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A Refugee Crisis Without Refugees: Policy and media discourse on refugees in the Czech Republic and its implications

Abstract

Along with other Central and Eastern European counties, Czechia has invested significant effort in deterring refugees from entering the country during the ‘refugee crisis’. This article sheds light on the role of the media in legitimising anti-refugee policies by analysing the politicised discourse on refugees in 900 articles published in Czech newspapers between 2014 and 2016. The findings indicate that refugees were depicted as a security threat and an administrative burden partly imposed by the European Union. The article discusses the policy implications of depicting refugees in this way and thus broadens the literature on European narratives during the refugee emergency in Europe.

Open access
Researching Baltic security challenges after the annexation of Crimea

Abstract

The article aims to provide an insight into academic and military studies that investigate security challenges in the Baltic region after the annexation of Crimea. To do this in a systematic way, numerous academic and military studies and analyses in this field are divided into six broad categories: literature on conventional threat scenarios in the Baltic region; studies on nuclear escalation scenarios; publications that describe Russian viewpoints in the current confrontation with the West; studies that discuss security policy and security perceptions of the Baltic countries and the national security models of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; studies on anti-access and area denial; and articles that analyse the dilemmas and challenges in association with understanding the essence of deterrence in the context of modern hybrid warfare and the build-up of a viable deterrence model in the Baltic region. In total, about 40 publications from the period between 2014 and 2019 are represented in this article. While some studies are already well known, others have undeservedly remained somewhat overlooked. This article attempts to correct this by highlighting and comparing the results of the most interesting and intriguing studies in this field. Through this, the author strived to maintain a balance between studies conducted both by military experts and by academics.

Open access
Riding the wave of distrust and alienation – new parties in Serbia after 2008

Abstract

Serbian party system is in the phase of reconfiguration which can be perceived as the outcome of domestic incentives (crisis of democratic transition and of democratic rule) and the international one (economic and migrant crisis). On one side, this reconfiguration includes emergence of predominant ruling party (Serbian Progressive Party, SNS) with strong leader and popular support; on the other side, the opposition camp has been atomized into number of smaller parties. Most of these parties are the new one (including the SNS) and founded after 2008 elections and creation of pro-EU consensus among relevant parties; post-2008 period has been characterized by the decline of almost all old parties, followed by emergence, partial success and fast decline of a large number of new actors. In this paper I am investigating if these new parties can be explained as the unexpected consequence of ideological and political stability after 2008 elections, tactical narrowing of the ideological space and cartelization of the party system. Analysis will focus at populist and anti-partisan ideas, their interplay and different ideological interpretation.

Open access
Solar Energy Conversion Using Low Cost Inverter

Abstract

This paper focuses on designing and implementing of an inverter and particularly focuses on developing a low cost transformer-less voltage source conversion that has a higher efficiency as well as compact in size. The complete design consists of DC-DC converter and a DC-AC inverter. The converter is dependent on switched capacitor techniques and steps 12Vdc to 240Vdc. The inverter is dependent on a full-bridge configuration which produces a 240Vac output from 240Vdc. To achieve the improvement in inverter efficiency and a reduction in cost, the power transformer and magnetic components such as inductors are eliminated. In addition, inverter voltage control techniques such as pulse width modulation (PWM) and switching of MOSFETs are optimized through digital control using ATtiny26L microcontroller unit.

Open access
Springing up like mushrooms after the rain: „New” parties in Montenegro’s institutionalised party system

Abstract

Recent years have seen the formation of new parties across Europe that challenge established patterns of party competition and coalition-building during elections. While a similar trend of party creation has occurred in Montenegro, these new parties have failed to „deinstitutionalise” the party system. This article tracks the development process for new parties. At the same time, it looks at factors and settings that have enabled (or impeded) the institutionalisation of these parties and their relative success in parliamentary elections. Two peculiar findings arise from my analysis. First, it appears that the fragmentation of the traditional party system has only happened among opposition parties (with the notable exception of a split among social democrats). This raises questions about the reasons for this process and its effect on party competition. It also leads to a second finding: though more than five effective political parties have been created since 2012, they have failed to change established party competition. To a limited degree, these parties have shifted the focus of public debate from identity politics to the economy, but the party system remains highly ientrenched. In other words, coalition-building is as predictable as ever.

Open access
Study of Parallel Algorithms for IP Switches

Abstract

Owing to the increase in the internet traffic, any calculation that requires more than linear time would be considered unreasonably moderate for constant applications. One cure is to utilize numerous processors to build up associations in parallel and the other is to construct low cost, high speed, large capacity non-blocking switching architecture. In this paper, our focus is on developing parallel algorithms for routing which will ensure high-speed internet connectivity and at the same time making the system to be cost effective.

Open access
The U.S. Foreign Policy Towards The Baltic States: The Implications Of Ukraine Crisis

Abstract

This paper aims to discuss the implications of Ukraine crisis to the U.S. foreign policy towards the Baltic States. This paper consists of several parts. To begin with, political discourse of Obama‘s and Trump‘s administrations‘ is analysed. The second part presents an analysis of practical level of U.S. relations with Baltic States during and after Ukraine crisis, focusing on three dimensions: political/diplomatic, military and economic. In the third part of this paper, implications of the Ukrainian crisis on U.S. relations with Baltic States are assessed, comparing trends in official political discourse and practical foreign policy of Baltic States prior to and after the Ukraine crisis.

Open access
ISDS Regimes and Democratic Practice: Creating Conflict of Interests between Governments, Investors and Local Populations

Abstract

The recent debate over the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regimes of international arbitration has resulted in concerted efforts aimed mainly at protecting the rights of states to regulate, improving transparency of proceedings and eliminating inconsistency in decision making of the tribunals. While the existing scholarly work frequently addresses issues of the relationship between the existing investment regimes and good governance in general, increased attention is rarely paid to the effects that investment arbitration has on democratic practice. The article applies an “action-based” approach to democracy, in order to analyse the role that the ISDS regimes play in exacerbating conflicts between the local populations, foreign investors and governments. The analysis leads to a conclusion that the ISDS regimes create incentives for the governments and foreign investors to disregard sound democratic practice. The article represents an attempt to move the discussion about the ISDS regimes away from the question of legitimacy of the regimes to the question of the impacts that the regimes have in practice.

Open access
Reconciling after Transitional Justice: When Prosecutions are not Enough, the Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Abstract

The concept and study of transitional justice has grown exponentially over the last decades. Since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after the end of the Second World War, there have been a number of attempts made across the globe to achieve justice for human rights violations (International Peace Institute 2013: 10). How these attempts at achieving justice impact whether or not societies reconcile, continues to be one of the key discussions taking place in a transitional justice discourse. One particular context where this debate continues to rage on is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many scholars argue that the transitional justice process and mechanism employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not fostered inter-group reconciliation, but in fact caused more divisions. To this end, this article explores the context of transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a unique perspective that focuses on the need for reconciliation and healing after transitional justice processes like war crime prosecutions. This article explores why the prosecuting of war criminals has not fostered reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how the processes have divided Bosnian society further. Additionally, this article presents the idea of state-sponsored dialog sessions as a way of dealing with the past and moving beyond the divisions of retributive justice.

Open access
Same Old (Macro-) Securitization? A Comparison of Political Reactions to Major Terrorist Attacks in the United States and France

Abstract

After the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, the French government reacted swiftly by declaring a state of emergency. This state of emergency remained in place for over two years before it was ended in November 2017, only after being replaced by the new anti-terror legislation. The attacks as well as the government’s reactions evoked parallels to 9/11 and its aftermath. This is a puzzling observation when taking into consideration that the Bush administration’s reactions have been criticized harshly and that the US ‘War on Terror’ (WoT) was initially considered a serious failure in France. We can assume that this adaption of the discourse and practices stems from a successful establishment of the WoT macro-securitization. By using Securitization Theory, we outline the development of this macro-securitization by comparing its current manifestation in France against the backdrop of its origins in the US after 9/11. We analysed securitizing moves in the discourses, as well as domestic and international emergency measure policies. We find extensive similarities with view of both; yet there are differing degrees of securitizing terrorism and the institutionalisation of the WoT in the two states. This suggests that the WoT narrative is still dominant internationally to frame the risk of terrorism as an existential threat, thus enabling repressive actions and the obstruction of a meaningful debate about the underlying problems causing terrorism in the first place.

Open access