaped in Iraq, and consuming resources necessary to deal with Iran and other global contingencies (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 50). Fifth, the unclear prospects for democratic change. The consensus in Washington from the 1990s has been that democratization will lead to the emergence in the Middle East of regimes which are supportive of the U.S. (Dalacoura, 2012: 78). However, the Middle East has been described as immune to the waves of democratization which have transformed other regions. Moreover, focusing attention on democracy in the Middle East has been criticized for reflecting the priorities of western and in particular American political science (ibid: 71). On political and economic reform, the nature of the democratic political systems in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya remains to be seen (Keiswetter, 2012: 2). Indeed, one of the U.S.’ greatest fears is credibility in what â€Å"new† Middle East will emerge from the current turmoil (Shore, 2012). Sixth, it can be said that Iran’s nuclear and regional hegemonic aspirations are one of the major ‘‘pre-Arab Spring’’ concerns for the US. It is feared that â€Å"a nuclear-armed Tehran would increase its support for militancy, terrorism, and subversion in the Levant, Iraq, and the Gulf, which would further destabilize the region† (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 43). Thus, Iran’s nuclear program could have a decisive impact on regional politics (ibid.). Seventh, the Arab Spring has shown the limits of American power in the Middle East. Both the U.S. and Europe are missing the necessary financial resources to shape prospects in the Arab Spring countries. Thus, investment will also have to come from countries, such as the Gulf states or China, who do not share to the same extent the Western interest in reinforcement of democratic values (Keiswetter, 2012: 2). In any case, the ultimate strategic effects of these changes are not clear. â€Å"Many fear the emerging power of Islamist movements, elected or violent† (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 43). The anti-American protests in September 2012 in response to a YouTube video, and the uneven governmental responses to the crisis were a clear sign of the underlying turbulence which might complicate future U.S. policy in the region. In other words, the emerging regional order combines a complex array of contradictory new trends (ibid.). In light of the Arab uprisings, it is highly important to prioritize political and economic reform. However, pushing reform complicates ties with key autocratic partners, may cause a nationalist backlash in some democratizing states, and may also risk empowering Islamist groups less inclined to cooperate with the US (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 51).ConclusionA major question that remains to be answered is whether the uprisings will eventually lead to the democratization of the Middle East and the end of the authoritarianism that has undermined its political life (Dalacoura, 2012: 79). On the one hand, the most immediate prospects for the Arab Spring are: continuing instabilities as states try to solve their political and economic situations, as well as their relations with other countries; rising influence for those countries with the necessary resources to back up their policies; and the continuation of a visible but attenuated role for the U.S. (Keiswetter, 2012: 2). The long-term prospect, on the other hand, includes also the possibility Middle East with a much higher degree of freedom, more democratic, prosperous and accountable, less abusive of human rights, and thus a net positive outcome for U.S. interests (ibid.). With the dramatic rise in popular activism empowered by the new technologies, it is clear that long-term stability in the region will require meaningful steps by all governments towards a genuine political and economic reform (Kahl and Lynch, 2013: 42). The U.S. has had to tread a fine line between support for its values and long-term interests à ¢â‚¬â€œ represented by political reform in the region-, and the protection of its core regional interests (Kitchen, 2012: 57). If the U.S. is serious about turning off its Middle detour, then in the Middle East and North Africa the US needs to prioritize long-term trends over short-term concerns, which may not always mean pushing for revolutionary change in support of democratic values in the region (Kitchen, 2012: 58). The recent revolutions pose an opportunity to establish a new status quo in the Middle East, free an oppressed and jobless youth, increase economic standing and trade, and give democracy a chance to flourish. While the U.S. remains limited in the impact it can have in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, it has an opportunity to change its negative standing in the Middle East; an opportunity to change a stoic, ineffective foreign policy (Shore, 2012).References Andrew Bennett, (2003) â€Å"A Lakatosian Reading of Lakatos: What Can We Salvage from the Hard Core?,† inProgress in International Relations Theory: Appraising the Field, ed. Colin Elman and Miriam Fendius Elman. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Arieff, A., Danon, Z., Katzman, K., Sharp, J. M., & Zanotti, J. (2012) â€Å"Change in the Middle East: Implications for US Policy†.Congressional Research Service. [On-line], Available: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/R42393.pdf [21 April 2014] Buzan B, Waever O, de Wilde J. (1998 ) â€Å"Introduction, security analysis: Conceptual apparatus, the military sector, the political sector†. In: Security: A new framework for analysis. Colorado: Lynne Reinner Publishers; 1998. ISBN 1-55587-603-X Dalacoura, K. (2012) â€Å"The 2011 uprisings in the Arab Middle East: political change and geopolitical implications†.International Affairs, 88(1), 63-79. [On-line], Available: http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/International%20Affairs/2012/88_1/88_1dalacoura.pdf [21 April 2014] Huntington, S. P. (1999). The Lonely Superpower. Foreign Affairs, 35-49. Kahl, C. H., & Lynch, M. (2013). US Strategy after the Arab Uprisings: Toward Progressive Engagement.The Washington Quarterly, 36(2), 39-60. [On-line], Available: [21 April 2014] Keiswetter, A. L. (2012) â€Å"The Arab spring: Implications for US policy and interests†.Middle East Institute. [On-line]. Available: http://www.mei.edu/content/arab-spring-implications-us-policy-and-interests [21 April 2014] Kitchen, N. (2012) â€Å"After the Arab Spring: power shift in the Middle East?: the contradictions of hegemony: the US and the Arab Spring†, [On-line], Available: http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/pdf/SR011/FINAL_LSE_IDEAS__UnitedStatesAndTheArabSpring_Kitchen.pdf [21 April 2014]. Layman, C. K. (2012). Conflictual Foreign Policy of the United States: Between Security and Human Rights. [On-line], Available: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1497&context=cmc_theses&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.es%2Fscholar%3Fq%3D%2522theory%2Bof%2Binternational%2Brelations%2522%2B%2522the%2BArab%2BSpring%2522%2B%2522US%2Binterests%2522%26btnG%3D%26hl%3Des%26as_sdt%3D0%252C5%26as_ylo%3D2010#search=%22theory%20international%20relations%20Arab%20Spring%20US%20interests%22 [23 April 2014] Oprisko, R. L. (2013). â€Å"IR Theory’s 21st Centur y Experiential Evolution†.E-International Relations (2013).[On-line], Available: http://www.e-ir.info/2013/05/25/the-fall-of-the-state-and-the-rise-of-the-individuals-ir-theorys-21st-century-experiential-evolution/ [23 April 2014] Rose, G. (1998). Neoclassical realism and theories of foreign policy.World politics, 51, 144-172. Shore, S. M. (2012) Great Decisions 2012 Preview: After The Arab Spring, [On-line], Available: http://www.fpa.org/features/index.cfm?act=feature&announcement_id=88 [21 April 2014] Vale, K. R. (2012).US foreign policy in the post-Cold War era (Doctoral dissertation, Office of Graduate Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston). [On-line], Available: http://crhsgg-studentresources.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/KVale_US_Foreign_Policy_PColdWar_2012.pdf [23 April 2014]

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Aggregate Demand and Supply Models Essay

As it stands currently the existing effect of the economic factors on aggregate demand and supply are: unemployment, consumer income, and interest rates. In this paper we identify the existing effect of the economic factors on aggregate demand and supply. The American people have little to no income when unemployed, this in turn causes a decrease in demand for the economy. This type of event causes the aggregate demand to curve to the left. One of the main reasons unemployment remains high to this day is the lack of demand. A shortfall in aggregate demand is precisely the type of issue that can be addressed by monetary policy, however, to do so we need continuous monetary stimulus to progress toward maximum employment stability. The crash of the housing market has set tremendous limitation on consumer and their spending. Sternness on behalf of the government to a certain extent has decreased aggregate demand during this recovery period. These actions have directly impacted growth. Wh at this means to us is that lower government spending and higher taxes call for disposable income for consumers, work for government contractors diminishing, and a decrease in government payroll. Another factor that has had great effect and impact are the levels of uncertainty. The events leading to this state have yet to be resolved which in turn have caused a lack of willingness and confidence within consumers. In the beginning the levels of uncertainty reflected the force of influence the recession had on us as consumers. This is something that had not been experienced in several years which made it difficult for us to handle or even find a way to get by in a more successful demeanor. After extensive research and analysis it is safe to say the supply-side considerations explain some of the rise in unemployment, which once again confirm the lack of demand as well as the fact that the economy is suffering first and foremost of a weak demand rather than a shortage of supply. References Williams, J. C. (2013, February 25). The Economy and Fed Policy: Follow the Demand. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Retrieved from http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2013/february/economy-fed-policy-follow-demand/ Thoma, M. (2012, March 28). Demand, not supply, is restraining the economy. CBS News. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57405230/demand-not-supply-is-restraining-the-economy/