September 2011: "The Syrian Spring" and Human Rights



Introduction to the Month's Focal Piece Editor's introduction: "The Syrian Spring" and Human Rights

The UN Security Council's Pro-Syrian 'Defiance Coalition' Crumbles”. By Raghida Dergham. Huffington Post, August 2011. 



Colm CampbellThe Arab Spring: Endgames as Framing Battle
by Colm Campbell

“It is almost certain that the new democracies will not be liberal. And there is a real risk that, rather than benefiting from pluralism, minorities and women may suffer. Realizing the risk, and curbing the enthusiasm, may help to focus attention on the architecture of a democracy that, while it may not be liberal, is nevertheless pluralist, and that creates a place for women that at the very least is better than was the case before the transition.”


Claudia HeissThe Moral International Sphere as a New "Civic Virtue" 
by Claudia Heiss

“It is not the desire to impose any particular way of life, but the protection of innocent lives that authorizes international intervention. The new international "civic virtue" based on the protection of human rights should not be confused with a substantive project of regime change, as critics of the Libyan intervention have argued. Political freedom and democracy must be constructed by the citizens of each country and cannot be imposed.”


Therese O'DonnellWhite Noise, White Heat
by Therese O'Donnell

“The romance of revolution is strong. The appeal of creating a brave new world where citizens do not live in fear, and are not routinely and unaccountably abused is absolutely irresistible. However, that is quite different from creating a world in which they will have to be extremely brave.”


Thomas PegramThe UN Security Council on Syria: Radical Change or Continuity?
by Thomas Pegram

“Judging by the Presidential Statement of August 3, the Security Council stance on Syria is not so much one of radical change, but rather one of continuity... If Libya is ultimately deemed a glimmer of hope for humanitarianism over power politics, Syria may well prove a defeat.”


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