Month: April 2015

Rogozin’s escapade grows into a political crisis

It was entirely possible for the Russian Foreign Ministry to downplay the minor scandal around Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin surprise visit to Spitsbergen, but instead the choice was for making a full-blown crisis. It was quite embarrassing for the Norwegian authorities that they learned about Rogozin’s arrival to Longyearbyen and excursion to Barentsburg from… Read more »

Is Boko Haram a Roving Bandit?

In recent months, Boko Haram has devastated a number of communities across a vast swath of Northern Nigeria, and even reaching into Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Although Boko Haram has some territorial control in the border regions near Lake Chad, its attacks do not occur in a consistent geographic area, but rather devastate communities with… Read more »

Everybody is afraid of our vastness

Not a word about the Arctic could be found in the transcript of President Vladimir Putin annual Q&A session, perhaps except the rather abstract assertion that “everybody is afraid of our vastness”  (, April 16). It is certainly not the vastness as such, but rather the vast increase of Russian military activities that prompted the five… Read more »

Islam and Conflict

The number of civil wars worldwide has fallen in recent years, but meanwhile the number of civil wars in Muslim countries is increasing. From early on in the 21st century, we have also seen a marked growth in the number of active groups of Islamist insurgents. The media in Western countries focus strongly on terrorism… Read more »

“A year of South Sudan’s third civil war”

The abstract below is from a recently published, peer-reviewed article in International Area Studies Review. The article is based on the output of the Monitoring South Sudan blog over the last year, and takes an empirical look at how  South Sudan’s civil war has evolved since the outbreak in December 2013. The article is written… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 15

Monday 6 April A grenade explosion injured 10 civilians in the IDP camp inside the UN base in Bentiu. A recent Small Arms Survey report questions the neutrality of the South Sudan Democratic Forces (SSDF)-Cobra Faction. The leader of an Ethiopian rebel movement, known as the Ethiopia United Patriots Front (EUPF), dismissed reports alleging his… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 14

Monday 30 March War Economy: South Sudan’s budget for the current fiscal year is twice as much as last year’s oil revenues according to Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau. War Economy: South Sudan has suffered huge production losses, amounting to about 20 million barrels of crude oil as a result of the 15-month shutdown of… Read more »

Beyond Sexual Violence: Gendered Political Insecurity as a Threat to Peace

Based on extensive field research in Colombia, our new article “Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm” examines political insecurity as a specifically gendered harm that must be addressed in the ongoing Colombian transitional justice process.

Emergency Exit for the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The tragedy in Syria bears witness to the deep crisis afflicting the international commitment to the “protection of civilians”. But there is a way out. Against the background of a politically divided Security Council, there is a need for a new international strategy to protect civilians caught up in armed conflicts. The international system for… Read more »

The Hitler Analogy

The Hitler analogy – also known as the Munich analogy – is deployed frequently in political debate. In Munich in 1938, the British prime minister made the historic error of failing to comprehend the extent of the evil represented by Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain signed a peace agreement with Hitler that Hitler never honoured and that… Read more »