The last year has been a busy one for IICRR staff, with a number of books being published on topics ranging from political participation in Iran, to state-building in Kosovo, and unrecorded practices in law:
Political Participation in Iran from Khatami to the Green Movement (Dr Paola Rivetti)
This book examines the unintended consequences of top-down reforms in a semi-authoritarian country, the Islamic Republic of Iran. It looks at how the Iranian governments between 1997 and 2005 used democratic gradual reforms to control independent activism, and how citizens responded to such a top-down disciplinary action. While the governments were largely successful in ‘setting the field’ of permitted political participation, part of the civil society that took shape was unexpectedly independent and autonomous.
Ironically, the governments helped create a civil society that it had little control over. Despite being carried out by a minority, the political work of independent activists was not marginal: without them, in fact, the Green Movement of 2009 would have not taken shape.
General comments and observations about the ‘reformist period’ in Iran tend to credit the government for the cultural liberalisation that occurred in the public sphere, and for the creation of a more tolerant political environment. This book honours the work of grassroots activists and organisers. They have defended and kept safe the spaces for political participation in Iran. They have made sure that those spaces could exist, no matter how tight or small, working resiliently government after government and generation after generation. While engaging with theories of political change, social movements, and power, the book is about political hope: why and how do activists keep on organising, mobilising, and, above all, participating in elections, in spite of violence and frustration? The answer is put forward is that we need to look beyond the regime’s elites and structures, into activists’ hopes—and lives.
Peace, Security and Defence Cooperation in Post-Brexit Europe. Risks and Opportunities, (ed. Prof. John Doyle and Dr Cornelia- Adriana Baciu)
The book includes contributions by senior researchers from the London School of Economics, European University Institute, Hertie School of Governance and University of Grenoble. It contributes to a better understanding and management of the challenges and sources of instability in European and international security associated with the Brexit process. It fills a crucial gap by examining key challenges and the impact of the Brexit process on strategic aspects of peace, security and defence cooperation.
At the launch of the book hosted by the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI) and the IICRR in DCU, the keynote speech was given by Daniel Keohane, head of Policy and Analysis EM Ireland.. Dr Raluca Csernatoni, (Institute for European Studies Vrije Universiteit Brussels), Dr Benjamin Martill, (London School of Economics), and Clodagh Quain (Institute of International and European Affairs), took part in a panel discussion. DCU’s Prof. Iain McMenamin and Dr Kenneth McDonagh also spoke.
Unravelling Liberal Interventionism Local Critiques of Statebuilding in Kosovo (ed. Dr Gëzim Visoka)
The chapters in this book look at a wide range of themes, including the politics of local resistance; the uneven relationship between international statebuilders and local subjects; faking of local ownership of security sector reform and the rule of law; the limits of interventionism; and the subjugated voices in statebuilding process, such as minorities and women.
The volume contributes to critical peace and conflict studies by (re)turning the local turn to local scholars who come from conflict-affected societies, and who have themselves experienced the transition from war to peace. It is essential reading for students and scholars of peace- and state-building, conflict studies and international relations.
The Power of Civil Society (ed. Dr Ibrahim Natil)
This collection looks at the power of civil society in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the context of the post-Arab Spring era, as well as more long-standing challenges and constraints in the region. In recent years, local civil society actors have faced significant challenges from social conservatism, conflict, violence, and the absence of democracy and exclusive political systems. The authors investigate how the sector has succeeded in achieving its own objectives despite these shifting conditions, the restrictive political environment, and the complexity of the socio-cultural and economic context.
It is structured around the themes of peace-building, development, and change. It also addresses challenges faced by civil society organizations linked to ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversities as well as religious differences that are crucial markers of social and political identity.
Case studies are drawn from the Palestinian Occupied Territories, Jordan, Iran, Nigeria, Niger, Egypt, and Morocco, and particular effort has been made to showcase original research from contributors who are from the region.
Governance Beyond the Law: The Immoral, The Illegal, The Criminal (ed. Dr Abel Polese)
This edited collection considers how the informal and the extra-legal unfold transnationally and, in particular, how and why they have been progressively criminalized and integrated into the construction of global and local dangerhoods. It looks at how these phenomena are embedded into a post-liberal security order; and asks if they shape new states of exception and generate moral panic, whose ultimate function is regulatory, disciplinary and about practices of political ordering.