It would be good to write a very optimistic piece at the dawn of 2022—and indeed we do try to focus in this piece not just on trends but on solutions. Yet, overall, it is impossible to avoid “telling it as it is”—internationally and for multilateral action, the year has not had an auspicious start. Omicron is sweeping through communities worldwide, with many hospital systems warning of the risk of being overwhelmed. The political instability of which we and many others have long warned, driven by economic and governance links, is coming to pass. Kazakhstan is the most recent example, but this also covers the quintupling of coups in Africa in 2021, and heightened polarization in many Western, Asian, and Latin American electoral processes.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to control its spread—including lockdowns, social distancing measures, and border closures—have led to unprecedented health, humanitarian, and socioeconomic shocks worldwide. These shocks, in turn, are raising the likelihood that risks for many forms of violent conflict—crime, armed conflict, violent extremism—may increase. Because it is crucial for the United Nations (UN) to adopt a conflict-sensitive lens in all relevant operations across the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding (HDP) nexus to prevent an increasingly volatile situation from deteriorating further, this policy brief makes recommendations for strengthening implementation of conflict sensitivity based on extensive interviews with UN staff across the nexus.
State capture is a type of systematic corruption whereby narrow interest groups take control of the institutions and processes that make public policy, excluding other parts of the public whose interests those institutions are supposed to serve. State capture is often associated with the first decade of transition in the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Eastern Europe. State capture has also spread to many countries that had once seemed to be resilient democracies or, in the case of transition countries, on a secure path toward democratization. This research paper goes in-depth on the mechanisms and impacts of state capture, impact on inequalities, and lessons learned from two case studies (Brazil and South Africa).
The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University is pleased to share our Annual Report 2020-2021, which covers the activities and achievements of CIC and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies from October 2020 through September 2021.