Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism

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The Nation-State

(also see Countries)

In Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, we characterize the nation-state as the central rule-maker in the relations between the consumer, the laborer, and the capitalist.  We suggest also that one of the prime functions of the nation-state is to ensure the economic integration of all those within its borders.  The following sites address issues of the nation-state: they include sites on organization of nation-states, conflict between states, issues involving human rights and the abuse of citizens by nation-states, and the relationship between nation-states and NGOs, many of whom are assuming functions once fulfilled by states.  (also see information on countries)

Academic Council on the United Nations (ACUNS)

The Academic Council was established in 1987 and defines itself as "an international association of scholars, teachers, practitioners, and others who are active in the work and study of international organizations." They share a "professional interest in encouraging and supporting education and research which deepen and broaden our understanding of international cooperation." In implementing its goals, "the Council focuses special attention on the programs and agencies of the United Nations system and other inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations."  At their Website you will find their newsletter, reports and papers on international governance, the journal Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, and an extensive set of links to other sites.

Action Without Borders

If you need information about NGOs, this is a good place to start.   "Action Without Borders is a nonprofit organization that promotes the sharing of ideas, information and resources to help build a world where all people can live free, dignified and productive lives. We currently do this by: Maintaining Idealist, the most comprehensive directory of nonprofit and volunteering resources on the Web. Publishing Ideas in Action, a bi-weekly email newsletter with news and pointers to useful resources for volunteers and nonprofit professionals around the world. Sending out daily Job and Internship Alerts with information about jobs and internships posted in Idealist during the previous 24 hours. Training nonprofit and community"

After September 11: Perspectives from the Social Sciences

This new site from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) contains essays by well-known social scientists on the events of and following September 11. The site aims to "provide the public and academic community with a deeper level of analysis than can be found on Op-Ed pages or talk shows." Among the more than 35 pieces currently posted are essays by Seyla Benhabib, Olivier Roy, and John Hall. Wide ranging in scope, essays are grouped into seven topic areas -- Globalization, Fundamentalism(s), Terrorism and Democratic Virtues, Competing Narratives, New War?, New World Order?, and Recovery. The site is regularly updated with more material as well. (Scout Report 12/14/01)

Amnesty International: 2002 Annual Report [.pdf]

Presented by Amnesty International, a worldwide voluntary activist movement concerned with the protection of human rights, this annual report focuses on human rights abuses in 152 countries and territories around the world and describes the suppression and violence that have withered and destroyed the lives of millions of people. Due to the September 11th attacks in the US, this year's report emphasizes the importance of "justice" rather than "revenge." In addition, the report also highlights the failures of human rights protection as well as the "indomitable courage and determination of human rights activists whatever the challenges they face - and the vital role they play in a world beset by poverty, war and repression." The report is divided into regional sections, and all sections of the report can be downloaded as a printer friendly Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file.


The World Bank describes corruption as the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development.  At this site the Bank describes the elements that contribute to corruption and offers some ways that it can be monitored and corrected.

Center For Migration Studies

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), a nonprofit institute founded in 1964, "is committed to facilitating the study of sociodemographic, historical, economic, political, legislative and pastoral aspects of human migration and refugee movements." Their Website features an online catalog of the CMS Documentation Center (Library and Archives), a subject-specific library of over 24,000 volumes, reported to be one of the most comprehensive available on migration, refugees, and ethnic groups. The site also includes tables of contents with abstracts for _The International Migration Review_, "a refereed interdisciplinary quarterly journal," and for _Migration World_, a bimonthly magazine offering news and analysis of recent immigrant and refugee issues. An online newsletter provides information on upcoming conferences, publications, and collaborative projects. (The Scout Report for the Social Sciences), 8/10/99)

The Center for Strategic and International Studies—CSIS

"The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)--a public policy research institution that covers every major geographic region in the world—generates strategic analysis, brings together important policymakers, and develops policy action commissions. This extensive CSIS Website provides institutional information, a directory of CSIS experts, analysis of international current events, summaries of numerous research projects, a list of publications, and Washington Quarterly, the full-text journal of the CSIS. (The Scout Report for Social Sciences, Oct 20, 1998)

Children of Conflict [RealPlayer]

"Presented by BBC Worldservice with the assistance of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and the Human Rights Fund of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, this site features the harrowing tales of children caught in war zones across the world, told in their own words. Divided into sections which explore the different experiences of the children of conflict (child soldiers, wounded children, lost children, child-headed households, child workers), the site offers brief explanatory notes, numerous quotes, RealAudio selections in a variety of languages, transcripts, and letters from children. Links are provided throughout the site to sources for more information." (Scout Report. 4/2/1999)

"CIA Activities in Chile" -- CIA
CIA Acknowledges Ties to Pinochet's Repression -- NSA

After withholding information for 27 years, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has acknowledged its deep involvement in General Augusto Pinochet's regime in a declassified report released and placed online on September 19. Among other things, the report reveals that the head of Chile's secret police was a paid CIA asset, that the CIA was well aware of the efforts to track and kill political opponents, and that the agency supported the kidnapping and murder of the Chilean commander-in-chief, Gen. Rene Schneider in October 1970 after he refused to support the overthrow of President Allende. The full text of the report is available in HTML format at the CIA site. The National Security Archive (last mentioned in the July 21, 2000 Scout Report), which has long stood in the vanguard of efforts to declassify documents related to US involvement in Chile, has posted digital images of the report and two supporting documents. The first of these is the text of the Hinchey amendment to the 2000 Intelligence Authorization Act, which forced this disclosure. The second is a heavily excised CIA report from 1976 on the assassination of former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his 25-year old American associate Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington DC. (Scout Report, 922/00)

Concise Guide to Human Rights on the Internet

An excellent source for finding information on human rights on the Web.   "Among the most common human rights documents online are treaties and conventions, reports on human rights violations on specific countries, death penalty information, human rights news and actions on behalf of victims of human rights violations. You can also find decisions and reports by international bodies and tribunals, national legislation and jurisprudence, articles on human rights issues, and issue-specific information (e.g. women's rights, indigenous people's rights). "   For example, go to the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Library; what are some of the resources available for human rights education?

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The U.S. Department of State's site that contains yearly summary of human rights violations in nation-states.  The reports also contains a listing of global conflicts.  It is an interesting exercise to compare the countries and violations listed here with those in the reports from Amnesty International.

Crimes of War

Hosted by American University, this project is a collaborative effort of journalists, lawyers, and scholars "that seeks to raise awareness of the laws of war." Resources at the site include an online magazine, featured essays, analysis, a discussion forum, information on future seminars, and related resources. The essays are concise, cover a range of international topics, and link to related items on the site. This unique project is well worth a visit. [The Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities -- May 1, 2001]

Death of the Father: An Anthropology of Closure in Political Authority: CIDC

"The Cornell Institute for Digital Collections (CIDC) recently launched a new Website exploring the "socio-political fallout that followed the death of six 20th-century patriarchs," including Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, Germany’s Adolph Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin, and Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito. The site provides information about the "fathers" and the rise and fall of their regimes, including chronologies, maps, archival images, and a glossary of terms. In the near future, the site plans to post a book of essays and a video related to the project. Death of the Father was created by a production team at Cornell led by John Borneman, associate professor of anthropology, and Linda Fisher, Web designer and media artist." (Scout Report for Social Sciences, 5/18/99)

Death Squad Dossier and Relevant Declassified US Documents from the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Collection

On May 20, the Washington Office on Latin America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Human Rights Watch, and National Security Archive (NSA) released a 54-page logbook obtained from the Guatemalan military. The logbook, labeled the Death Squad Dossier, documents, in coded detail, the executions of 183 people at the hands of the Guatemalan security forces between August 1983 and March 1985. The NSA has made the dossier available online along with declassified US documents related to Guatemalan death squad activity. [AO] (Scout Report for Social Sciences, 6/1/99)

East Timor Action Network/US

East Timor represents a good case study in the violence of the nation-state against its own citizens.  When Indonesia gained its independence from the Dutch in 1949 (see pp. 110ff in Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism), East Timor, a colony of Portugal, demanded its own independence.  However in 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor, incorporating it, by force, into its nation-state.   East Timorese have, since then, fought for their independence.  You can find out more about the historical background and present state of the struggle here.

Eurostat/Netherlands Interdisciplinary demographic Institute (NIDI): International Migration

This Website, Push and Pull Factors of International Migration, features background and preliminary research data from a joint project of Eurostat and The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute the goal of which is to "improve understanding of the direct and indirect causes and mechanisms of international migration to the European Union from an internationally comparative perspective. The project is an effort to respond to the fact that "international migration flows have increased in magnitude and complexity over the past decades." Separate sections of the site provide information on the aim, objectives, and approach of the project; the research design; as well as a summary of first results on recent migration, migration motives, migration networks, and migration intentions; and further bibliographic and Web-based resources. The project is under the auspices of the Commission of the European Communities. (Scout Report for Social Sciences, 5/30/2000)

Failed State Index

"About 2 billion people live in countries that are in danger of collapse. In the first annual Failed States Index, FOREIGN POLICY and the Fund for Peace rank the countries about to go over the brink." By FOREIGN POLICY & the Fund for Peace, July/August 2005. (Free registration required to read this article online.)

The Federal Death Penalty System: A Statistical Survey (1998-2000) [WordPerfect, .pdf, .zip]

Released on September 12, 2000 this 356-page report reveals wide racial and geographic disparities in federal death sentences. In announcing the results of the survey, Attorney General Reno stated that she was "sorely troubled" by the racial disparities but did not believe the figures revealed any systematic bias in her department and ordered further studies. Critics of the death penalty immediately seized on the data to bolster their calls for a moratorium on all federal executions (the last of which was in 1963). The statistics are as follows: between 1995 and July 2000, US attorneys forwarded for review the cases of 682 defendants who faced capital charges (20% white, 80% minorities); the death penalty was recommended for 183 of them (26% white, 74% minority); Reno approved seeking the death penalties for 159 (28% white, 72% minorities); and 20 defendants were ultimately sentenced to death (20% white, 80% minorities). Users can download and read the report for themselves by chapter or in its entirety in Wordperfect or zipped .pdf format at the Department of Justice Website. (Scout Report 9/21/00)

Footnotes to History

Recognizing the nation-state as an arbitrary, recent, and rather fluid concept, James Erwin has created a site that "provides an overview of ephemeral states, micronations, secessionist states, and every other kind of country you never heard of in high school—from Maryland in Africa to the Republic of West Florida to the Centro-Caspian Dictatorship." The site contains an alphabetical index that consists of short, encyclopedia-like entries on thousands of different entities that have existed or continue to exist in the face of the hegemony of modern nationhood. In a time when the cartographers can not keep up with the redrawn lines of the world’s maps from Eastern Europe to Africa to the Middle East, Erwin’s online guide serves as a useful reference to those alternative identifications which have demonstrated a surprising resiliency in the post-cold war era. The site features a comprehensive bibliography of Erwin’s sources as well as a brief annotated list of related links, particularly to the Websites of little-known micronations. [Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities -- February 6, 2001]

Foreign Affairs Online

This metasite on Foreign Affairs designed by a professor of International Law offers brief annotations and recommendations on a wide variety of Internet resources germane to the subject. Included here are annotated listings of official US and foreign government sites; UN sites; nongovernmental and intergovernmental organization sites; think tanks; news sources; sites devoted to human rights, international relations, and law; and much more. The section on map resources is particularly good, offering a number of "highly recommended" sites that researchers are likely to find valuable. Also among its thousands of links are those connecting to complete e-texts of the constitutions for hundreds of countries. (Scout report for Social Sciences, 11/16/1999)

For the Record 1997: The UN Human Rights System

A six volume description of the role of the United Nations in defending human rights.  The first volume is a general description of the role of United Nations in human rights, and various international conventions under which it operates.  Each of the other volumes explores an area of the world and the countries in it, describing United Nations evaluations and reports of human rights abuses in that country.  However the reports are often limited, since they are based on information submitted by the member country.

Forced Migration Projects—OSI

"The Forced Migration Projects (FMP), operating under the auspices of the Open Society Institute (OSI), monitor developments in the Americas, the former Yugoslavia, and the former Soviet Union to identify the social, political, and economic conditions that cause the forced dislocations of people. This Website provides background information about the projects as well as full-text access to several FMP publications including _The Forced Migration Monitor_, a series of special reports on refugees and migration, recent news and articles on germane issues, and FM Alert, an electronic bulletin service. In addition, the site compiles a list of refugee-related links and hosts a discussion forum." (Scout Report for Social Sciences, 5/4/99)

Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War

Rudolph Rummel's site that focuses on his proposition that " the more freedom, the less violence. Conversely, the more power at the center, the more violence. In short: power kills.  The purpose of this web site, then, is to make as widely available as possible my theory, work, results, and data that empirically and historically, quantitatively and qualitatively, support this conclusion about freedom."  Rummel has written extensively on and documented the killing by nation-states of their own citizens. 

Global Conflict

CNN maintains this site on current global conflicts with commentaries from experts detailing the issues involved.  For some reason, Iraq is absent.

Governments on the WWW

Good place to access information on countries all over the world.   If you select a country you will be given the sites of local, provincial, state, and area governing agencies.

The Great War: 80 Years On—BBC [RealPlayer]

"November 11 marks the 80th anniversary of the armistice that ended "the war to end all wars," a conflict which took as many as ten million lives, wiped out a generation of young men in Europe, and helped to spark a revolution in Russia. This new site from the BBC commemorates the war and offers users a number of interesting resources. Multimedia offerings include a ten-minute video collage of photos and newsreel footage produced by the Imperial War Museum and a selection of fascinating and poignant audio interviews of veterans, including one man who was just fourteen when he left to fight in France. The site also contains a selection of soldiers’ letters home, overviews of four major battles (Gallipoli, Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele), and a number of topical articles." (The Scout Report, 11/6/98)

Hidden Scandal, Secret Shame: Torture and Ill-Treatment of Children_ -- Amnesty International [.pdf]

This report from Amnesty International, published as part of the Stamp Out Torture Campaign begun in October, examines the international issues and incidents concerning the torture and ill-treatment of children. The report’s first chapter considers the international legal standards that "define and prohibit" such abuse and attempts to "resolve some of the difficulties inherent in responding to the torture of children within a legal framework originally conceived for adults." The rest of the document draws on Amnesty International’s field research and other direct evidence to examine the "contexts in which the torture of children actually occurs." The report also makes recommendations for ending these practices. Offered in .pdf format, the report can be accessed in its entirety or by chapter. [Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities -- February 6, 2001]

The Holocaust Chronicle_

The Holocaust Chronicle: A History in Words and Pictures_ is a not-for-profit endeavor of the Chicago-based Publications International, Ltd. Posted recently, the online edition examines the Holocaust chronologically, beginning with its pre-Nazi roots in Europe and devoting a chapter to each year from rise of the Nazis to power in 1933 through the Nuremberg trials in 1946. In fact, a distinguishing feature of the book is the amount of space dedicated to the events in Germany and eastern Europe that prefigured the organized internment and massacre of Jews and others in large numbers in the 1940s. It appears that the entire text of the book is available online; however, many pictures are deleted due to copyright restrictions. The text can be searched by date, and available photographs can be examined in thumbnail or larger versions. (Scout report for Social Sciences, 5/16/00)

Human Rights Watch World Report 1999

"Human Rights Watch (HRW) has just released its ninth annual review of human rights around the world in advance of Human Rights Day, December 10, 1998, the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report covers events and developments in 68 countries from December 1997 through early November 1998. The report is generally well-written, offering excellent overviews of the conditions of human rights on regional and selected national levels. Users in the US may be particularly interested in the detailed critique of American policies on human rights both internationally and within its own borders. The Report also provides information on selected campaigns and thematic concerns, such as arms, and the rights of women and children." (The Scout Report, 12/4/98)

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

Human Rights Watch issued their annual world report last week, summarizing the state of human rights in 66 countries around the globe. Written with the clarity and detail that marked previous annual issues, this year’s report is distinguished by its note of guarded optimism. The report cites two main trends as evidence of a partial dismantling of national sovereignty as an impenetrable defense for human rights violators: international courts are increasingly attempting to bring sovereign leaders to justice and nations are more willing to act in concert against a single nation to oppose human rights violations. Separate sections of the report address special topics, such as academic freedom, child soldiers, the international campaign to ban landmines, and lesbian and gay rights. (Scout Report for Social Sciences, 12/14/99)

Human Rights Watch World Report 2002 [.pdf]

Human Rights Watch has just released its twelfth annual review of human rights practices around the globe in the 2002 Human Rights Watch World Report. This report addresses developments in sixty-six countries, covering the period from November 2000 through November 2001. Most of the chapters examine significant human rights developments in a particular country, the response of global actors (such as the European Union, Japan, the United States, the United Nations, and various regional organizations), and the freedom of local human rights defenders to conduct their work. Other chapters address important thematic concerns.

Immigration Index

Striving to become the "immigration resource directory on the net," the Immigration Index is a newly launched Website dedicated to news and information about immigration worldwide. Along with breaking headlines from a variety of news sources about immigration-related issues such as asylum, migration, trafficking and women, and much more, the site contains a fully annotated collection of links to immigration materials all around the World Wide Web. Only a month old, some of the categories in the Index's hierarchy still need some filling in. In time, however, the Immigration Index promises to become an invaluable resource for interested parties (Scout Report for Business and Economics, 5/17/02)

Impact of Armed Conflict on Children--United Nations Children's Fund

The following statement comes from the United Nations report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children:

"In 1995, 30 major armed conflicts raged in different locations around the world. They took place within States, between factions split along ethnic, religious or cultural lines. These conflicts destroyed crops, places of worship and schools. Nothing was spared, held sacred or protected - not children, families, or communities. In the past decade, an estimated two million children have been killed in armed conflict and three times as many seriously injured or permanently disabled. These conservative estimates hide the large numbers of children whose deaths are concealed or unrecorded, children erased from the memory of humankind when whole families and communities are wiped out. In addition, many impacts of armed conflict on children are immeasurable and often, invisible. There is no way to measure the impact on a child who sees her family killed, or to quantify the emotional and psychological toll on children who live for years in fear of bombings, mutilation or death. And when figures reach millions, it is too easy to forget that these statistics represent individual children, children betrayed by adult failure to give the protection and care that all children deserve."

This Website contains the full report, specific recommendations to remedy the situation, an excellent report on Children in War, the problems of land mines, along with other resources.

Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Founded in 1991, the Institute provides information on conflict and conflict resolution for  the Balkans, the Caucasus and other areas in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.  Much of the information on the site is about the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the war crimes tribunal in the Hague established to try persons accused of war crimes. 

Interactive Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation, along with the Wall Street Journal, presents the Interactive Index of Economic Freedom, a tremendous database offering detailed reference information about economic policy for 161 countries. The search feature provides a variety of options for searching the database and organizing the results including sorting the results alphabetically or by rank. Along with a simple search, users can search by country or region and compare that with another region, or sort by policy factors including fiscal burden, banking, black market, and trade policy. Six years of past scores are also available here. The results are presented in an easy-to-read list with comparable features and scores, as well as a detailed snapshot overview of economic information for each of the countries. This useful database will be of great value to those interested in country-to-country comparisons of economic policy. (Scout Report for Business and Economics, 5/31/01)

Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity

The place to go if you want background and up-to-date information on present global conflicts.  While the project does not contain information on all current conflicts (e.g. Chiapas and East Timor were missing), their conflict map current identifies 33 problem areas.  Not only will you find links to sources on current conflicts (such as the one in Kosovo), but links to thematic guides such as children and conflict, women and conflict, and religion and conflict.  You will also find information on email discussion lists in for each   area. 

Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation

This University of California site seeks to build "bridges between the theory and practice of foreign policy by establishing the intellectual foundations for effective policy-making, by injecting fresh ideas into the policy process, and by providing opportunities and incentives for UC faculty and students to interact with government officials at home and abroad. Through collaborative research, conferences and publications, the Institute serves as a unique resource for the state of California, the nation, and the international community."  At the site you will find many policy papers on subjects related to international conflict. 

International Crisis Group

"The International Crisis Group (ICG) is a private, multinational organisation committed to strengthening the capacity of the international community to understand and respond to impending crises. Teams of political analysts based on the ground in countries at risks of crisis, gather information from a wide range of sources, assess local conditions and produce regular analytical reports containing practical policy recommendations targeted at key international decision-takers."  At the site you will find reports on global trouble spots such as Bosnia, Kosovo, and the democratic Republic of Congo.

International Regulation Database -- OECD [.pdf, Excel, Access]

Created and maintained by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Regulation Database is a "comprehensive internationally-comparable set of information about the state of regulation and market structures in OECD countries." The contents of the database are derived primarily from an ad hoc questionnaire that was given to OECD member countries in 1998. The database contains over 1,100 variables for each country and includes both broad regulations dealing with product markets, such as "state control of business enterprises" and international trade and investment barriers, as well as sector-specific regulations for areas such as telecommunications, retail distribution, and electricity supply. The database must be downloaded to users's computers, and is offered in both Access and Excel versions. An eleven-page, detailed description of the database's contents, structure, and use is also available, as is a Users' Guide, which offers step-by-step instructions for manipulating the Access database. (Scout Report 8/18/00)

Internet Resources on Genocide and Mass Killings

"Internet Resources on Genocide and Mass Killings is an extensive compilation of primary materials and annotated links related to "twentieth-century genocidal and mass man-made killing occurrences." Divided into fifteen sections, subject coverage includes topics such as The Jewish Holocaust, War Crimes and Criminals, Yugoslavia and Kosovo, among others. Most of the original documents in the compilation have been uploaded to the site, facilitating navigation and research. Documents not residing at the site are linked via succinct annotations. The compilation is searchable and updated continuously by its creator Dr. Stuart D. Stein, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of West England." (The Scout Report for Social Sciences, 1/26/99)

Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-parliamentary Union is based in Geneva, Switzerland.  Among other things you can find links to parliamentary sites of most of the over 100 members of the organization.

Iraq Body Count

A site devoted to publicizing the human impact of the war in Iraq.

Iraq Occupation Watch

Collections of articles and commentaries on the U.S. occupation of Iraq.  Probably the most extensive site on information and data pertaining to the occupation.

MoJo Wire Action Atlas on US Arm Sales

"This new atlas from MojoWire, the online version of _Mother Jones_, highlights the United States’ dominance in the international arms trade, paying special attention to the large-scale expansion in arms sales under the Clinton administration. As the introduction indicates, sales more than doubled in the President’s first year in office, and from 1993 to 1997 "the US government sold, approved, or gave away $190 billion in weapons to virtually every nation on earth," often with little regard for the buyer’s record on human rights or their involvement in current conflicts. The easy-to-use Atlas offers reports on recent US arms sales to 46 countries, with details on what has been bought, how it has been used, and information on the country’s human rights record. Users will also find profiles of the twelve largest US arms exporters; an interactive map of arms customers involved in conflicts or insurgencies, accused of rights violations, or reselling US weapons; and a collection of links and contact information for arms-trade activists." (Scout Report, 3/5/99)

Meta Search Engine for Searching Multiple Human Rights Sites

Recently unveiled by the Human Rights Library of the University of Minnesota (originally reviewed in the January 5, 1996 Scout Report), this new search engine will be welcomed by researchers and activists in human rights. Searchable by keyword and several optional operators (Boolean, proximity, truncation), the engine retrieves data from any or all of the 23 different rights-related sites that users select. Interestingly, returns are presented "as is" from the source pages (with page header, images, and unique formats) but combined into a single results page. A test search for "Northern Ireland" on four selected sites returned over 40 results. Direct links to the featured databases and, in some cases, their search tips pages are also provided. [MD] (Scout Report, 7/2/99)

Migration Information Source

Recently introduced by the Migration Policy Institute, the Migration Information Source Web site offers visitors a fantastic opportunity to stay on top of trends and changes in global migration. Looking at migration from many levels and on many planes, the site considers migrations on both national and international fronts. With a dropdown menu of the countries for which data is available (currently western European countries, Australia, and the US), the database is fully searchable, with more options on the way. Perhaps most interesting to those directly working in statistical, sociological, or ethnographic analyses of migration, the resource is broadly accessible and offers compelling glimpses of migrant populations, their reasons for moving, and their rates of assimilation into host countries. For those unfamiliar with field-specific terms employed in the site's reports, there is a detailed glossary of common terms and phrases. Closer to home, the Migration Information site presents an elaborate array of reports and studies on US-Mexico relations, with an emphasis on the ever-broadening trend toward northward migration in the Americas.

Mother Jones_ 400

Using data from the Federal Election Commission which was compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) (see the July 10, 1999 _Scout Report_), _Mother Jones_ has put together an eye-opening Website which reveals the nation’s top 400 financial political contributors and what they may be expecting for their contributions. Users may browse the list of contributors by industry or individual donor rank or search by donor, state, industry, party, or recipient. The rankings include donor name, amount given and to whom, their rank in 1998, and their industry. This information is interesting and useful, but it is also available elsewhere. The real value of the _Mother Jones_ 400 lies in its profiles of the donors and the industry summaries, which are an excellent resource for learning about the various individuals, not always well known, who influence government policy and legislation with their donations and personal relationships with our representatives. [ Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities -- March 20, 2001]

NYC Surveillance Cameras
NYC Surveillance Camera Project [.pdf]
i-SEE v.911: "Now more than ever" [Flash]

These two sites focus on the increasing numbers of surveillance cameras in New York City. The first provides a .pdf-formatted map of the more than 2,300 camera locations throughout New York as well as text listings broken down by community. The information was compiled by volunteers from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). In addition to information on camera locations, in the news section of the site, users will find links to related Websites, FAQs, and sites related to taxi cameras and traffic cameras. The second site, from the Institute for Applied Autonomy, contains an interactive map of New York with which users can map routes through the city. Users click on their starting point and destination, and i-SEE will generate a route for them with the fewest surveillance cameras. Note that we had trouble using the map with Netscape on a Mac, but no trouble with Internet Explorer. Both of these sites are unabashedly anti-surveillance technology and will be appreciated by New Yorkers concerned with civil liberties issues. (Scout Report 12/7/01)

National Institute for Money in State Politics

US Federal Election Commission

The National Institute for Money in State Politics is devoted "to accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased documentation and research on campaign finance at the state level." At the core of the Institute’s Website is the Follow the Money database. The extensive, searchable database allows users to determine the names and contribution amounts of specific individuals, businesses, or political interest groups who have invested in statewide elections from 1990 to 1998. Follow the Money permits users to generate a bevy of customized statistical reports that clearly present requested data via interactive graphs and tables. This information-rich database is definitely the best resource for citizens interested in state-level campaign financing. For information on federal campaign financing, citizens should visit the US Federal Election Commission’s Website (see the November 1, 1996 Scout Report). [AO] (Scout Report for Social Sciences, 6/29/99)

Terrorism Project -- CDI [.pdf]

The Center for Defense Information (CDI, reviewed in the July 18, 1997 Scout Report) presents this new site devoted to terrorism featuring a variety of resources grouped by subject (e.g., Homeland Defense, Operation Enduring Freedom, Legislation). Users will find here the text of legislation, factual and analytical articles, links to other sites, and more. CDI's terrorism project " aims to look at all aspects of fighting terrorism, from near-term issues of response and defense, to long-term questions about how the United States should shape its future international security strategy." (Scout Report, 12/21/01)

The Nationalism Project

Created and maintained by Eric Zuelow, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this site serves as a scholarly resource for the study of nationalism in all its forms. Edited in consultation with a panel of recognized authorities in the field, the site offers book reviews and abstracts, a concise introduction to nationalism, a listing of over 200 recent books, related links, and calls for papers. While the offerings in many of these sections are still rather modest, the site’s Bibliography of Journal Articles is impressive, listing over 1,000 articles on nationalism published in 21 journals since 1980. Zuelow plans to add entries for over a dozen more journals in the future. Interested users are welcome to contribute to the site, and contact information is provided. (Scout Report, 2/18/2000)

NY Times Political Sites on the Web

Lots of links to governmental bodies and representatives, political organizations, and media and commentary.

Public Campaign

In Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism we discuss the ways in which corporations influence public policy and government legislation.  One of the most important, of course, is through financial contributions to political office holders.   Public Campaign highlights the problem and suggests ways that the financial power of corporations can be curbed.   

Search for Common Ground

"Search for Common Ground was founded in 1982 in Washington, DC, and the European Centre for Common Ground was established in Brussels in 1995. Both organizations share a vision of transforming how the world deals with conflict -- away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions. To implement this vision, we carry out programs that aim to resolve conflict, and prevent violence."

Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran [.pdf]

This special report from _The New York Times on the Web_ offers conclusive evidence of the United States’s involvement in the Iranian military _coup d’etat_ of 1953 that brought the Shah to power. The jewel in the crown here is a mysteriously obtained copy of a still-classified CIA document detailing the "inner workings" of a US plot to overthrow the elected prime minister of Iran and install the Shah. In addition to the document, the Website features an eight-part report detailing the roots of US involvement, the engineering of the coup, and the CIA’s failed efforts to enlist the US press in the plan. An archive of contemporaneous articles, photos, and page one stories is also offered, as well as timelines of the coup period and of US/Iran relations from 1941 to the present. (Scout Report for the Social Sciences, 5/2/00)

Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States of America--HRW

The violation of human rights is not just something that occurs in "other" countries; it occurs also in the United States.  One of the forms it takes, as it does in other countries, is the illegitimate use of force by members of the military or the police.  This site documents instances of police abuse in the United States.  As the report states, "The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses."

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

One of the points made in Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism was that most armed conflict in the world consists of force used by nation-states against its own citizens.  The 1998 Yearbook of the SIPRI reinforces this point; of the 25 major armed conflicts it reports in 1997, only one - between India and Pakistan - was interstate. All the others were internal conflicts.  This is a wonderful site to get information on global conflict.

Stop Torture

Amnesty International's site on the extent of torture practiced by nation-states and the efforts being made to end it.  The site also contains resources on racism and human rights.

Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust

The award winning site on the Holocaust contains a wealth of information for students and teachers.  There is a bibliography page, a list of film and video resources, photographs, paintings and drawings, and, perhaps most useful, a collection of primary documents that include excerpts from Hitler and Himmler, Nazi decrees against the Jews, Nazi descriptions of the concentration camps and the gassing of prisoners, and the opening address at the Nuremberg Trials.  Go to the The Wannsee Protocol; how many Jews were involved in "the final solution"?  How were people of "mixed blood" to be treated?

A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, this new Website’s goal is "to awaken people of all ages to the problem of hate and intolerance, to equip them with the best tolerance ideas and to prompt them to act in their homes, schools, businesses and communities." To these ends, the Website presents a daily almanac of top stories on tolerance issues from newspapers around the world, a US map of hate groups that allows users to click on locations for more information, sections on both hate and tolerance in the news, practical advice and materials for becoming active on these issues, sections for kids and their parents, and interactive elements designed to allow users to explore their own biases as well as review the history of tolerance moments, including the Civil Rights Movement. A searchable archive is also provided. [The Scout Report for Social Sciences & Humanities -- May 1, 2001]

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) Updated FBI Site

TRAC, a nonpartisan "data gathering, data research and data distribution organization" located at Syracuse University (last reviewed in the April 21, 2000 Scout Report), has updated its widely respected FBI Website. The new edition highlights intelligence, internal security, and terrorism issues. Key findings include: FBI intelligence officers almost quintupled in number during the Clinton presidency, warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act rose from 484 to 886 in the same period, but "only 45 of the FBI's 12,730 1998 convictions involved what the Justice Department classified as internal security or terrorism matters." In addition, data obtained by TRAC reveals a major increase in FBI drug enforcement activities since 1992, with a 69 percent increase in convictions. Users can delve deeper at the site, which offers numerous graphs, maps, and tables that illustrate these key findings, analyze national trends over time, provide figures and rankings for specific districts, and offer occupation and employment figures for "white collars" by state and county. The site also contains several short essays on significant aspects of FBI enforcement policies and practices. (Scout Report 9/1/00)

Transnational Foundation for Peace and Futures Research

An excellent site for information on global conflict and peace initiatives.   Up-to-date articles (particularly the ones by Jonathan Powers) on global issues with some excellent background material illustrating the relationship betwen economic instability (e.g. debt crisis) and global conflict.  The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research "expresses a vision and is an experiment in applied peace research and global networking. We believe that alternatives to the main world trends are desirable and possible -- indeed, necessary for humankind to survive and live with dignity in a less violent future."

Transparency International

Bribery and corruption are often the norm in government. Transparency International is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing both international and national corruption.  Check out the Bribe Payers Perceptions Index (BPI).

Truth and Reconciliation Committee

The historic and chilling report on the violence committed by the apartheid state of South Africa against its own citizens.  The report, released on Oct. 30, 1998, consists of six volumes, the first including the history and mandate of the committee established to uncover the crimes committed by members of the apartheid regime.   

UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects [.pdf]

In December of 1999, the UN determined to hold a conference in June/July 2001 to develop a plan of action to control illegal trade in small arms and light weapons. Though the conference is almost a year away, its Website already boasts plenty of material, including working papers, discussion papers, reports from the Secretary-General, press releases, resolutions from the General Assembly, and more. For the general user, one of the more interesting sections of the site may be the Views of States section which gives brief (1-2 page) opinions on the issues and the conference from various countries. (Scout Report, 7/21/00)

United Nations

A good source of information for international agreements and law, information on human rights, and a list of the present 185 member states of the United Nations.

The UN and Decolonization [.pdf]

Since its founding in 1945, over 80 nations formerly under colonial rule have joined the UN as sovereign independent nations. Today, seventeen non-self-governing territories remain, administered by France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This site explores the process of decolonization and especially the role of the UN’s Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization, founded in 1961-2. At the site, users will find a history of decolonization, information on the Special Committee of 24 and the International Trusteeship System and Council, a collection of relevant documents, maps of the world in 1945 and today, and the latest news on decolonization issues. Throughout the site, links are offered to related online resources and documents. As a UN site, it can only offer limited commentary and analysis, but on the whole it is well-organized, and the collection of original documents and authoritative resources make it an excellent adjunct to classes studying the post-colonial world. (Scout Report, March 3, 2000)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1998 is the fiftieth aniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; this is the full text to which member states are supposedly committed.

US Department of State: 2001 Human Rights Reports

Recently released by the US State Department, the 2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices was designed to give voice to those who have been denied the freedoms and rights provided in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Covering internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights for nearly every country, the collection of reports is separated into six regions -- Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere, Near East and North Africa, and South Asia. The collection also offers appendices that include notes on the preparation of the reports, a selection of International Human Rights Conventions, a selection of Assistance Programs, the Human Rights Commission voting record, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

U.S. State Department: Freedom of Information Act

Nation-states often hide many of their acts in the name of "national security."  However on occasion secrets come to light either by accident or by law.  The Freedom of Information Act in the United States, for example, allows researchers to obtain information that they otherwise might not.   This U.S. State Department site on the FIA provides a guide to the act itself, information on obtaining information, and recent releases, such as documents pertaining to United States actions in Chile during the overthrow of the Allende government in 1973.   

War, Peace, and Security

This site at Georgetown University contains links to sites dealing with issues of peace, armaments, terrorism, and other state related subjects.

Without Sanctuary

Paramilitary groups are often extensions of the power of the nation-state, using terror and violence against dissident groups or minorities with the tacit, and sometimes open, approval of the state.  In the United States ordinary citizens sometimes resorted to violence against minority groups, sometimes with the approval and cooperation of local authorities.  Lynchings are one example of the phenomenon.  "Searching through America's past for the last 25 years, collector James Allen uncovered an extraordinary visual legacy: photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America. With essays by Hilton Als, Leon Litwack, Congressman John Lewis and James Allen, these photographs have been published as a book "Without Sanctuary" by Twin Palms Publishers.

World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1998

This link to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, provides information on global military expenditures by country.  Most of the information in in pdf. format, and will require Adobe Acrobat to download. 

World Policy Institute

Homes at the New School for Social Research, the World Policy Institute conducts research on various global issues.  Included in these are: 

American Grand Strategy After September 11
Arms Trade Resource Center
Building a Global Middle Class
Building Global Democracy and Human Rights
The Counter-Terrorism Project
The Cuba Education Project
Program on Emerging Powers
Eurasia Project
The Russia Project
The United Nations Project
United States and the World Lecture Series  

Worlds Apart—Britannica

This new feature from explores the destructive role that ethnic rivalries have played in twelve diverse conflicts around the world. From the main page, users can access concise briefings of these conflicts, four analysts’ viewpoints on the issues involved, and expanded coverage on (currently) two conflicts: Indonesia and the Kurds. These expanded features include short biographies of the key players, a timeline, a photo gallery, and related links. As with any feature on such volatile situations, some of the information is outdated, but on the whole, the site (once complete) will offer a concise and attractively presented introduction to these conflicts for students and general users. (Scout Report, 2/25/2000)

The Year in Review: United Nations Peace Operations in 2001

Covering the peace operations undertaken by the United Nations (UN) during 2001, this report details efforts to defuse mass hostility and violence in Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, and in the Pacific. Approximately 39,500 soldiers and 7,500 civilian police worked with 4,300 international civilian staff and 8,500 local civilian staff. Under often tense and difficult conditions (58 were killed), these peace workers functioned as observers, engineers, analysts, human rights workers, legal and administrative experts, and translators and linguists, as well as working on military demobilization and land mine removal. Translation: Heroic and valuable service to humanity. This report (also available in French and Spanish) is dedicated to telling these workers's stories, expressing their collective voice, and celebrating the year's accomplishments. Divided into sections by geographic area (Asia, Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East), the report offers brief fact sheets and links to more comprehensive UN sites on Peacekeeping Operations, Peace and Security Issues, and Employment Opportunities.



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