Policies work best when they are fair, consistent, and well implemented. Politics work best when they are representative and support effective policy. Principles work best when they are applied to both policy and politics to ensure just outcomes. But when these three interface, we often have tensions and challenges. That has especially been the case in the recent decisions of the Trump Administration relating to separating children from adults crossing the border and also in the recent decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The following provides some perspective on each of these decisions in light of recent policy, political, and principle challenges.
If there has been one issue on which President-elect Donald Trump has been loud and clear, it is his desire to end illegal immigration and deport immigrants here illegally. Every time he has seemed to soften his stance, his most outspoken supporters have jumped in to make sure he clarifies that he has no intention of modifying that position. So what will happen with Trump’s latest indication that he will “work something out” for those 750,000 young people who were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children and were granted temporary legal status by executive action during the Obama years?
Since the 1950s, European leaders have pursued the objective of political and economic integration through the Treaties of Rome, culminating with the Schengen Agreement, which allowed people and commerce to move freely within 26 European Countries without internal border controls. That historical objective is being severally tested as migration of large numbers of refugees from war torn areas of the Middle East and North Africa to Europe continues unabated. Concurrently, European jihadist sympathizers journey unimpeded through European nations to join the Middle East fighting. Now, a backlash is occurring among many citizens of Europe’s nation-states as they confront the trade-off that allows for the free movement of people whose culture, value and customs oftentimes conflict with the majority of those residing within these European nations.
2015 was a significant year for major news stories related to international issues and global justice. Throughout this year we have seen wide scale global concerns on topics ranging from race & religion to violence & terrorism to natural disasters. The following is a summary of my selection of the Top Ten Global News stories and themes for the year based on their international impact and relevance for global justice, but they do not diminish the relevance of the many other significant events and issues raised throughout the year: