Unarmed Protests Force Leaders from Power Twice as Often as Violent Uprisings

  Research lends support to the Nobel Committee’s rationale for its award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015; the revolution in Tunisia shows how non-violent protest can assist in democratization. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet came as a surprise to most observers. But the committee’s rationale –… Read more »

A Predicted Tragedy

The last time that the Palestinians staged a collective uprising in anger and frustration was in 2000. Why is there a new wave of violence now? The Palestinians have been betrayed by everyone: by their own leaders, by Israel, and by the international community. Their sense of hopelessness has bred the recent uncoordinated knife attacks…. Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 43

Monday 19 October The Government of South Sudanese stated it rescued 50 police and civilians from rebel groups in Western Equatoria. Tuesday 20 October Security for aid workers in South Sudan has sharply deteriorated, as there have been increased incidences of violence, particularly a new trend of sexual violence. IGAD appointed former president of Botswana, Festus Gontebanye… Read more »

When Internet Access Becomes a Weapon

Social Media has rightly been celebrated as an empowering tool for ordinary citizens to mobilize against repressive rulers, and make marginalized voices heard. But a crucial question remains unanswered: why should power-hungry states, with de facto control over access to the Internet, impassively concede to defeat?   The simple answer is: they do not. Behind the… Read more »

Can an Economic Boom Ensure Peaceful Elections in Côte d’Ivoire?

On Oct. 25, Ivorians head to the polls for their first presidential election since the disputed 2010 election that left more than 3,000 dead and more than 500,000 displaced. Despite the previous electoral violence and a decade of civil war and political turmoil from 2000-2010, most discussion before this election has been about the country’s… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 42

Monday 12 October UPDF to withdraw from South Sudan: Government of Uganda: ‘Press statement: UPDF withdrawal from South Sudan Oct 12th 2015’ BBC: ‘Ugandan army confirms it will leave South Sudan’ Reuters: ‘Uganda says to start troop exit from South Sudan’ The Wall Street Journal: ‘Uganda to withdraw troops from South Sudan’ SPLA (IO) accused… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 41

Monday 5 October The repartition of South Sudan into 28 new states: In a joint statement, the Troika urged Salva Kiir to delay the repartition of South Sudan until the Transitional Government of National Unity is formed. South Sudan opposition politicians and legal experts questioned the legality of the repartition order issued last week by President… Read more »

Russia’s Syrian Entanglement: Can the West Sit Back and Watch?

For observers who are confined by the boundaries of conventional strategic sense, every day of Russia’s military intervention in Syria brings fresh surprises. Indiscriminate strikes against Turkey-backed and CIA-trained opposition groups (which could not possibly be mistaken for ISIS) were followed by deliberate violations of Turkey’s airspace, and then by the spectacular cruise missile salvo… Read more »

Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet – Immediate Thoughts on the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

The choice of the Tunisian quartet as the receiver of the Nobel peace prize is surprising, but by no means unreasonable. Unlike the case of US President Barack Obama, who received the prize for his intentions rather than his achievements, this time, the prize is awarded to politicians who are in the midst of a… Read more »

Santos and Jiménez: Fraternal Enough?

Celebration. The best work for fraternity during the precedent year. Abolition of standing armies. The formation and spreading of peace congresses. Conferring the greatest benefit on (hu)mankind. These where the elements that Alfred Nobel had in his mind when he imagined a peace prize. These elements combined in extraordinary manners should embody Alfred Nobel´s spirit… Read more »