Research

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, www.NCDO.nl). In ontwikkelingslanden gaan miljoenen kinderen niet naar school. Zij worden thuis gehouden om een bijdrage te leveren aan het gezinsinkomen en het huishouden te ondersteunen. 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 naarmate zij ouder worden. Zo wordt hun arbeidspositie beter en krijgen zij meer kansen voor de toekomst.

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      Alle kinderen naar school - Millenniumdoel 2
    • What are the best practices to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights more effectively, in order to encourage more balanced and sustainable population growth in countries like Niger?

      December 2016The Hague University of Applied SciencesLucie KranefeldEnglish

      This research serves the purpose of exploring, analyzing, and advising on the existing and possible approaches for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in weak states with high natality and low social securities, such as Niger, with reference to Rutgers’ experiences in SRHR projects. The ultimate goal is to find out which courses of actions are the most effective in increasing SRHR and encouraging sustainable population growth for countries like Niger.

      The central research question of this study is formulated as following: What are the best practices to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights more effectively, in order to encourage more balanced and sustainable population growth in countries like Niger?

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      What are the best practices to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights more effectively, in order to encourage more balanced and sustainable population growth in countries like Niger?
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  • Climate and Ecology
    • Plastic soep

      January 2014Sen FoundationJacintha van der Plas, Msc.Dutch

      Het is het jaar 1997. Oceanograaf Charles Moore vaart in zijn 15 meter lange 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. The aim of this paper is to show how algae can be used. How can algae help solve the water and food shortage especially in the developing world?

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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. 9 After the efficacy of the Fund’s reforms is evaluated, I will attempt to scrutinize whether the economic impact observed was mainly a result of the IMF’s conditionality or of domestic political factors.

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      Lessons from Ukraine
    • Oil Smuggling as A Variable In The Greek Crisis’ Equation

      August 2014Bridging EuropeVasileios P. KarakasisEnglish

      The report initially describes how the fuel market works in Greece. In doing so, it underlines the problematic aspects of this modus operandi by paying special attention to the phenomenon of oil smuggling that has become dominant in the realm of the Greek economy. The third part will assess the influence that this phenomenon exerts on the taxpayers’ income. The report concludes with certain measures that should be taken in order to tackle this phenomenon.

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      Oil Smuggling as A Variable In The Greek Crisis' Equation
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  • Migration and Integration
    • Explaining Germany’s refugee policy change in 2015 using Kingdon’s Multiple Stream Framework; 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. However, my findings are being compared to a synchronic analysis of the Dutch refugee policy by my colleague Lucia Overpelt.

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      Explaining Germany’s refugee policy change in 2015 using Kingdon’s Multiple Stream Framework; in comparison with the Netherlands
    • Explaining change and stability with Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) in the Netherlands and Germany during the 2015 refugee crisis

      May 2015University of LeidenLucia OverpeltEnglish

      This research investigates the ability of the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) to explain the development of different refugee policy approaches of the Netherlands and Germany during the 2015 refugee crisis. This framework explains that abrupt change occurs when a problem, policy and political streams are coupled at a window of opportunity. When both countries were targeted by a high influx of refugees in 2015, the German government adopted a more welcoming approach, whilst the Dutch government maintained a restrictive approach. By comparing change to non – change windows, this research aims to strengthen the explanatory power of the MSF through a chronologicalreconstruction of events. The research concludes that even though the policy approaches developed into different directions and under different circumstances, the MSF disregards the same contextual and institutional factors to accurately describe this difference.

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      Explaining change and stability with Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) in the Netherlands and Germany during the 2015 refugee crisis
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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. As a referendum is direct-democracy institution, it is looked upon whether the effects of the two referenda corroborate the claims that exist about direct democracy. The key research question that this thesis will seek to address is, then,: to what extent can the claimed effects about direct democracy be observed when analysing two Dutch referenda?

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

      2014Sen FoundationVictor MaertensEnglish

      Younger than the current generation of pensioners, Singapore who gained full independence in 1965 will be celebrating fifty years of independence next year. 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 in the third world as a role model for development. This begs the question, can Singapore’s remarkable success be replicated elsewhere and be used as a new framework for developing countries to employ? Unfortunately, the answer is no. This paper will outline the different facets of the Singaporean state and its development to outline the rationale and the ‘Singaporean model’.

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      The Singaporean Development Model
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  • Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention
    • Russia, Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina, A study of operational codes which may harm peacebuilding

      Spring 2017Leiden UniversityHans van den BergEnglish and Dutch

      Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a beautiful but troubled state that seems to be unable to move on from its past. Political reform, stability and peace are not as sure as many like to think. The country has made great progress, working towards NATO membership and filing an official EU candidacy application. International actors, institutions and organisations seem to be its main obstabcles. Some argue the Office of the High Representative (OHR) is like a governor forcing policies and legislation. Others promote the positive influence of such organisations; guaranteeing peace, stability, implementation of the Dayton Accords and preventing eruption of new hostilities. In my research on BiH I found that two states, Russia and Turkey, exert considerable influence on the Bosniak and Serb segments of BiH. It is their actions and policy which have left me to question what their impact has been on the development of BiH.

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      Russia, Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina, A study of Operational Codes which may harm Peacebuilding
    • 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.

      Please note, this is only a temporary version. As soon as the final version is ready, we will publish it on this website. 

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      The UN Stand-by High Readiness Brigade
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  • Security
    • A Border Crossed: The Dutch and French Approaches to Islamic Radicalisation in Comparative Perspective

      August 2017Leiden UniverstityDelphine MeertensEnglish and Dutch

      International and national security agendas are focused on terrorism and Islamic radicalisation since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York City. The pre-phase to (political) violence is often called ‘radicalisation’. This does not necessarily mean that radical views lead to violence. The religious-inspired terror threat in Europe increased when the civil war erupted in Syria in 2011 and Islamist militants of the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) declared an Islamic ‘caliphate’ over parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. An increased outflow of western Muslim youngsters to the Middle East was the result, who were willing to participate in the armed jihad. The recent terrorist attacks in France, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, among other countries, have proved the severeness of this current threat. European countries seek effective and well-coordinated policies to counter these transboundary problems of radicalisation.

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      Masterthesis Delphine Meertens - 2017 - Een Grens Overschreden - Summary
    • The impact of “policy paradigms” on energy security issues in protracted conflict environments: the case of Cyprus

      2017SocioEconomic Challenges (ARMG Publishing)Vasileios P. KarakasisEnglish

      What are the main policy paradigms that guide the opinion leaders throughout energy security matters within protracted conflict environments? Using the de facto divided island of Cyprus as our single case study, we will deliberately follow grounded theory in order to create conceptual definitions out of rudimentary “working ideas” that involve “protracted conflict environment”, “energy security” and stakes in “decision making”. This research enterprise involves open-ended interviews with the opinion-makers on the Island and “political discourse analysis” that identifies the quintessential aspects of the recently emerged energy debate. 

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      The impact of policy paradigms on energy securits issues

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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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Books

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, 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. Joris Voorhoeve (1945) is a liberal politician. Since 1980, he is professor in international developments at various universities. From 1991 – 1994, he was director of the Clingendael Institute. The succeeding four years he served as Minister of Defense of the Netherlands.

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