Global Campus Europe (EMA) Awarded Theses
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Each year the EMA Council of Directors selects five theses, which stand out not only for their formal academic qualities but also for the originality of topic, innovative character of methodology and approach, potential usefulness in raising awareness about neglected issues, and capacity for contributing to the promotion of the values underlying human rights and democracy.
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ItemIdir Eatarthu is Achrann. The Framing of Women’s Agency in Northern Ireland’s Counterterrorism Legislative Discourse during the Troubles (1968-1998)(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2021)Homer’s pithy phrase that war is comprised of ‘men killing and man being killed’ aptly illustrates the historically dominant discourse surrounding armed conflict and political violence, with constructions of male gender armed with agency and equated with warriors. Subsequently, the female gender holds a domestic and voiceless role, with any capacity to exercise agency discounted. The sustained exclusion of women’s voices and experiences impacts our general understanding of violence, including political violence, and also how we substantially counter it. These narratives have also been utilised to justify and legitimise states involvement in conflict, especially since the era of the War on Terror. In light of these considerations, this thesis explores how women’s agency has been framed in the discourse surrounding the Northern Irish counterterrorism legislation during the Troubles (1968-98). It argues that the government’s approach to countering the political violence was implemented and can be seen in three distinct phases, namely: reactive containment (1968-75); criminalisation (1976-81); and, finally, managerialism (1981-98). Through employing the methwwodologies of critical discourse analysis and critical policy analysis, the framing of women’s agency can be seen to evolve in parallel to these three diverging phases of the conflict. Though women exercised their capacity to politically and morally challenge power in each of these phases of the Northern Irish conflict, the British government framed them as actors who harboured no agency. Rather, within the state’s discourse, they were framed as illegitimate and invalid actors of political violence. Hence, the women faced a form of double subjugation in which they were oppressed for both their political ideology and gender by the state’s counterterrorism legislative discourse. Keywords: counterterrorism; women; agency; Northern Ireland; discourse; power.
ItemFrom Myanmar to The Hague. A Feminist Perspective on the Search for Gender Justice by Rohingya Women before the International Criminal Court(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2021)Sexual and gender-based violence during conflict remains a widespread issue, with women and girls being particularly vulnerable. Since its establishment, the International Criminal Court has prioritised the prosecution of sexual violence through some successful ground-breaking judgments. However, it has also received harsh criticism due its failure to incorporate an intersectional perspective into its jurisprudence. While the Office of the Prosecutor has committed itself to incorporating intersectionality in its prosecutions in its 2014 Policy Paper, it has yet to deliver an intersectional analysis in one of its rulings. The recent authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber to proceed with an investigation for the alleged crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya community in Myanmar could provide such an occasion. While the ethnic minority is suffering from gross human rights violations, rape is being used systematically against Rohingya women. In light of these considerations, this thesis seeks to analyse how an intersectional approach could assist the International Criminal Court in analysing and addressing the sexual violence suffered by Rohingya women. To achieve this, an historical overview of the prosecution of sexual violence before international criminal tribunals was provided, together with the main criticisms regarding their track records. Secondly, the theory of intersectionality was presented and analysed in the context of anti-discrimination law, international human rights law and international criminal law. Finally, the theory of intersectionality was applied to the case study of Rohingya women in light of the possible claims of genocide and crimes against humanity they could bring before the court. On one hand, the analysis has demonstrated that an intersectional approach can indeed help the International Criminal Court put emphasis on the gravity of the violence suffered by the victims as well as the systematic and organised nature of such attacks. On the other hand, there is a risk that Rohingya women will be further stereotyped or that the violence suffered by those who do not fit within the victim model will be left unpunished.
ItemHandle with Care. How to Improve Access to Healthcare for Deaf People in a Pandemic(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2021)The Deaf community faces many barriers in the access to healthcare and is underrepresented both in politics and research. Although legislation in European countries such as Austria, Switzerland and Germany provide the basis for the fulfilment of human rights including equal access to healthcare, there is a big implementation gap. In the Covid-19 pandemic, additional new challenges like the use of face masks, daily changing information and a higher mental health burden affected the Deaf. This thesis aims to investigate how Covid-19 policies concerning access to healthcare were experienced within the Deaf communities of Austria, Switzerland and Germany, and to identify potential areas of improvement. Based on the review of theoretical materials and existing research, an online survey was distributed to 120 participants within the Deaf community in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Overall, 85.3% study participants stated that Deaf persons generally have more difficulties in the access to healthcare than people with average hearing. In addition, 75.7% reported that the access to healthcare became even more difficult during the Covid-19 pandemic. Face masks, lack of awareness and insufficient information availability were identified as major challenges. The survey participants named concrete improvement measures like transparent face masks, more sign language interpreters, telehealth, education for medical staff and increasing the amount of official information in sign language. These findings raised a series of issues concerning equal access to healthcare during the pandemic due to the limited availability of resources and information as well as limited representation of Deaf people in policy making. The current findings could help to guide future adaptations regarding the Covid-19 policies of Austria, Switzerland and Germany as well as of other countries and to enhance human rights compliance.
ItemRefugees’ Experiences in Sites of Prolonged Displacement, Liminality, and Exception: A Case Study of the Diavata Refugee Camp in Northern Greece(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2021)Many EU countries, including Greece, set up refugee camps to temporarily accommodate the migrants and refugees that arrived during the 2015-2016 reception crisis. Although they were created as temporary solutions, over the years many refugee camps consolidated into prolonged sites of displacement, which until today continue to accommodate families and individuals under pressing circumstances. Based on the case study of the Diavata camp, the thesis examines how the residents of a refugee camp in mainland Greece experience times of exacerbated exclusion. Drawing on qualitative research methods in the fields of sociocultural anthropology and political science, the methodology consists of fieldwork (ie participant observation and informal interviews), in-depth interviews with key informants and analysis of reports. Utilising a grounded theory approach, the thesis conceptualises the refugees’ experiences in the Diavata camp as processes of prolonged displacement, liminality and exception. First, it discusses the Diavata refugee camp as a site of multilayered exclusion through its remote location, enclosed architecture and discriminatory Covid-19 restrictions. Second, it examines the refugees’ experiences of living in liminality, by scrutinising the co-existing spaces of ‘exception’ and ‘belonging’ in the Diavata camp and the ‘Casa Base’ safe space next door. Third, it discusses the advent of the new, three-metre high concrete wall and how this makes the Diavata camp resemble an occupied enclave. Overall, the relevance this gives to the thesis, from a human rights perspective, is the documentation and creation of a counternarrative to both the hegemonic societal discourse and policy practice of exclusion. This narrative highlights the biopolitics of ‘care and control’ as a dominant axis of refugee politics in Greece and the EU.
ItemRe-imagining Truth and Redress: Racial Injustice against African Americans in the United States and the Current Push for Transitional Justice(Global Campus of Human Rights, 2021)Transitional justice mechanisms such as criminal prosecutions, institutional reforms, truth commissions and reparations influence the history and collective memories shared by communities. The aim of this paper is to examine the ongoing push to incorporate transitional justice in the US’ repertoire for justice and redress and how the history of racial injustice and transitional justice within the US can explain this push as well as the need to establish federal transitional justice mechanisms as proposed by H Con Res 19 and HR 40; these congressional resolutions propose the establishment of a federal truth commission for racial injustice and a federal reparations programme for African Americans respectively. By not reconciling human rights abuses against African Americans, the differing histories between communities within the US and the national Movement for Black Lives have set the scene for a national dialogue about the past, how we remember it and how we should proceed.