Just Security will be on hiatus through the end of the year, returning with new content on Monday, January 3. In the meantime, as we look forward to 2022, we offer a selection of Just Security pieces that analyze some of the issues we expect to be especially salient next year.
The year 2021, like 2020, was one of unexpected challenges. The Just Security team is immensely grateful to our community of readers and writers for the opportunity to engage thoughtfully with some of the year’s most pressing issues. We look forward to continuing our efforts in 2022. If Just Security‘s work is meaningful to you, we also invite you to support Just Security with a year-end tax deductible donation.
From the entire Just Security team, wishing you a peaceful and meaningful New Year.
International Human Rights, Peace, and Justice
Just Security publishes writers from outside the United States on issues of rights and security around the globe. In 2021, these writers — who include analysts, civil society activists, and others from places where policies of the United States and others have particular effects — offered insights that will be highly relevant to policymakers and institutions as they design policies on foreign aid and international justice in 2022, including:
- Ending the Forever War, But Leaving a Legacy of Impunity in Afghanistan by Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, calls on the United States and its allies to recognize their contribution to the legacy of impunity in Afghanistan, and to support a full reckoning and steps toward justice for victims as necessary prerequisites to full and lasting peace.
- Amid Haiti’s Deepening Crisis After Earthquake, US Must Heed Citizens on Aid and Political Change by Pierre Esperance, Executive Director of Haiti’s National Human Rights Defense Network, highlights the importance of including in-country voices and understanding the nuances of domestic political contexts when designing humanitarian aid responses.
- Emblematic Cases Expose the Long Road to Justice by Bhavani Fonseka, Senior Researcher and Attorney at Law with the Centre for Policy Alternatives and member of the drafting committee for the National Human Rights Action Plan for Sri Lanka for 2017-2021, examines how entrenched impunity further endangers marginalized communities and offers recommendations for U.N. member states to help facilitate accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
- The Méndez Principles: A New Standard for Effective Interviewing by Police and Others, While Respecting Human Rights by Juan E. Méndez and Vanessa Drummond discusses the Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering (the Méndez Principles), new international guidelines on rights-protecting interview standards developed in response to a 2016 appeal to the U.N. General Assembly by Professor Méndez, then U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture. Professor Méndez and co-author Vanessa Drummond, assistant director of the Anti-Torture Initiative at American University, contributed to a Just Security series by a slate of international authors on the principles named in his honor, which outlines underpinnings of the principles and next steps for turning them into practice.
Democracy and Rule of Law in the United States
With the anniversary of Jan. 6 looming, discussions about the state of democracy and the rule of law in the United States will undoubtedly feature prominently in 2022. Those conversations include issues arising from the attack on the Capitol, as well as voting rights, disinformation, and more. Just Security‘s writers and editors have assembled a collection of resources and analyses on these issues. Here’s a sample:
- The January 6 Clearinghouse features key documents, investigative reports, analyses, and more concerning the attack on the Capitol. Timelines published in 2021 cover the systemic disinformation campaign around Jan. 6, schemes to overturn the 2020 election, official and unofficial timelines of the Department of Defense actions on Jan. 6, #StopTheSteal social media and extremist activities leading to Jan. 6, and President Donald Trump’s actions leading to the attack on the Capitol. A litigation tracker follows pending criminal and civil cases against Trump.
- In the Good Governance Papers, co-organized with Professors Emily Berman and Dakota Rudesill, leading experts explore actionable legislative and administrative proposals to promote non-partisan principles of good government, public integrity, and the rule of law.
- While the United States’ rule of law challenges have accelerated in recent years, many writers have also highlighted the ways in which they are tied to legal exceptionalism in the U.S. response to Sept. 11 and the lack of accountability for the rights abuses that followed. Authors with both personal stories and analytic expertise considered these and other issues in How Perpetual War Has Changed Us — Reflections on the Anniversary of 9/11, a Symposium co-organized with the Reiss Center on Law and Security and published for the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11.
Geopolitics and the International Legal Order
Just Security writers with deep professional expertise in diplomacy and international affairs analyzed some of 2021’s most complex geopolitical topics. Tackling difficult issues with no easy answers, these authors drew on their experience and knowledge to provide nuanced insights into how international policymakers can advance peace, stability, and democracy in the global arena in 2022. Among these articles:
- Expert Backgrounder: How Can The Taliban Be Prevented From Representing Afghanistan In The United Nations? by Larry D. Johnson, who served as U.N. Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, dives deep into the international legal instruments that govern legal recognition at the U.N. and considers options under which Afghanistan’s Taliban regime might not be credentialed.
- System Rivalry: How Democracies Must Compete with Digital Authoritarians by Ambassador Eileen Donahoe (ret.) explains how domestic practices, international norms, and technology interweave in digital governance systems — something that authoritarian governments understand and manipulate to their advantage — and advises on how to build a digital democratic society that offers a genuine alternative to tech authoritarianism.
- The Role of Nuclear Weapons: Why Biden Should Declare a Policy of No First Use by Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. outlines how a policy of no first use could significantly contribute to global peace and stability, even as full nuclear disarmament is a long way off — a suggestion that is particularly timely as the Biden administration prepares to finalize its Nuclear Posture review in early 2022.
- Afghanistan: The Difficult Chapter Ahead by Ambassador Cameron Munter (ret.) looks at the impact of the U.S. withdrawal on U.S. foreign policy and on the situation on the ground in South Central Asia, warning against losing focus on Afghanistan, where a complex power vacuum is just beginning to be filled.
- Escalating Risks on Europe’s Eastern Frontier: Belarus-Poland, Russia-Ukraine, and How the US Can Work With Its Allies by Ambassador Daniel Fried outlines potential strategies that the United States and its allies might deploy in the face of rising Belarusian pressure on Poland and the Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine. This article was published in November 2021; with Russian talk on Ukraine escalating in the weeks since, its insights have only become more necessary and prescient.
Just Security writers examined racial justice in the context of national security, international humanitarian law, public health, migration, policing, and more, contributing to ongoing conversations and justice work that will continue into and beyond 2022.
- A series on the Tulsa Race Massacre included thoughtful contributions from Professors Monica Bell, Stephen Galoob, Charles Henry, Eric Miller, and Warigia Bowman, drawing lessons from the past to inform how the United States should reckon with and combat racial injustice and racial violence going forward.
- Oxford University Press will publish Race & National Security, edited by Professor and Just Security Board Member Matiangai Sirleaf, as the first in a series of volumes on international law and national security developed in partnership with Just Security. The volume builds on the work done by Professor Sirleaf and a group of leading experts in Just Security’s 2020 Racing National Security Symposium.
- As the world deals with yet another Covid variant wave, Professor Sirleaf’s article, Omicron: The Variant that Vaccine Apartheid Built, highlights how global racial justice is integral to public health. The concluding line of the article offers a particularly timely takeaway as we move into the new year: “If the ongoing pandemic and the emergence of Omicron and other variants is going to teach us anything, the lesson must be that until we are all safe, none of us are safe.”