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It was a time of house burnings, mob violence, kidnapping, mass imprisonment, torture, endless trials, summary executions and secret burials. This was Iran in the early 1980s, and everyday reality for the Baha'is, Iran's largest religious minority. Headlines across America screamed out the story, Congress passed motions, President Reagan appealed to Iran. This detailed, eye-witness account of the persecution of Iran's largest religious minority in the 1980s is the story of one woman's experiences at the hands of the Iranian Revolutionaries. Amid the escalating pogrom, Olya Roohizadegan witnessed friends, neighbours and relatives being imprisoned, tortured and executed. For months she visited the prisoners, comforted their relatives, found clothes and shelter for the homeless, and smuggled news and photographs out of Iran to the outside world. And then it was her turn. The book culminates in her dramatic escape from the hangman's rope in a hazardous overland journey to Pakistan and the West.
Existential Eroticism: A Feminist Approach to Understanding Women's Oppression-Perpetuating Choices offer a unique lens aimed at the underbelly of the lady through which feminists can reorient discourses on rationality and moral responsibility related to women's oppression-perpetuating choices. Shay Welch utilizes feminist ethics, broadly construed as feminist philosophy concerned with the ethical commitment to eliminate oppression, to scrutinize how women regard and judge one another and to offer a more representative account of restriction, rationality, and responsibility to begin the healing process between diverse and divergent women. The book aims not only to construct an analysis of self-perpetuated oppression that will broaden feminist understandings of experiences that motivate many women to choose as they do, it serves as a means of understanding the marginalized.
East Asia, until recently the scene of widespread blood-letting, has achieved relative peace. A region that at the height of the Cold War had accounted for around eighty percent of the world's mass atrocities has experienced such a decline in violence that by 2015 it accounted for less than five percent. This book explains East Asia's 'other' miracle and asks whether it is merely a temporary blip in the historical cycle or the dawning of a new, and more peaceful, era for the region. It argues that the decline of mass atrocities in East Asia resulted from four interconnected factors: the consolidation of states and emergence of responsible sovereigns; the prioritization of economic development through trade; the development of norms and habits of multilateralism, and transformations in the practice of power politics. Particular attention is paid to North Korea and Myanmar, countries whose experience has bucked regional trends largely because these states have not succeeded in consolidating themselves to the point where they no longer depend on violence to survive. Although the region faces several significant future challenges, this book argues that the much reduced incidence of mass atrocities in East Asia is likely to be sustained into the foreseeable future.
This book is about an unprecedented attempt by the government of Russia's Tsar Nicholas I (1825-1855) to eradicate what was seen as one of the greatest threats to its political security: the religious dissent of the Old Believers. The Old Believers had long been reviled by the ruling Orthodox Church, for they were the largest group of Russian dissenters and claimed to be the guardians of true Orthodoxy; however, their industrious communities and strict morality meant that the civil authorities often regarded them favourably. This changed in the 1840s and 1850s when a series of remarkable cases demonstrated that the existing restrictions upon the dissenters' religious freedoms could not suppress their capacity for independent organisation. Finding itself at a crossroads between granting full toleration, or returning to the fierce persecution of earlier centuries, the tsarist government increasingly inclined towards the latter course, culminating in a top secret 'system' introduced in 1853 by the Minister of Internal Affairs Dmitrii Bibikov. The operation of this system was the high point of religious persecution in the last 150 years of the tsarist regime: it dissolved the Old Believers' religious gatherings, denied them civil rights, and repressed their leading figures as state criminals. It also constituted an extraordinary experiment in government, instituted to deal with a temporary emergency. Paradoxically the architects of this system were not churchmen or reactionaries, but representatives of the most progressive factions of Nicholas's bureaucracy. Their abandonment of religious toleration on grounds of political intolerability reflected their nationalist concerns for the future development of a rapidly changing Russia. The system lasted only until Nicholas's death in 1855; however, the story of its origins, operation, and collapse, told for the first time in this study, throws new light on the religious and political identity of the autocratic regime and on the complexity of the problems it faced.
Between the summer of 1937 and November 1938, the Stalinist regime arrested over 1.5 million people for "counterrevolutionary" and "anti-Soviet" activity and either summarily executed or exiled them to the Gulag. While we now know a great deal about the experience of victims of the Great Terror, we know almost nothing about the lower- and middle-level Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (NKVD), or secret police, cadres who carried out Stalin's murderous policies. Unlike the postwar, public trials of Nazi war criminals, NKVD operatives were tried secretly. And what exactly happened in those courtrooms was unknown until now. In what has been dubbed "the purge of the purgers," almost one thousand NKVD officers were prosecuted by Soviet military courts. Scapegoated for violating Soviet law, they were charged with multiple counts of fabrication of evidence, falsification of interrogation protocols, use of torture to secure "confessions," and murder during pre-trial detention of "suspects" - and many were sentenced to execution themselves. The documentation generated by these trials, including verbatim interrogation records and written confessions signed by perpetrators; testimony by victims, witnesses, and experts; and transcripts of court sessions, provides a glimpse behind the curtains of the terror. It depicts how the terror was implemented, what happened, and who was responsible, demonstrating that orders from above worked in conjunction with a series of situational factors to shape the contours of state violence. Based on chilling and revelatory new archival documents from the Ukrainian secret police archives, Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial illuminates the darkest recesses of Soviet repression - the interrogation room, the prison cell, and the place of execution - and sheds new light on those who carried out the Great Terror.
Zionism in Arab discourses presents a ground-breaking study of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Through analyses of hundreds of texts written by Arab Islamists and liberals from the late-nineteenth century to the 'Arab Spring', the book demonstrates that the Zionist enterprise has played a dual function of an enemy and a mentor. Islamists and liberals alike discovered, respectively, in Zionism and in Israeli society qualities they sought to implement in their sown homelands. Focusing on Palestinian, Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian political discourses, this study uncovers fascinating and unexpected Arab points of views on different aspects of Zionism; from the first Zionist Congress to the First Lebanon War; from gardening in the early years of Tel Aviv to women's service in the Israeli Defence Forces; from the role of religion in the creation of the state to the role of democracy in its preservation. This study presents the debates between and within contesting Arab ideological trends on a conflict that has shaped, and is certain to continue and shape, one of the most complicated regions in the world. -- .
The LGBTI community in Turkey face real dangers. In 2015, the Turkish police interrupted the LGBTI Pride march in Istanbul, using tear gas and rubber bullets against the marchers. This marked the first attempt by the authorities to stop the parade by force, and similar actions occurred the following year. Here, Fait Muedini examines these levels of discrimination in Turkey, as well as exploring how activists are working to improve human rights for LGBTI individuals living in this hostile environment. Muedini bases his analysis on interviews taken with a number of NGO leaders and activists of leading LGBTI organisations in the region, including Lambda Istanbul, Kaos GL, Pembe Hayat, Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD), and Families of LGBT's in Istanbul (LISTAG). The original information provided by these interviews illuminate the challenges facing the LGBTI community, and the brave actions taken by activists in their attempts to challenge the state and secure sexual equality.
In November 1984, the ruling elite of the world's largest democracy conspired to murder thousands of their country's citizens in genocidal massacres reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany while the world watched on.Over three days, armed mobs brutally and systematically butchered, torched and raped members of the minority Sikh community living in Delhi and elsewhere. The sheer scale of the killings exceeded the combined civilian death tolls of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Tiananmen Square and 9/11. In Delhi alone 3000 people were killed. The full extent of what took place has yet to be fully acknowledged.This definitive account based on harrowing victim testimonies and official accounts reveals how the largest mass crime against humanity in India's modern history was perpetrated by politicians and covered up with the help of the police, judiciary and media. The failings of Western governments - who turned a blind eye to the atrocities for fear of losing trade contracts worth billions - are also exposed.
'Beware of Small States' wrote Mikhail Bukanin in 1870. He could have meant Lebanon: a sectarian state no bigger than Wales that has become battleground for one of the defining conflicts of twentieth-century history. Throughout its short existence, it has been attacked, invaded, occupied or interfered with to serve the political interests of foreign powers, resulting a series of devastating wars and crises. To understand Lebanon's history is to understand the history of the entire region - and, with the rise of Hizbullah, it has come to assume a disproportionate, dangerous power of its own. Iran and Israel now face each other in the hills of south Lebanon. David Hirst, author of The Gun and the Olive Branch, is a hugely respected commentator on the Arab-Israeli crisis. In a masterly narrative, he gives a much-needed, comprehensive history of the country and its conflicts, culminating with the recent war in Gaza and its fallout in Lebanon. Powerful and often moving, Beware of Small States is a magisterial book, essential reading for understanding Lebanon or the current political climate of the Middle East.
The arrest in 1998 and subsequent detention in London of General Augusto Pinochet on the orders of Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon occasioned worldwide debate and raised numerous issues of critical significance for politics, human rights and international law. This paper traces the progress of the case against Pinochet since its inception in Spain, through his 17-month detention in London, and up to its continuation in Chile. The work provides a survey of events and developments so far, and offers an initial review of some of the issues raised. It includes a detailed chronology of events from the time of Pinochet's arrest up to October 2000.
This new study offers a fresh interpretation of apartheid South Africa. Emerging out of the author's long-standing interests in the history of racial segregation, and drawing on a great deal of new scholarship, archival collections, and personal memoirs, he situates apartheid in global as well as local contexts. The overall conception of Apartheid, 1948-1994 is to integrate studies of resistance with the analysis of power, paying attention to the importance of ideas, institutions, and culture. Saul Dubow refamiliarises and defamiliarise apartheid so as to approach South Africa's white supremacist past from unlikely perspectives. He asks not only why apartheid was defeated, but how it survived so long. He neither presumes the rise of apartheid nor its demise. This synoptic reinterpretation is designed to introduce students to apartheid and to generate new questions for experts in the field.
How was it possible to write history in the Soviet Union, under strict state control and without access to archives? What methods of research did these 'historians' - be they academic, that is based at formal institutions, or independent - rely on? And how was their work influenced by their complex and shifting relationships with the state? To answer these questions, Barbara Martin here tracks the careers of four bold and important dissidents: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Roy Medvedev, Aleksandr Nekrich and Anton Antonov-Ovseenko. Based on extensive archival research and interviews (with some of the authors themselves, as well as those close to them), the result is a nuanced and very necessary history of Soviet dissident history writing, from the relative liberalisation of de-Stalinisation through increasing repression and persecution in the Brezhnev era to liberalisation once more during perestroika. In the process Martin sheds light onto late Soviet society and its relationship with the state, as well as the ways in which this dissidence participated in weakening the Soviet regime during Perestroika. This is important reading for all scholars working on late Soviet history and society.
This book reframes major events like South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Holocaust, and the war in Bosnia to take into account the ""complex victim"". It calls for a more effective and encompassing support of all types of victims, especially those not typically recognized as such. Images of the political victim are powerful, gripping, and integral in helping us makes sense of conflict, particularly in making moral calculations, determining who is ""good"" and who is ""evil."" These images, and the discourse of victimization that surrounds them, inform the international community when deciding to recognize certain individuals as victims and play a role in shaping response policies. These policies in turn create the potential for long term, stable peace after episodes of political victimization. Bouris finds weighty problems with this dichotomous conception of actors in a conflict, which pervades much of contemporary peacebuilding scholarship. She instead argues that victims, much like the conflicts themselves, are complex. Rather than use this complexity as a way to dismiss victims or call for limits on the response from the international community, the book advocates for greater and more effective responses to conflict.
This vivid diary of life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II examines the moral challenges encountered in conditions of confinement and deprivation.
Millions of immigrants risk deportation and imprisonment by living in the US without legal status. They are living underground, with little protection from exploitation at the hands of human smugglers, employers, or law enforcement. Underground America presents the remarkable oral histories of men and women struggling to carve a life for themselves in the US.
A classic expose of political repression in Czarist Russia which will be chillingly familiar to activists today. This is a timely publication of the work of an anarchist and socialist humanist writer in a time of growing global activism. There has been a revival of interest in Serge since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The relevance of his writings today is drawn out by U.S. civil liberties lawyer and Arab-American community activist Dalia Hashad. Serge's expose of the methods of surveillance and harassment of political activists by the Czarist police reads like a spy thriller. But as Dalia Hashad points out in her introduction, this book will have a resonance with political activists today who face a new wave of repression under the Patriot Act and racial profiling in the name of the war on terror.
The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the Yukos oil company, on 25 October 2003, was a key turning point in modern Russian history. At that time Khodorkovsky was one of the world's richest and most powerful men, while Yukos had been transformed into a vast and lucrative oil company that was set to go global. On all counts, this looked like a success story, but it was precisely at this moment that the Russian authorities struck. After two controversial trials, attracting widespread international condemnation, Khodorkovsky was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. In this book, Richard Sakwa examines the rise and fall of Yukos, and the development of the Russian oil industry more generally. Sakwa analyses Russia's emergence as an energy superpower, and considers the question of the 'natural resource curse' and the use of energy rents to bolster Russia as a great power and to maintain the autonomy of the regime. Crucially this book also examines the relationship between Putin's state and big business during Russia's traumatic shift from the Soviet planned economy to the market system.It is a detailed analysis of one of the most dramatic confrontations between economic and political power in our era, full of human drama and moral dilemmas. It is also a study of political economy, with the market and state coming into confrontation. Above all, the 'Yukos affair' continues to shape contemporary Russian politics, with a weakened judiciary and insecure property rights. It traces the struggles of the Putin era as two visions of society came into conflict. The attack on Khodorkovsky had - and continues to have - far-reaching political and economic consequences but it also raises fundamental questions about the quality of freedom in Putin's Russia as well as in the world at large.
Blocking out, turning a blind eye, shutting off, not wanting to
know, wearing blinkers, seeing what we want to see ... these are
all expressions of 'denial'. Alcoholics who refuse to recognize
their condition, people who brush aside suspicions of their
partner's infidelity, the wife who doesn't notice that her husband
is abusing their daughter - are supposedly 'in denial'. Governments
deny their responsibility for atrocities, and plan them to achieve
'maximum deniability'. Truth Commissions try to overcome the
suppression and denial of past horrors. Bystander nations deny
their responsibility to intervene.
Do these phenomena have anything in common? When we deny, are we
aware of what we are doing or is this an unconscious defence
mechanism to protect us from unwelcome truths? Can there be
cultures of denial? How do organizations like Amnesty and Oxfam try
to overcome the public's apparent indifference to distant suffering
and cruelty? Is denial always so bad - or do we need positive
illusions to retain our sanity?
"States of Denial" is the first comprehensive study of both the personal and political ways in which uncomfortable realities are avoided and evaded. It ranges from clinical studies of depression, to media images of suffering, to explanations of the 'passive bystander' and 'compassion fatigue'. The book shows how organized atrocities - the Holocaust and other genocides, torture, and political massacres - are denied by perpetrators and by bystanders, those who stand by and do nothing.
When Pakistan was founded in 1947, it had a rich tapestry of different religious groups, ranging from Sunni and Shiite Muslims to Christians, Parsis, Hindus, and Jainists. Non-Muslims comprised 23 percent of the total population, and non-Sunnis comprised a quarter of the Muslim population. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's first president, proclaimed that the nation had a place for all of its citizens, regardless of religion. Today, non-Muslims comprise a mere 3 percent of the population, and in recent years all non-Sunnis have been subjected to increasing levels of persecution and violence. What happened? In Purifying the Land of the Pure, Farahnaz Ispahani analyzes Pakistan's policies towards its religious minority populations, both Muslim and non-Muslim, since independence in 1947. Originally created as a homeland for South Asia's Muslims, Pakistan was designed to protect the subcontinent's largest religious minority. But soon after independence, religious as well as some political leaders declared that the objective of Pakistan's creation was more specific and narrow: to create an Islamic State. In 1949, Pakistan's Constituent Assembly ratified this objective, and that in turn established the path that Pakistan would follow. The event that accelerated the pace towards intolerance of non-Sunnis, however, was the assumption of power by President Zia Ul Haq over a quarter century later, in 1977. His regime promoted a stricter version of Sunni Islam at the expense of other denominations, and by the end of his reign the Pakistani state was no longer a welcome place for minorities. Many people from religious minorities fled, but those who remained faced escalating persecution, both from state and non-state actors which enjoyed the tacit support of the regime. The years since 9/11 have been punctuated by recurrent pogroms against religious minorities, and thousands have died. Shiites have suffered the most assaults from Sunni extremists, but virtually every minority has been attacked repeatedly. Ispahani traces this history, and stresses how the contradictions at the heart of the Pakistani state-building project have fueled the intolerance. Originally created as a homeland for the subcontinent's Muslims, Pakistan was still religiously very diverse. Over time, efforts to 'correct' this problem radicalized significant segments of the Sunni population, setting in motion a self-reinforcing process of escalating persecution. Some elements of the ruling class exploited these prejudices in opportunistic fashion, while others were zealots themselves. In the end, what drove these elements did not matter much, as the result was the same: a state that ignored frequent attacks on religious minorities by increasingly radicalized Sunni groups bent on 'purifying' the nation. Concise yet sweeping in its coverage, Purifying the Land of the Pure will be essential reading for anyone interested in why this pivotal geopolitical player is so plagued by radicalism and violence.
This ancillary booklet to The Martyr’s Oath will introduce people to the scope and depth of the persecution of Christians in today’s world. Christians are in a fight for their lives in the Middle East, Africa, and even in parts of Asia. For Western Christians, who typically run into cultural pressures to remain silent about their faith, this type of persecution is difficult to fully comprehend. This convenient and short book, 10 Things You Must Know about the Global War on Christianity, will outline the steps Christians need to take in order to understand what is going on, and also to pray intelligently for our brothers and sisters in need.
In providing a counterweight to the notion that political violence has irrevocably changed in a globalised world, Violence and the state offers an original and innovative way in which to understand political violence across a range of discipline areas. It explores the complex relationship between the state and its continued use of violence through a variety of historical and contemporary case studies, including the Napoleonic Wars, Nazi and Soviet 'eliticide', the consolidation of authority in modern China, post-Soviet Russia, and international criminal tribunals. It also looks at humanitarian intervention in cases of organised violence, and the willingness of elites to alter their attitude to violence if it is an instrument to achieve their own ends. The interdisciplinary approach, which spans history, sociology, international law and International Relations, ensures that this book will be invaluable to a broad cross-section of scholars and politically engaged readers alike. -- .
This book examines how opposition groups respond to the dilemma posed by authoritarian elections in the Arab World, with specific focus on Jordan and Algeria. While scholars have investigated critical questions such as why authoritarian rulers would hold elections and whether such elections lead to further political liberalization, there has been comparatively little work on the strategies adopted by opposition groups during authoritarian elections. Nevertheless, we know their strategic choices can have important implications for the legitimacy of the electoral process, reform, democratization, and post-election conflicts. This project fills in an important gap in our understanding of opposition politics under authoritarianism by offering an explanation for the range of strategies adopted by opposition groups in the face of contentious elections in the Arab World.
Citizen Killings: Liberalism, State Policy and Moral Risk offers a ground breaking systematic approach to formulating ethical public policy on all forms of 'citizen killings', which include killing in self-defence, abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide, euthanasia and killings carried out by private military contractors and so-called `foreign fighters'. Where most approaches to these issues begin with the assumptions of some or other general approach to ethics, Deane-Peter Baker argues that life-or-death policy decisions of this kind should be driven first and foremost by a recognition of the key limitations that a commitment to political liberalism places on the state, particularly the requirement to respect citizens' right to life and the principle of liberal neutrality. Where these principles come into tension Baker shows that they can in some cases be defused by way of a reasonableness test, and in other cases addressed through the application of what he calls the `risk of harm principle'. The book also explores the question of what measures citizens and other states might legitimately take in response to states that fail to implement morally appropriate policies regarding citizen killings.
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