Auslandsinformationen 08/07

Lateinamerika ist wieder stärker in den Blickpunktder Öffentlichkeit geraten. Dieser einerseits erfreulicheSachverhalt ist aber andererseits vor allem derTatsache geschuldet, dass populistische Regime, allenvoran Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, durch autoritäreund totalitäre Bestrebungen von sich reden machen.Dieser Trend hat Ursachen und Folgen.Die Ursachen liegen auf der Hand: Die Demokratieeuphorieder neunziger Jahre ist der ernüchterndenErkenntnis gewichen, dass Demokratie per se keineallgemeine Verbesserung der Lebensbedingungen mitsich bringt.

Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST). Between Chance, Chaos, and Criticism of the System

Zwischen Chance, Chaos und Systemkritik

Brazil is a country of enormous social differences. The unequal distribution of property is especially dramatic in rural areas, where the elite has always been interested in preserving the status quo, and where almost all endeavours to implement an agrarian reform have failed so far. When, in the mid-eighties, the military dictatorship ended and the country opened up, numerous new social movements began to seek a solution of the problem. The most important of these is the Movimiento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST; English: Landless workers’ movement). Having become an influential factor in Brazil by now, the landless workers’ movement regularly interferes in the country’s politics and enjoys great popularity with many Brazilians. Yet extreme forms of action, such as occupying farmed estates and public buildings, a backward-looking ideology, and the vision of building a socialist society also incite resistance and justify a critical analysis.

Menschenrechtsschutz und Islam in Indonesien

Sicher hat sich Indonesien nach Suharto der Demokratie geöffnet und ist zahlreichen internationalen Abkommen zum Schutz der Menschenrechte beigetreten. Doch ein auch durch die Staatsideologie, die Pancasila, grundgelegtes enges Religionsverständnis, daraus erwachsende Benachteiligungen vieler Bürger und der wachsende Einfluss von Islam und Scharia geben Anlass zur Sorge um die Zukunft des Landes, in dem ein alle Teile der Zivilgesellschaft umfassender Diskurs vonnöten wäre.

No ‘Apricot Revolution’ in Armenia

Die Parlamentswahlen in Armenien und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Sicherheitslage im Kaukasus

The Armenian parliamentary elections of May 12, 2007, and their impact on the security situation in the CaucasusAt the moment, the Caucasus is affected not only by purely regional conflicts but also, and even more so, by global crises which influence the geopolitical situation of Armenia. Specifically, these crises include the missile defence dispute between the USA and Russia, the power struggle between the USA, the European Union (EU), and Russia about free access to the Caspian region, the ‘pipeline war’ which revolves around new routes for transporting energy carriers out of the region, the conflict between the international community of states and Iran over its nuclear programme, and the uncertain future of the trouble spot of Iraq.

Turkey after the Parliamentary Elections. Back to Normal?

With its clear victory in Turkey’s parliamentary elections of July 22 this year, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has established a solid basis for continuing its work. These early elections, which enabled the AKP to increase its already high share in the vote even further, were triggered by the failure of the preceding presidential elections in which the foreign minister, Abdullah Gül, himself a member of the AKP, stood for office, causing vehement protest among laicist-minded Turks because of his close links with Islamism.

What is the good of the ECOWAS?

The ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, was founded in 1975 as an association of 15 West African states, its objective being to step up the development of its members by close economic and political cooperation. The results have so far been sobering. According to certain studies, many resolutions are taken but few are implemented. Yet this is not the entire truth, for there is progress as well: A free trade area has been established, intra-regional passenger transport has been facilitated, infrastructural measures have been realised, a mechanism for conflict resolution has been initiated, the question of the community’s income has been solved, and a functional court of justice has become reality.

Desperate People in the City. Shanghai and the Phenomenon of Migration

The 'Wai-di-ren', the migrant workers of which there are five million in Shanghai alone, are not least among those to whom China's soaring megacities owe thanks for their palaces made of glass and steel. For 30 to 100 Euros a month, they cook, wash, clean, repair, and build. The jobs they do are called '3-d jobs' – dirty, dangerous, and demanding. When the migration to the cities began in 1989, the People's Republic of China saw itself confronted with its greatest social challenge ever: Adding to the already-large army of migrants who have no permanent home, 200 million of so-called vagrants go on moving from place to place, working for a meagre wage which has to feed the entire family. Social distortions are increasing; the income gap is widening.


In der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit nimmt die Forderungnach guter Regierungsführung eine zunehmendbedeutende Rolle ein. Sie ist auch Kernbestandteildes neuenKriterienkatalogs des BMZ, derseit Januar diesen Jahres die Unterstützung für Entwicklungs-und Schwellenländer künftig stärker ander Einhaltung dieser Kriterien orientiert. Die Sicherungguter Regierungsführung ist aus meiner Sichtohne die Etablierung demokratischer Rahmenbedingungennachhaltig nicht möglich. Deshalb mussDemokratieförderung ein integraler Bestandteil desKonzepts von Good Governance sein.

Italy in Transition

When, one and a half decades ago, shortly after the end of the Cold War, the Democrazia Cristiana made its exit from Italy's political stage, a period of transition began for the country. Now, under Romano Prodi, Italy seems to return to a state of chronic instability which recalls exactly those old days. Is the country lost to progress?

Measuring Democracy. Developments and Examples from Latin America

Entwicklungen und Beispiele aus Lateinamerika

Gone are the times when rankings and ratings were used as tools of measurement and identification only in the world of sports and business. Today, there are many walks of life in which we meet multifarious phenomena that call for systematic quantitative and differentiated identification and categorisation. Democratisation is one of these phenomena. Constant attempts are made to identify differences in its level and 'measure' its quality by diverse criteria, such as corruption, the freedom of the press, and governance.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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