Notebook

Subnational governance is key to peace

Resolving subnational conflicts is ultimately about governance because their drivers are frequently linked to grievances and perceived injustice associated with access to power and resources, and to feelings of ethnic, social and / or geographic exclusion and marginalization.

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Decentralization Reloaded in Ukraine?

History is often said to repeat itself or at least to rhyme. Decentralization in Ukraine has been on and off the agenda of successive governments since the country’s independence in 1991. Much like previous attempts to decentralize power, President Zelenskiy’s draft decentralization law has become embroiled in long-established power struggles and had to be withdrawn.

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Connecting Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Eastern Ukraine

How can international human rights protection mechanisms be employed in the gray zone of armed conflict in weak states? This question is particularly relevant for the war in eastern Ukraine where for five years residents have been without state aegis for their most basic human rights.

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Ukraine presidential election: young comedian leads polls, but country’s dangerous divisions are no joke

Ukraine’s presidential election campaign is a tragic indictment of the country’s current political state. Most candidates have adopted populist strategies, voters appear highly irrational in their preferences, trust in the political system and its leading representatives is extremely low, and the country remains deeply divided and perpetually stuck in a systemic social, political, and economic crisis partly of its own making.

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The merits and risks of reshaping internal power balances along subnational governance levels

Since the end of World War II, we have experienced a shift in conflict dynamics, from inter-state to intra-state conflicts. In 2016 alone, the world witnessed 47 intra-state conflicts. Today, wars are fought within state borders between a multiplicity of actors over the distribution of political power and national wealth both at and between the center and subnational governance levels. Marginalized groups are vying for greater autonomy at the local level, while those in control of the state—be they majorities or dominant minority groups—seek to consolidate political power at the center. Such intra-state conflicts with subnational dimensions are among the most protracted and violent conflicts.

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Ukraine is still on the edge, despite all efforts to stabilise it

Since protests, separatism and foreign intervention began to break Ukraine apart in 2014, it has been struggling to stay in control of its future. And the struggle is far from over. No fewer than four peace agreements have been struck: the two Minsk agreements, the so-called Kyiv Agreement, and the Geneva Declaration.

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