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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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> New Publication- Europe and the people: Examining the EU's democratic legitimacy

New FPC publication Europe and the people: Examining the EU's democratic legitimacy examines the concerns across Europe around the democratic legitimacy of EU institutions and the European project as whole. It looks at how the debate about EU democratic legitimacy fits within the broader context of a crisis of institutions at both the national and global levels, particularly in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. The publication explores the mechanisms through which EU institutions seek to gain democratic legitimacy and how they try to engage the public, comparing and contrasting with other organisations at the national and international levels. It places the debate around European democratic legitimacy within the context of the UK referendum on EU membership, as well as the fallout from the Greek debt crisis. It sets out ideas for potential improvements in how the EU operates to increase its democratic legitimacy and accountability but recognises that some of the challenges will persist irrespective of efforts to reform.

This publication contains contributions from: Dr Jim Buller, University of York; Professor Damian Chalmers, LSE; Oli Henman, Civicus; Dr Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds; Adam Hug (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Professor James Mitchell, University of Edinburgh; Dr Marina Prentoulis, UEA; Dr Adriaan Schout and Hedwich van der Bij, Clingendael; and Dr Matthew Wood, University of Sheffield.

> Iran Human Rights Review: Economy

In this latest issue, the Iran Human Rights Review focuses on the relationship between Iran's human rights record and its economy. Activists and experts offer a range of perspectives on issues that impact Iran's economy, in light of the human rights dynamics that place a spotlight on Iran. The Iran Human Rights Review: Economy issue highlights religious and economic freedoms, the environment and child labour among others.

The Iran Human Rights Review: Economy issue is edited by Tahirih Danesh and Hossein Rassam. It contains contributions by: Dr Leila Alikarami, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Professor Ali Arab, Georgetown University; Azam Bahrami; Kamyar Behrang; Dr. Abdolsattar Dushouki, Baluchestan Research Centre; Marcos Alan Ferreira and Hanna Belle, Federal University of Paraiba - UFPB; Brian Grim, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation; and Solmaz Ikdar; The issue also contains a foreword by Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the Global Indicators Group at the World Bank.

> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

This series of roundtable discussions are taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21). COP21 aims to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this aspiration. In addition, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will mark its 60th anniversary (CSW60) in 2016. Its priority focus will be women's empowerment and sustainable development. The level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

> Sharing worst practice: How countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression

Sharing worst practice: How countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression examines the ways in which authoritarian regimes learn from each other and collaborate to develop repressive practices. The publication looks at the role of regional structures in the development of repressive rules and norms of behaviour, as well as exploring the extent of bilateral influence, most notably from Russia. It examines the impact of these countries' shared Soviet heritage and the nature of their current governments in determining their desire to emulate practices from neighbouring countries that undermine human rights. The publication explores the development of copycat anti-NGO and anti-LGBTI legislation, alongside similar restrictions on freedom of assembly, media and internet use. The publication also looks at the role security concerns play in developing and excusing bad practice, exploring the sometimes negative role of Western countries as part of the 'War on Terror'.

The publication contains contributions by: Prof Thomas Ambrosio, North Dakota State University; Dr Michael Hamilton, University of East Anglia; Joanna Hoare and Maisy Weicherding, Amnesty International; Melissa Hooper, Human Rights First; Adam Hug (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Eka Iakobishvili; Kate Levine, EHRAC; Dr David Lewis, University of Exeter; Katie Morris, Article 19.

> Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union

Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union examines whether some of the major international institutions covering the former Soviet Union (FSU) are currently meeting their human rights commitments. The publication shows how the independence and integrity of institutions defending human rights in the region are under attack from outside and within, sometimes buckling under the pressure.

The publication contains contributions from: Anna Chernova, formerly OSCE; Dr. Rilka Dragneva, University of Birmingham; Charles Hecker, Control Risks; Adam Hug, Foreign Policy Centre (ed.); Gubad Ibadoglu, Economic Research Center; Florian Irminger, Human Rights House; Dr. Hrant Kostanyan, CEPS; Kate Levine, EHRAC; Libby McVeigh, Fair Trials International; Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz, formerly OSCE/ODIHR; Tinatin Tsertsvadze, International Partnership for Human Rights; Rebecca Vincent, Sport for Rights. Kindly supported by the Open Society Foundations as part of the FPC's Exporting Repression project.