Well, to begin with, I had to rework some areas of the paper so that it could be coherent to make it readable to the reader. I did this by providing a little bit more context to the some of the existing parts, and I hope that the additions will help to make it easily readable.

Secondly I had to cite the paper to evidence some of the huge claims I was making in it. this was the most demanding task as it kept me awake for a considerable period of time.

Coupled with some other assignments for other classes, it was a little bit challenging to meet the deadline. I submitted my paper three days late, and I thank Professor Kendhammer for his indulgence to let me keep working on the paper beyond the deadline.

Research Journal

Prison upkeep does not hold a high ranking on the Ghanaian national budget list and the Ghanaian government has yet to make overcrowded prisons a thing of the past due to the lack of attention and focus being given to the problem.  This young democracys’ budget includes plans of fiscal and economic growth, allowing little room for prison upkeep and in turn leaving the conditions of Ghanaian prisons and inmates in the dark.  In 2009, the Ghanaian Prison Service estimated 31 million cedi (18.7 million US dollars) was necessary in order to maintain a functional prison system, however the amount that the Ghanaian government allotted the Ghanaian Prison Service was barely half of what was needed.  Only 16 million cedi (9.7 million US dollars) was allocated for the Ghanaian Prison Service to carry out their “core functions” that include the safe custody of prisoners, the welfare of prisoners and reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners.

Research Journal

Though remand prisoners remain a huge problem within the Ghanaian prison system, there has been slight improvement with the implementation of the Justice for All program, which was put into place in 2007.  This brought judges into the prisons to hear the cases of remand prisoners instead of taking the time and expenditure to conduct a formal court hearing.  The Justice for All program allowed the judges to hear the cases of long awaiting remand prisoners within the prison walls and decide the prisoners fait—whether the prisoner should be acquitted of all charges and released, convicted of the crime, or given bail.  In one instance during the month of August in 2011, through the Justice for All program a judge heard the cases of 139 remand prisoners and of 139 prisoners:  59 were release and acquitted of charges, 46 were granted bail, nine of the prisoners applications were dismissed, seven cases were to be heard again, and only 11 were convicted.

I really liked reading the numbers here, it was a great example of how many people do not need to remain in custody for long periods of time.

Last research Journal# 14

After a thorough reading of the paper the last couple of days, I tried to adjust the different sections so they they can better serve the argument. I thought giving the status quo of the politics in Mauritania before drawing upon previous stages of elite rules helps strengthen the consistency of the thesis. Finally, I submitted my paper.

research j

Due to the President ATT’s incompetent management of the rebellion ,the Malian Army underequipped, poorly structured with corruption within the higher military ranks was defeated. The Tuaregs had killed them using every inhuman techniques. Some soldiers were cut into pieces; others had the stomach split open, while some had to throat cut from the back and their genitals in their mouths .I lost my uncle in Tinzawatin in addition to several relatives. All of them killed one the ways described above. Overall, I enjoyed writing this paper and hope I improved it well enough in the final draft.

research journal

Some Background information about the conflict in Mali. It does not touch all the point but the essential is here.

The Tuaregs rebels had received sophisticated weapons from Lybia. At the same the offensive operations of the Malian army had been reduced as agreed in the 2009 peace treaty with the rebels. It was the golden opportunity they had been awaiting since 1968. March, 25, 2012 a coup ejected Toure from the comfort of his palace on top of the hill of Koulouba. Three day later, 2/3 of the country fell in the hands of terrorists.

The bus has fallen apart. Mali is now occupied by those gentlemen who enjoy cut hands and stoning Malians to death. They want to supposedly implement sharia in a country that has been following Islam before the birth of their ancestors.
From 1960 to 2012, the different Malian regimes have failed for the same reasons but at various degrees and angles: economic, financial, corruption and bad governance. Corruption for example occurs on many levels in the Malian government.

Research Journal

For my last research journal, I am posting an outline of my final draft. I learned a lot in composing it and believe it provided interesting commentary on the democratization of Guatemala.

I. Intro and History

  • The Monroe Doctrine has been evoked in different ways through time
  • Neocolonial practices rationalized by Monroe Doctrine harmed chances for Guatemalan democracy

Paper has three parts:

  • Investigation of the first phase of the war (1960-1980) gives insight on relative capacities, rebel objective and the moment that mobilized Guatemalan revolutionaries
  • Investigation of second phase (1981-1996) compares theories on length and possibility of settlement in insurgent wars
  • Application of factors from both phases that led to Esqupulas, settlement, and democracy

Part A: Comparing Relative Capabilities and Defining Rebel Organization, Objective and the Moment of Mobilization

  • Equity in relative capability: American problems in modernizing Guatemala’s army
  • Presence of military as only government agents in countryside creates the organizational model for rebel groups
  • Panzós Massacre mobilizes insurgents, defines rebel objective and sets off most violent period of the war

Part B: Competing Theories on the Length and Possibility of Settlement in Civil War

  • Nature of insurgent war to outlast and seek settlement instead of outright military victory
  • ‘Sons of the soil’ dynamics
  • Rough terrain = long conflict with no winner
  • Equity in relative capabilities = higher chance of truce/treaty

Part C: The Roles of Esquipulas and Settlement in Achieving Guatemalan Democracy

  • Climate ripe for settlement after long war
  • Peace talks conducted regionally with leadership by regional power
  • Settlement and pacting’s roles in rebuilding trust in government and one another
  • Long timetable worked to promote measured, incremental change

III. Conclusions

Research Journal# 13

The week was in fact very decisive for my paper. I work hard to pull things together so that I can see the paper in its overall unity. After reading it however, I realized that there are the order of the different arguments was not consistent. For I started with historical background of the politics in Mauritania without elaborating on the theoretical aspect at the beginning. So I am working now on making a significant adjustments on the whole paper so that it becomes more coherent in terms of order and relevance to the main argument. I stated first by elaborating more on the different explanations advanced by different thinkers on the stagnation of democracy in Mauritania, and then I depicted mine. After that I tried to examine the past stages of the politics in Mauritania in which the influence of the military elite was significant and its implications on the ongoing democratic failure.

Research Journal Post 14

Foreign aid is a part of the foreign agenda that is proposed to, however, not imposed on the recipient country. This statement consists of two parts that need separate analysis. First, there are a number of reasons why foreign aid is agenda driven. One of them is that the decisions of provision and allocation of the foreign aid are elements of foreign policies. No matter what, the recipient country interacts with the foreign policy of the provider by simply accepting the aid. Second, democracy promotion aid channeled through the international organizations to the local NGOs and sometimes governments carries has administrative “strings attached” to it. The regulations, processes, and norms imposed by the provider are reflected in the proposals the recipients must fill in to receive any type of funding. Third, civil society did not exist in Armenia from the first day of its creation. The model of civil society is imported from the Western world. This implies that Armenia needs to follow the path already passed by the West in order to have a similar outcome that is having strong and free civil society.

As for the second part of the statement, the recipient country may always choose to reject the aid, which is why it is mainly proposed not imposed, on the other hand, the more democratic outcomes are shown, the more financial support the recipient will receive. The latter suggests that democracy promotion aid as a needed resource comes with expectations and standards to be followed by the receiving country. Another factor supporting this argument is that current strategies and policies, that the donor organizations follow, are initially agreed with the domestic policies and strategies of the recipient countries.

Research Journal Post 13

Evaluation of Projects

The evaluation of the project one, for example, demonstrates that these types of efforts are short term but can result in long term effectiveness if they are carried out consistently. The capacity building of the civil society is crucial and it is possible to sustain only with the help of financial support and resources that the country does not possesses and receives from the donors.

The second project is still in the process of implementation and the results of improvements of capacities are already observed.  The cooperation of the local government and civil society actors eliminates the argument brought up by Knack, that “foreign aid could undermine accountability processes essential for healthy democratic government, or even encourage violent conflict and coup attempts” (S. Knack, p.1). Educated and strengthened SC actors and government representatives work more effectively together towards achieving democratic standards.

How does this help to answer the question of foreign aid’s role as an external agenda or mission? This question does not have a unilateral answer as the following argumentation shows. Viewed on the project level, foreign aid does not impose direct democratic strategies or standards. So, it is easy to assume that it does not impose the external agenda. However, the successful implementation of the projects leads to the introduction of donor proposed norms. This is especially easy as civil society engagement in projects is huge. Thus, in long run the agenda has some presence in the internal society that is now familiar with those democratic practices.

However, the shortcoming with this type of evaluation approach is that for most of the time, the projects are evaluated on the basis of the outputs not outcomes. Accordingly, its role as well, is distinguished on output level only, that is the immediate product of the project not its accomplishment towards the overall goal of democratizing. Further studies compliment the evaluations of the relationship between foreign aid and democratization.

The empirical evaluation of USAID’s aid provision and democracy progress made during the period of 1988-2001 reveals that the democracy aid has more influence on the process of democracy establishment than the economic aid or other types of aid (Scott, J. Steele, 2011, p. 47).

As for EU strategies, the evaluation is done in two stages for the different instruments or tools EU has practiced to promote democracy. The early one of those was European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). This tool was a mean to allocate money to Eastern European countries including Armenia through macro and micro level projects as the amount of funds was not equal for all the countries. In most cases the finances were channeled through the Council of Europe and in other cases through UN institutions and other international organizations. However, these resources were not directly forwarded to civil society enhancement or democracy promotion; rather they were used to improve spheres such as human rights, freedom of media, peace building, etc. Second instrument more directed to democracy promotion was the EU enlargement program with ENP Action Plan as its main element came into play.  It was to facilitate civil society development. However, Shapovalova and Youngs state that regardless of improvements such as more focus on civil society, engagement of more non-profit actors, even the ENP was not an effective tool to promote democracy. They conclude that EU needs to put more emphasis on civil society development, engagement and their participation in evaluation of the aid provision and utilization (Shapovalova N., & Youngs R., 2012, p.16).