Financial Innovation to Provide Life Support for Jordan-Based Syrian Refugees

Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 4, No. 3, March 2016

By Bhakti Mirchandani

Syrian refugee students wave to welcome United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, unseen, to Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2012. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday called on the Syrian government to "stop the violence in the name of humanity", during a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, close to the Syrian border. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

Syrian refugee students wave to welcome United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, unseen, to Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2012. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday called on the Syrian government to “stop the violence in the name of humanity”, during a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, close to the Syrian border. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

As the war in Syria hit its five-year mark this past Tuesday, the European strategy for managing the nearly 1 million Syrian refugees[1] seeking asylum in Europe is not working.  While most of the refugees that arrived in Europe in 2015 left Syria last year, others are leaving countries of first asylum Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon for Europe after years of hardship.[2]  By way of background, first asylum countries are those that allow refugees to enter their territory for temporary asylum while waiting for resettlement or repatriation.  The European Commission is hoping that another deal with Turkey and stronger Schengen Area external border controls will tackle the biggest European refugee crisis since World War II.  As long as Syrian refugees lack the assistance they need in Syria and countries of first asylum, they will continue to make perilous journeys to Europe[3] on unseaworthy boats.[4]  While the EU and Turkey negotiate a controversial refugee exchange program and the European Commission weighs the establishment of a “European Border and Coast Guard” with a larger budget and more authority than current EU management agency Frontex,[5]  the US should fund financially sustainable relief and development to Jordan in parallel with its extensive humanitarian and military aid.  Jordan’s commitment to peace and moderation in the Middle East and cooperation with the US on security matters and counterterrorism make it a vital US ally.

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Social Constructs, Material Realities and the Opportunity of Legal Solutions in the South China Sea

Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 4, No. 3, March 2016 

By Timo Kivimäki[1]

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - FEBRUARY 4, 2016 - A protester gestures during a protest rally against the legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in front of the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Richard James M. Mendoza / Pacific Press)

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – FEBRUARY 4, 2016 – A protester gestures during a protest rally against the legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in front of the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Richard James M. Mendoza / Pacific Press)

In East Asia, two approaches for maintaining stability have been especially fruitful: developmentalism and non-interference. This article investigates the possibility of supplementing non-interference and developmentalism by building a legal order. It will explore ways that take the social construction of social structures seriously and applies them in a constructivist manner to the analysis of interaction of social realities with material realities and purposive agency. The intention is to show that the social construction of realities is also a realistic perspective, and that the perceived material realities, too, are largely dependent on social construction for their causal power in the creation of the situation of the South China Sea conflicts. Continue reading