La legge sui rifugiati (Refugee Law – La Loi sur les Réfugiés)

loi réfugiés

Refugee law may be the world’s most powerful international human rights mechanism. Not  only do millions of people invoke its protections every year in countries spanning the globe, but they do so on the basis of a self-actuating mechanism of international law that, quite literally, allows at-risk persons to vote with their feet. This is because, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) has insisted, refugee status is not a status that  is granted by states; it is rather simply recognized by them: Continue reading

L’universalismo rispettoso delle differenze culturali è raggiungibili?

Is universalism respectful of cultural differences attainable? It does not seem possible to ignore the need for normative justification (thus, moral theory) when we venture into the social and political critics arena. By their very nature, arguments that we must inevitably use in the moral sphere must be included in a wider theoretical framework in order to demonstrate that criticisms do not merely depend on circumstances, nor satisfy suspect ideological goals. Continue reading

The secular-religious dichotomy in development assistance

red cross

Sociologists have long predicted that the influence and role of religion(s) would wane in ‘modern’ societies. In Auguste Comte’s positivist vision, religion is somewhat constructed as an obstacle to progress. Max Weber famously posited that the rationalisation process associated with modernisation would lead to the ‘disenchantment of the world’, whereby the search for truths and meanings come to rest on scientific investigation rather than religious beliefs, myths and magic. Continue reading

Global public ills and risks: dramatic impact on the developing countries

aide 2

Over the past decade, there has been a clear and increasingly consensual identification and recognition of the nature and scope of the global public ills and risks, and their potentially dramatic impact on the developing countries. Even more impressive has been the progressive mastery across the world in formulating and shaping the strategies and some mechanisms to address the challenges, and in providing precise estimates of the means required. Much political and academic rhetoric has celebrated the gradual emergence of global public policies and the related strong commitments to action. But implementation has lagged behind. Continue reading

Global challenge across the rich/poor and North/South dichotomy


External evaluations of global partnerships and trust funds often highlight the strong qualitative correlation between effectiveness of the programmes’ governance and the achievement of their objectives. In a recent review of 17 such programmes, the Independent Evaluation Group found that 13 had moderate to significant shortcomings in relation to accountability, efficiency, transparency or fairness (IEG, 2011a). The insufficient involvement of the partner countries in the formulation and coordination of the responses to global risks has increasingly been recognised as affecting efficiency, performance and outcome; this was one important finding of the five-year evaluation of the GFATM. Continue reading

International cooperation: a rather modest overall benefit to the poor.

Türkmen refugee camp in the mountains

Türkmen refugees in the mountains

Despite uneven progress in the negotiation on global public policies, a considerable amount of aid has been pledged to help developing countries meeting global risks. A dozen major partnerships to deliver global and regional goods have been established in the past decade, while multi-donors trust funds have skyrocketed to play a crucial role towards the same purpose; most recent data available indicate that in 2007–08 trust funds accounted for about 11 per cent of total official development assistance (ODA) (IEG, 2011b). Continue reading

Official Development Assistance, international cooperation and aid effectiveness


Refugee camp, homes in containers – Ceylanpınar

ODA Official Development Assistance, international cooperation and aid effectiveness Beyond much rhetoric and stated ambition in recent years, the implementation of global public policies has been weak so far. There is a huge gap between the official discourse and the reality. This chapter focuses on the role, commitment and performance of aid agencies as ‘small’ but important suppliers of global public goods. Continue reading