Month: November 2016

Digital India: Less Cash, but not Cashless

The past month has seen historic events in India. On Tuesday 8 November 2016, the Modi government announced without prior warning that all 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes would be rendered valueless more or less overnight. In effect, this meant immediate withdrawal of the largest bank notes in circulation, and issuance of new notes… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 47

Dear Readers, please note that there will be no news update next week. We will be back on Sunday December 11 with a two-week TWISS update for week 48 and 49.   Monday 21 November A contingent of 350 Japanese peacekeepers, with a mandated to use force to protect UN staff and aid workers, arrived… Read more »

Get to Know Your Data Double!

We all have a “data double”. But how well do you really know this other aspect of your identity? Unless you know what your entirely digital identity looks like, you should take responsibility for finding out and, at the same time, contribute to a digital drive to ensure that we all gain better control over… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 46

Monday 14 November Japan approved a plan to deploy a new contingent of Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force troops, authorized to conduct rescue missions in South Sudan. Critics claim the move risks pulling Japanese soldiers into overseas fighting for the first time since World War Two. Clashes between SPLA (IO) forces loyal to, respectively, Riek Machar… Read more »

Why Trump Is Bad News for Gender Equality in Foreign Policy

While 2015 was in many ways a year of celebration for women’s participation in international politics, 2016 on the other hand seems to be a year of disappointments. What will happen to women’s participation and gender equality in foreign policy when Donald Trump becomes the next President of the United States? 2015 – a year… Read more »

Democratic Intervention?

Donald Trump has made statements sceptical of military interventions in the Middle East. This is perhaps a rare piece of good news. Military intervention as a means of building democracy has once again become a hot topic. The Norwegian government has been criticized due to the consequences of the intervention in Libya. Hillary Clinton has… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 45

Monday 7 November Kenyan aid workers who allegedly were arrested in Akobo, Jonglei State, by SPLM (IO) field commanders and governors have been released. The reported number of released aid workers varies between 25-75. Ten civilians were wounded in an attack by unknown gunmen, assumedly attempting to target SPLA soldiers in Bentiu, Unity State. Tuesday… Read more »

Myths About War and Violence

‘Calculations made by a former president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, with the assistance of historians from a number of countries, show that since 3600 BC, the world has known only 292 years of peace. Since 650 BC, there have been 1,656 arms races. Sixteen of them ended in economic collapse, the… Read more »

What This Election Means for US Foreign Policy

The resonance of this U.S. election campaign is truly enormous, in every corner of the world. But despite much disgust about the mudslinging, it is not necessarily all that negative. Observers everywhere may be astounded that a candidate so arrogantly ignorant in international affairs could gather so much support, but that has also given them… Read more »

The Victims of War: Light at the End of the Tunnel?

In making the choice between pessimism and optimism, it may be a risky business to lean on everyday news. Let us rather have a look at figures that reveal more long-term tendencies.   Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature, published in 2011, painted an optimistic picture of mankind emerging from its violent… Read more »