Month: May 2014

Thailand’s Fragile Democracy

The traditional elite clings to an outdated world view. But a military coup offers no solution. ​Two days after the military coup in Thailand at least 13 bombs exploded, approximately simultaneously, in the city of Pattani. Three people, including a five-year-old child, were killed, and approximately 60 people injured. On Sunday there were clashes between… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 21

Monday 19 May UNICEF called for financial aid to stop outbreak of cholera in South Sudan. South Sudan government defended involvement of foreign troops in South Sudan. SPLM/A-in-Opposition accused the South Sudan government of raping women in Upper Nile. An international Donor Conference for South Sudan opened in Oslo. Tuesday 20 May Khartoum stated that… Read more »

The Soma Mining Disaster: A Tragedy Foretold

As the rescue operation into Turkey´s worst industrial accident came to end on Saturday, 17 May, the number of dead was confirmed at 301 (of 787) with scores still unaccounted for. PRIO researcher Pinar Tank has published a post the New Middle East Blog 23 May 2014.

Democracy, Democratization, and Political Violence

The process of democratization is often violent in the short run, and democratic governments are more constrained in their use of force against insurgents than non-democratic authorities. But are democracies really more prone to political violence than other political systems? This is the theme of a short article published at the International Relations and Security… Read more »

Business and Peace

These days, the Business for Peace Symposium is happening in Oslo. Business leaders from all over the world are gathered to discuss how business can contribute to peace and hinder conflict. Some of the most distinguished guests have arrived from Cyprus, namely Manthos Mavrommatis, Honorary President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and… Read more »

Edward Snowden: the last Big Brother?

Following last year’s revelations, Edward Snowden seems to be trapped in a role ironically reminiscent of another famous character – George Orwell’s Big Brother. You are being watched. This classical surveillance slogan hides a subtler, and more insidious message: you must believe you are always being watched, and you probably are, but you will never… Read more »

Electing India’s Future

In April, 800 hundred million people began casting their ballots all across India in the largest election the world has ever seen. When we think of voting in India, we often picture a poor elderly villager showing a big ink-stained thumb and boasting a wide smile as proof of democracy in action. But elections in… Read more »

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Issues for the International Community

On May 13-16 a United Nations (UN) expert meeting will discuss ‘questions relating to emerging technologies’ in lethal autonomous weapon systems. Such systems are distinguished by being mobile and selecting targets autonomously without direct human supervision. This type of expert meeting represents the lowest rung of the UN ladder. The Chair of the meeting will simply write… Read more »

Activists, Authorities and the Problem of Telling the Difference

Discussion about who killed Anna Mae Aquash of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s raises some interesting thoughts regarding what takes place when governments and challengers square off against one another. Underlying most research on the topic and popular understanding is the idea that governments and challengers represent different sides of a conflict –… Read more »