With Ukraine going strong, Putin becomes lost in the fog of hybrid war

Last weekend (November 21), Ukraine marked the first anniversary of the EuroMaidan—the public protests in Kyiv that lasted through the hard winter of discontent and brought down the corrupt regime of Viktor Yanukovych on February 21. As its war for state survival continues to rage, the country is in no mood for street festivities. Nevertheless,… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 47

Monday 17 November Human rights and policy organizations criticized the continued failure to count victims of South Sudan’s conflict – in particular the number of war dead – calling it a ‘scandal’ and ‘dishonor.’ Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, hosted reconciliation talks in Kampala, with South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and the SPLM-G10, led by John… Read more »

An Independent Iraqi Kurdistan?

A change of prime minister will not resolve Iraq’s structural problems, and while a dysfunctional Iraqi state is reeling from onslaughts by Islamic extremists, the Iraqi Kurds in the north of the country have never been stronger. Even so, we are very unlikely to see an independent Iraqi Kurdistan in the immediate future. Behind the… Read more »

Research Under Fire: Researcher Trauma and Conflict Studies

Political scientists debate whether the world is getting more violent or less. Regardless of where you situate yourself in this discussion, it does seem that social scientists are putting themselves into more violent situations than ever before. Especially within the field of political violence and conflict studies, students and scholars travel to active conflict and… Read more »

Global Aspects of Women’s Political Participation

In the wake of World War II three major political trends have formed international development; the human rights revolution, the diffusion of democracy, and the growing acceptance of gender equality. All three trends have contributed to significant increases in women’s participation, representation and influence. Yet great contrasts persist in women’s ability to exercise the rights… Read more »

Fake Syria Video

Last week a video surfaced on YouTube which showed children being fired upon in a battleground in Syria. It shows a boy rescuing a girl from what looks like certain death. Dubbed the ‘hero boy’ video it was rapidly shared on social media and by the end of the week had been viewed millions of… Read more »

Peace Processes Need Women

International peace processes are dominated by men and men’s perspectives. In general the approaches used have changed little in many decades. The focus is invariably on bringing the conflicting parties to the negotiating table, where their claims to power and strategic positions are renegotiated and defined. Amnesties for brutal attacks on civilian populations have been… Read more »

WWII Celebration Plans by Putin and Xi to Score Points

Russian and Chinese presidents aim to divide US and allies, including Japan, with WWII celebration. When Chinese President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, he stated that “Japan must look at history squarely and more towards the future.” Xi’s carefully selected words were taken from… Read more »