Democracy: Western Concept or Universal Value?

  Originally published on my column for UNICEF‘s Voices of Youth. There are so many meticulous definitions of democracy, from electoral democracies to flawed democracies to hybrid regimes and liberal democracies that it could be broken down and be infinitely debated on its requisites, pros and cons. In his book, The Spirit of Democracy, Larry Diamond, one of the pioneer advocates of democracy, simplifies his … Continue reading Democracy: Western Concept or Universal Value?

Good Governance 101: the road to Democracy

  1.Where are we now? Sri Lanka is currently categorized a Flawed Electoral Democracy in most leading  democracy indexes and scales of the world. An electoral democracy is a nation state that meets the minimum requirements of democracy: the existence of free and fair elections. Although there are regular elections held in Sri Lanka, those elections  do not fully meet the conditions of “Free and … Continue reading Good Governance 101: the road to Democracy

Is Globalization leading us to a State-less World?

by Thisuri Wanniarachchi Has globalization changed the character of international politics in the past two decades? To what extent do various processes of globalization challenge the sovereignty of the state?   The term globalization derived from the word globalize, which refers to the rise of an internationally- integrated network of social, political and economic systems. Globalization is the process of international integration arising from the … Continue reading Is Globalization leading us to a State-less World?

Why do states intervene in some humanitarian crises and not others?

by Thisuri Wanniarachchi   Syria’s broadening civil war and the developing conflict in Ukraine have raised new debates about the international community’s responsibility to support humanitarian intervention by states and made the world rethink why states choose to intervene in some crises and not others.   Humanitarian intervention always occurs within a complex structure of conflicting norms and values that decide whether and how it happens. … Continue reading Why do states intervene in some humanitarian crises and not others?

Feminist Solidarity in the Middle East through the Lens of Gender

by Thisuri Wanniarachchi   In 1965 Elizabeth Fernea is exposed to the life and culture of the Iraqi village El Nahra. She is invited to dine with the Sheik and is introduced to the Sheikh’s Harem. It is through these women and the many others that she meets in El Nahra she is introduced to the gender- grounded social norms of Iraqi society that are … Continue reading Feminist Solidarity in the Middle East through the Lens of Gender

Democratic Majorities and the Social Contract: What would Rousseau say to Tocqueville?

In this paper I hope to explain in detail the many ways how Rousseau’s Social  Contract would help address several crucial problems of democratic majority that Tocqueville raises in his writing.  First, I will discuss how Rousseau would respond to Tocqueville’s issue of legislature. Tocqueville states that in democratic majorities “ legislature is, of all political institutions, the one which is most easily swayed by … Continue reading Democratic Majorities and the Social Contract: What would Rousseau say to Tocqueville?

How realists see the Cold War.

Over the past decade, realists have been repeatedly attacked for failing to predict the end of the Cold War. Beyond noting that their critics did not predict it either, structural realists have responded that they never intended to explain or predict change. As Waltz put it, a decade before the fall of the Berlin Wall, his theory “explains continuities . . . recurrences and repetitions, … Continue reading How realists see the Cold War.

The grass on the other side.

Using the Dual Narrative approach to educate Israeli and Arab children about each other’s national political histories. Efforts taken, efforts in progress and efforts in vain. how are children growing up in prevailing conflict zones in the world, such as the Israel-Arab conflict educated about their national conflict? What do they read in their textbooks? A dual narrative is a form of narrative that describes a story in two … Continue reading The grass on the other side.

Why do states intervene in some humanitarian crises and not others?

Syria’s broadening civil war and the developing conflict in Ukraine have raised new debates about the international community’s responsibility to support humanitarian intervention by states and made the world rethink why states choose to intervene in some crises and not others.   Humanitarian intervention always occurs within a complex structure of conflicting norms and values that decide whether and how it happens. Humanitarian intervention is often … Continue reading Why do states intervene in some humanitarian crises and not others?