To strengthen the intellectual foundations for this project and inform the work of the Commission in crafting its reform agenda, The Hague Institute and The Stimson Center have commissioned more than 20 background papers to be authored by the members of the Commission’s Research Team.

The papers elaborate on how and where the core concepts of security and justice intersect in a particular policy or institutional context, review progress to date by a range of global (state and non-state) actors on the most pressing global challenges, and discuss where and why their efforts may still be insufficient. They offer supporting arguments for recommendations for reform, paying particular attention to the global security and justice implications. Their added value resides in taking the debate further intellectually, elaborating concepts and reform recommendations for the topic area which are both ambitious yet realistic (i.e. achievable in the next 3-5 years).

Several background papers will be published on this website as Working Papers from Spring 2015 onwards and compiled subsequently in a companion volume to the Commission’s Report. Select themes and authors include:

The Evolution of and Future Prospects for Transnational Environmental Crime Prevention (PDF)

Dr. Peter J. Stoett (Concordia University)

This background paper will pursue the question of whether and how international organizations and criminal law can help us deal effectively with transnational environmental crimes (TEC) and, more broadly, environmental injustice. The paper will also explore the question of whether the climate change justice agenda can benefit from the expanded pursuit of transnational environmental crime. Can international environmental law, refurbished, act as a mitigating factor in climate change? We conclude that while international legal instruments can help spur additional action, in themselves they will do little at this stage. We reach several conclusions: What is needed is a revitalized pursuit of TEC, which will have incidental benefits for the climate justice agenda, and the creation of new norms (de lege fereranda) to cope with the immense challenges posed by TEC. In the long run, a new international environmental court is optimal, but it will need a clear agenda and not a murky mission to stop all ecocide on the planet.

Ensuring sustainable peace: Strengthening global security and justice through the UN Peacebuilding Architecture (PDF)

Prof. Necla Tschirgi (University of San Diego)

Cedric de Coning (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)

While demand for international peacebuilding assistance increases around the world, the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) remains a largely ineffective and marginal player in the peacebuilding field. There are many reasons for the PBA’s shortcomings, including its original design, the Security Council’s uneasy relations with the Peacebuilding Commission, turf battles within the UN system, and the changing nature of conflicts that require for peacebuilding interventions. In its current incarnation, the likelihood of the PBC becoming a critical player in peacebuilding—even for second or third level conflicts—is very slim. It simply does not have the political clout, the expertise or the resources to assert itself. Yet, for the international community, the opportunity cost of keeping the PBA afloat in its current form is quite high. This is an unsustainable state of affairs. This paper examines various options for making the PBA a more effective instrument of conflict management and peacebuilding.

Preventing the Kinds of Conflicts that are Hardest to Resolve and Most Costly in Lives (PDF)

Prof. Edward Newman (University of Leeds)

Dr. Eamon Aloyo (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

Progress in conflict prevention depends upon a better understanding of the underlying circumstances that give rise to violent conflict and mass atrocities, as well as the warning signs that a crisis is imminent. In recent decades there has been a substantial amount of empirical research on the causes of violence and the driving forces of conflict. The policy implications of this must be exploited to a greater degree so that the conditions that enable widespread violence can be addressed, before it occurs. The prevention of violent conflict and mass atrocities involves a range of social, economic and institutional factors, and it highlights broad challenges – many of which are international – relating to deprivation, inequality, political access and environmental management. It also involves overcoming a number of acute political obstacles that are currently embedded within the values and institutions of global governance. From this perspective, the paper presents a range of proposals related to structural conflict prevention and crisis response, as well as the prevention of mass atrocities.

Reforming and Innovating the United Nations Security Council (PDF)

Dr. Vesselin Popovski (United Nations University, Tokyo)

There is almost universal recognition that Security Council membership and working methods are obsolete and that there is a need for reform. However, the process of reform has been dragging on with very little achievements since the 1965 expansion of the Council’s membership. This paper undertakes an historical voyage through the previous attempts to reform the Council, and after assessing the current proposals on the table, it ends by summing up some recommendations. These include expanding the membership, allowing members to be re-elected immediately for consecutive terms, and restricting the use of veto.

The Role of the State in Securing Internet Access and Freedom in the Global South

Sunil Abraham (The Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore)

Sash Jayawardane (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

The Internet’s positive impact on economic growth and social development in advanced economies has been fuelled by largely unfettered access to online content and the availability of requisite physical and technical infrastructure. Many countries in the Global South lag behind on both these factors, with significant implications for economic growth and socioeconomic, civil and political rights. This paper delineates the appropriate scope of state involvement in facilitating access to Internet content and infrastructure in the Global South, with due regard for the role of the private sector and civil society.

Rule of Law, Security and Transitional Justice in Conflict-Affected Societies (PDF)

Prof. Dr. Anja Mihr (HUMBOLDT VIADRINA Governance Platform, Center on Governance through Human Rights)

Prof. Dr. Chandra L. Sriram (University of East London)

This paper assess how in conflict-affected societies, demands for accountability, often in the form of transitional justice mechanisms, interact with processes and actors seeking to promote rule of law and the reform of the security sector. Outlining the primary actors working in the fields of transitional justice and rule of law, the authors examine whether transitional justice processes have impeded institution building or strengthened it, based on primary and secondary research. They consider the ways in which such processes do or do not support related reforms to the security sector and address the ways that rule of law and transitional justice programming must take into account and engage with informal or non-state processes.

Strengthening Security, Justice, and Democracy Globally: The Case for a Consultative Parliamentary Body at the United Nations (PDF)

Dr. Luis Cabrera (Griffith University)

This background paper aims to identify the strongest current case for democracy at the global level. It shows ways in which security, justice and democratic governance can be seen as tightly interconnected at their foundations, and how popular participation at the global level could play an important role in promoting physical security and more just outcomes within the UN system and beyond. To come to a practical solution, it examines various models proposed for a UN and related parliamentary assemblies.

Gender and Women Inclusion as a Cross-cutting Issue in Global Governance, Security and Justice: Challenges and Opportunities

Sarah L. Bosha (The Stimson Center)

Marie-Laure Poiré (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

This paper addresses how women experience more adverse and differentiated impact than men in situations of conflict and climate change, and how decision making processes and mechanisms still either include too few women or exclude them altogether despite global support for increased women’s participation in such roles.  It examines the important role women have played in peace and security in fragile and conflict affected states despite significant barriers, with examples from Liberia, Somalia, and Northern Ireland.  The paper also examines women’s role in climate change and post-conflict reconstruction, making the case that in the changing global governance, security and justice apparatus, gender mainstreaming and women’s inclusion are paramount.

Natural Resources, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and Global Governance (PDF)

Dr. Volker Lehmann (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, New York)

Focusing on minerals and carbon-based energy resources, this background paper posits the interconnectedness of all types of natural resources. A comprehensive governance regime for natural resources, therefore, has to address the interlocking challenges for environment, security, and justice, in particular as regards the need to avoid the “resource curse” in fragile countries. Beyond current frameworks such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Lehmann argues that more needs to be done to increase the responsiveness of companies to transparency demands, but also to prevent leakage of revenues through tax loopholes.

Intervention and Peace Operations: Dilemmas of Internal Conflicts and Transnational Threats (PDF)

Dr. Sofía Sebastián (The Stimson Center)

The hybrid and fragmented nature of current conflicts represents one of today’s most pressing global security challenges, with crises spanning a broad swath from western Africa to the Himalayas. This paper examines issues of intervention and security as applied to conflicts that feature significant levels of armed fragmentation and are afflicted by varying levels of transnational threats. These include, among others, terrorism, transnational crime networks and cross-border sectarian insurgencies. It evaluates the policies, strategies and mechanisms in place to address these threats and makes recommendations for a strengthened, comprehensive international response. The paper draws from the Malian conflict to reflect on these issues.

Non-State, Regional, and Local Actors at the Intersection of Global Security and Justice

Dr. Jan Wouters (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven)

Dr. Joris Larik (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

Non-state actors, comprising entities as diverse as Microsoft, Greenpeace, al-Qaida, the African Union and global celebrities and philanthropists, have grown considerably in importance and influence in the global arena. This observation is at the very heart of recasting what was long known as international relations as global governance. With a view to optimizing the clout of non-state actors as a force for good in global governance, this paper aims to carve out the roles that different types of non-state actors play at the intersection of security and justice in addressing global challenges. It further proposes ways in which they can contribute more to a mutually reinforcing relationship between the study’s core concepts of security and Justice.

The UNFCCC and the Future of Climate Governance

Dr. David Michel (The Stimson Center)

Ricky Passarelli (The Stimson Center)

This paper traces the history of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with an eye towards the Paris Climate Conference in 2015, illuminating the policy challenges and choices that established the current governance regime. The authors explore the emerging landscape of regional, multi-sectoral, and non-state institutional structures and consider potential options and practices for advancing more effective climate governance.

Recent

  • The Evolution of and Future Prospects for Transnational Environmental Crime Prevention

    Abstract This background paper will pursue the question of whether and how international organizations and criminal law can help us deal effectively with transnational environmental crimes (TEC) and, more broadly, environmental injustice. The paper will also explore the question of whether the climate change justice agenda can benefit from the expanded pursuit of transnational environmental … Continued

  • Ensuring sustainable peace: Strengthening global security and justice through the UN Peacebuilding Architecture

    While demand for international peacebuilding assistance increases around the world, the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) remains a largely ineffective and marginal player in the peacebuilding field. There are many reasons for the PBA’s shortcomings, including its original design, the Security Council’s uneasy relations with the Peacebuilding Commission, turf battles within the UN system, and the … Continued

  • Preventing the Kinds of Conflicts that are Hardest to Resolve and Most Costly in Lives

    Progress in conflict prevention depends upon a better understanding of the underlying circumstances that give rise to violent conflict and mass atrocities, as well as the warning signs that a crisis is imminent. In recent decades there has been a substantial amount of empirical research on the causes of violence and the driving forces of conflict. The policy … Continued

  • Reforming and innovating the United Nations Security Council

    There is almost universal recognition that Security Council membership and working methods are obsolete and that there is a need for reform. However, the process of reform has been dragging on with very little achievements since the 1965 expansion of the Council’s membership. This paper undertakes an historical voyage through the previous attempts to reform … Continued

  • Rule of Law, Security and Transitional Justice in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Societies

    Transitional justice and the rule of law are frequently expected, in conflict-affected societies, to be not only intertwined with one another, but to help to promote post-conflict or post-agreement stability. At the same time, a range of actors is engaged in rule of law promotion and the promotion of security sector reform. Over the past … Continued