An overview of research projects of the Sen Foundation.

Recent Publications

  • Alleviation of Poverty
    • Milleniumdoel 2: Alle kinderen naar school

      May 2016Sen FoundationJacintha van der Plas, Msc.Dutch

      Zo luidt Millenniumdoel 2, opgesteld in de Millenniumverklaring van 2000, om wereldwijd voor 2015 de grote problemen op het gebied van onderwijs aan te pakken (NCDO, In ontwikkelingslanden gaan miljoenen kinderen niet naar school. Zij worden thuis gehouden om een bijdrage te leveren aan het gezinsinkomen en het huishouden. Verplicht en toegankelijk basisonderwijs is een belangrijk middel in de strijd tegen armoede. Onderwijs geeft kinderen kennis en hiermee de kans zich verder te ontwikkelen. Zo krijgen zij meer kansen voor de toekomst.

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      Alle kinderen naar school - Millenniumdoel 2
    • Best practices to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights.

      December 2016The Hague University of Applied SciencesLucie KranefeldEnglish

      This research analyses possible approaches for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in weak states with high natality and severe poverty, such as Niger. Which course of action is the most effective in encouraging sustainable population growth.

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      Best practices to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights.
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  • Climate and Ecology
    • Plastic soep

      January 2014Sen FoundationJacintha van der Plas, Msc.Dutch

      Oceanograaf Charles Moore voer in 1997 met zijn catamaran van Hawaï naar Californië via de golfstroom van de Grote Oceaan. Dit gedeelte van de Grote Oceaan is relatief windstil en wordt daarom door de meeste zeilers gemeden. Moore ontdekt in het oostelijk deel van de golfstroom een fenomeen dat later de naam ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’1 zou krijgen, ofwel ‘plastic soep’. Wat hij zag was een enorme hoeveelheid drijvend afval, veelal plastic. In het gebied bleek een enorme plastic soep te drijven, samengesteld uit allerlei soorten afval: visnetten, petflessen, flessendopjes, tandenborstels en ook minuscuul kleine plastic deeltjes die hem, ironisch genoeg, aan minestronesoep deden denken.

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      Plastic Soep
    • Algae Farming

      April 2013Sen FoundationTamás JuracsekEnglish

      Algae is not yet a well-known source for the needs of humans. In the last decades however, increasing numbers of people see the advantages of this very versatile organism. Scientists across the world are trying to develop different techniques to use algae for food, fodder, medicine, bio fuel or environmental purification. How can algae help solve the water and food shortage especially in the poorer countries?

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      Algae Farming by Tamas Juracsek
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  • Economy and Finances
    • Lessons from Ukraine

      January 2017University of LeidenBarboutev, I.K.English

      This study aims to examine the impact of IMF programs in Ukraine during the period between 1994 and 2002. Many questions have been raised about the effectiveness of IMF-backed adjustment programs. Some Ukrainian politicians and academics have been eager to blame the Fund for Ukraine’s transition woes. Actually, the IMF helped Ukraine to limit its severe economic trouble.

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      Lessons from Ukraine
    • Oil Smuggling and the Greek Crisis

      August 2014Bridging EuropeVasileios P. KarakasisEnglish

      The report describes how the fuel market works in Greece. It pays special attention to oil smuggling that has become dominant in the Greek economy. The report concludes with measures that should be taken to improve the income of Greece.

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      Oil Smuggling and the Greek Crisis
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  • Migration and Integration
    • Right-wing populism in Dutch border areas

      May 2018University of LeidenJavid IbadEnglish

      In the last decades, Europe was experiencing a considerable increase of right-wing populist parties. The maps of the electoral results show an intriguing puzzle. Radical right parties were more successful at the border constituencies

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      Right-wing populism support in the Dutch national borders by Javid Ibad
    • Explaining Germany’s refugee policy change in 2015 in comparison with the Netherlands

      April 2017University of LeidenKathinka Luisa GaessEnglish

      This research explores the extent to which Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) explains the difference in the asylum policy approaches of Germany and the Netherlands during 2015. Both countries had been conducting restrictive asylum policies during the past 20 years. However, in 2015, at the peak of the European refugee crisis, Germany abruptly transformed its approach to refugees into an open-door policy while the Netherlands continued with its restrictive approach. This led to a remarkable difference in the number of asylum seekers both countries received in 2015; a divergence which served as a point of departure for this research. This paper mainly focuses on the case study of Germany’s asylum policy.

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      Explaining Germany’s refugee policy change in 2015
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  • Other
    • De effecten van directe democratie – Een analyse van twee nationale referenda in Nederland

      July 2016University of LeidenMerle PrastDutch

      In western democracies there are signs of a democratic recession, there is a decline in political participation levels, and there is little trust in governing institutions. In response, a popular remedy that is often proposed by scholars and politicians is direct democracy. As direct democracy allows citizens to directly vote on questions, it is argued that it has the potential to increase the political participation of citizens and decrease political dissatisfaction. The goal of this thesis is to research whether these claimed effects about direct democracy are observed when analysing two national referenda in the Netherlands.

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      De effecten van directe democratie - Een analyse van twee nationale referenda in Nederland
    • The Singaporean Development Model

      2014Sen FoundationVictor MaertensEnglish

      Singapore gained full independence in 1965. This young state propelled itself from a considerably poor state with few natural resources into one of the most efficient and rich states on the globe. A centre of industry and education, Singapore can be seen by many as a role model for development. Can Singapore’s success be replicated elsewhere and be used as a new framework for developing countries to employ?

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      The Singaporean Development Model
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  • Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention
    • Building Peace


      This file contains the content from the Building Peace Symposium.

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      Building Peace

    • The UN Stand-by High Readiness Brigade

      June 2017 University of AmsterdamBjörn Stenholm Dutch and German

      De UN Stand-by High-Readiness Brigade [SHIRBRIG] was een initiatief van Denemarken in 1995 en had ten doel om parate slagkracht te creëren ten bate van Peace Keeping operaties van de Verenigde Naties. De voornaamste aanleiding tot de oprichting van SHIRBRIG was de genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Als permanente standplaats voor een hoofdkwartier wees men de 30 kilometer ten Noorden van Kopenhagen gelegen Garder-kazerne te Høvelte aan. 

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      The UN Stand-by High Readiness Brigade
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  • Security
    • Reading into the Turkish behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean

      2016in Groen, Adriaan in 't, Roon Charlotte de & Slaman, Pieter (eds.) Leids-Haags Allegorieen Lexicon, Delft: Eburon, pp. 71-78Vasileios P. KarakasisEnglish

      In 2010 an important amount of gas reserves was detected off the southern part of the island of Cyprus. The authorities of the Republic of Cyprus provided licenses to energy companies to start drilling in the region. Turkey reacted against these developments by dispatching its own seismic vessels escorted by frigates. This raised serious security concerns and increased the possibility of the escalation of this dispute into an armed conflict, especially in 2011 and 2014. This chapter sheds light on Turkey’s security concerns around the island of Cyprus. What are the main stimulants that prompted the Turkish course of action in these two cases in the way they did? What is the mélange of fears, interests and ideas at play? The purpose of this paper is to figure out the stakes for Turkish foreign policy around the island of Cyprus. Although the official line adopted by the Turkish officials has been that the seismic vessel they dispatched at the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at the protection of the Turkish Cypriot rights on the natural resources of the island, the author assumes that the stakes for Turkey move beyond that. Economic calculations, fears and security considerations with respect to Turkey’s role in the region will be analyzed.

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      Reading into the Turkish behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean
    • Energy Security and the Cyprus Question: “Securitization” of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean

      2015IAPSS Political Science Journal, Vol. 27(1), pp. 5-35 (peer-reviewed)Vasileios P. KarakasisEnglish

      In February 2014, Nikos Anastasiades, the President of the Republic of Cyprus and Dervis Eroglu, the Turkish-Cypriot leader, signed a Joint Declaration that established certain “ground-rules” upon which the then stalled peace talks -aiming at the island’s reunification could be revived. The main stimulant prompting this evolution was the discovery of new energy sources in the Eastern Mediterranean, and especially offshore the RoC. In October 2014, Turkish navigational warning notified mariners that Turkey would soon perform its seismic surveys in sea areas that encroach on Cyprus’s EEZ, raising concerns on the escalation of the intractable and protracted Cyprus conflict. Aim of this research project is to provide readers with an insight on how the flow between energy and power politics is played out in the Eastern Mediterranean. Suggesting that the existing tensions extend beyond the struggle over the existing material energy assets in the seabed of the Levant Basin, the project casts light upon the notion of energy security by setting forth the indicators it is composed of. While scrutinizing the statements of the leaders on these events and seeking to highlight the security discourses they are coming up with, the project resorts to discourse analysis.

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      Energy Security and the Cyprus Question- “Securitization” of Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean
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  • Speeches and (Media) Articles
    • Insecurity and Common Interests in Security

      March 2016OSCEJoris VoorhoeveEnglish

      Much of what is wrong in our world has a common cause: the abuse of political, economic, military and media power. Full rule of law curbs the perennial inclination of the powerful to abuse the powers entrusted to them. Are governments seeking to serve the well-being of their citizens, or are government leaders seeking less elevated personal goals? Do they restrict or eliminate their critics, upset the international status quo, change borders, or create confrontation, encouraging nationalism to solidify popular support in the short run? The latter approach fuels military expenditure and conflict and harms the long-term interests of countless people.

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      Insecurity and Common Interests in Security
    • Reflections on Good Governance

      December 2016Sen FoundationJoris VoorhoeveEnglish

      Good governance improves human rights. Full implementation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights is the highest goal. The UN treaties on human rights specify all. The best system of government is free representative democracy. Illiberal democracy, populist direct democracy, referendum democracy, theocracy and autocracy do not lead to good government.

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      Reflections on Good Governance
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Click here to see all the books

  • Veilige Gebieden (Safe Areas)

    July 1, 2015 Joris Voorhoeve

    In 1995, the enclave of Srebrenica, which the UN declared to be a ‘safe area’ during the war in the former Yugoslavia, was overrun by Serb troops. Srebrenica counted about 40.000 Bosnians. The UN Blue Helmets from the Netherlands who had been stationed there were unable to defend the area. The aggressors, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, killed many thousands of Bosnian men. About 7500 persons are still missing. Many of them were found dead in mass graves in the following years.

    How could this atrocity have been prevented? What was the role of the Netherlands Blue Helmets, the UN and the allies? This mass murder gives rise to many questions.  In this book, Joris Voorhoeve added new material to the many existing studies. The book also investigated fourteen other cases of very vulnerable concentrations of civilians and refugees who faced serious risks of mass murder in different countries and regions.

    The purpose of the book is to help design better ‘safe area’ policies of the UN, based on the failures of the past. The book draws fifty important policy conclusions to that end. The author, who served in the Netherlands Cabinet at the time, concludes that timely use of air power is the crucial means to save such population groups. His hypothesis is, that in the case of Srebrenica the UN Secretary-General was unwilling to keep promises to the Netherlands Government that adequate air power would assist the lightly armed and small group of peacekeepers, was a crucial omission. Also, Britain and France had agreed with the US not to apply air power against the Serb military at that time. The enclave fell due to lack of support.

    The contents of this book were the subject of an hour-long prime-time television documentary in 2015. This was followed by an official investigation, ordered by the Netherlands Cabinet, into the policies of the three allies. Unwillingness to share intelligence files of that time led to an inconclusive debate, which cast doubt on the assumption that lack of air power was crucial. The author maintains this assumption, however.
    The book can be purchased here.

    Amsterdam: Atlas-Contact, 424 pages, price: € 21,99

  • Negen plagen tegelijk

    October 2, 2013 Joris Voorhoeve

    How can we survive the future if climate change, civil wars and conflict over resources increase the tensions in the world? One out of seven persons is suffering from hunger. Meanwhile, the world population is growing. The interdependency between the growing consumption of the rich and poverty and corrupt administrations in third world countries, as well as the spread of weapons and new diseases will become disastrous if policies don’t improve. In Negen Plagen Tegelijk, Joris Voorhoeve explains what citizens can do and how the Netherlands might be able to contribute. He also describes how the European Union and the UN can approach major challenges. Stories of people who fight for better policies show that inspiring persons can make a big difference. They encourage the reader to confront the threats and challenges of the 21st century.

    The Dutch version of the book, Negen Plagen, can be found here:
    Negen plagen tegelijk – Joris Voorhoeve