Dialogue is Not Enough

Why did Tunisia succeed in reaching a compromise that led to democratic development, while other countries in the region have failed? The answer does not lie in the large numbers of activists and demonstrators. There were also massive crowds protesting against the regimes in countries such as Egypt and Yemen. Nor is the answer an… Read more »

National Dialogues as Self-Mediation Mechanisms

In the last century, peace was far more likely the product of victory on the battlefield than a negotiated settlement. From 1940 until 2002, the world witnessed more than 370 state-based conflicts. At any point in time over the last decade, the world hosted nearly 30 armed conflicts simultaneously — many of them “check book… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 49

Tuesday 1 December The government of South Sudan accuses the SPLA (IO) of killing four government soldiers in an attack on government positions in the town of Bazia in Western Bahr el Ghazal state. The SPLA (IO) later denied the accusations. Nigeria’s government promised to assist South Sudan with setting up a Debt Management Office…. Read more »

Why Not Nuke ISIS?

Last week I received a call from a journalist doing background research for an article.  The journalist wanted to know whether I thought a nuclear weapon could be used against ISIS. I was admittedly surprised at this question.  But apparently the journalist queried me about this issue because others are asking about it as well…. Read more »

What’s Wrong with the Idea that ‘Robots don’t Rape’?

The politics of rape denunciation is fast becoming the politics of lobbyists, vendors and military manufacturers seeking access to new customers and markets. The recognition of wartime rape as a fundamental violation of international law has been a hard-fought victory. Ending rape and other forms of sexual violence in war ought to be a central… Read more »

Attacks on Humanitarian Aid Workers: Five New Findings

More aid workers are being targeted in violent attacks than ever before, but the roots of humanitarian insecurity have nuanced and surprising causes. Syria. Afghanistan. Mali. Central African Republic. Today’s complex conflicts seem to be defined by insurgents, terrorist groups and other violent actors with ideologies that increasingly disregard the rules of war. Over 150,000 people died… Read more »

The Syrian Refugee Crisis & The Two Europes

In the early September days of 2015, for the second time in a quarter century, Hungary became the site of a European refugee drama. In 1989, during the months preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall, hundreds of East Germans trying to flee their “Workers and Peasants State” had besieged the West German embassy in… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 48

Monday 23 November United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants 1,100 additional peacekeepers to be deployed to South Sudan. A surge in violent armed robberies against aid workers in South Sudan over the last month is jeopardizing humanitarian agencies ability to provide assistance. At least three people were killed and two others wounded in a revenge… Read more »