Month: May 2019

Will There Be Peace in Westeros?

In my last Game of Thrones blog post I looked into whether there were any similarities between the War of the Five Kings and modern war in the real world. I found a surprisingly large number of similarities. Now that we have seen the end GoT, and we know who sits on the (non)-Iron Throne… Read more »

Pitfalls, Policy, and Promise of the UN’s approach to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and the New Resolution 2467

Since 2012, April has been the traditional month of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) open debate to discuss the annual Secretary-General’s report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. And while for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) community it is always a major event on the calendar, with the prospect of a US veto of a… Read more »

The Battles over Peace in Afghanistan

The battles over leadership of the peace process in Afghanistan are intensifying. It seems increasingly likely that there will be a peace agreement, in one form or other, between the United States and the Taliban. But an Afghan peace settlement that is not based on dialogue between parties within Afghanistan – between the Taliban and… Read more »

Inspiration from a Father: Johan Galtung Interviewed by Henrik Urdal

The Second World War had a lasting effect on me. Especially because my beloved father was imprisoned at Grini (west of Oslo). And we were informed that every time there was a British bombing, prisoners would be shot. So, every night the air raid siren went, my mother and I would run out to the… Read more »

Safeguarding women after disasters: some progress, but not enough

Hundreds of Mozambicans were killed and thousands made homeless recently by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. Almost immediately, there were reports of a sadly familiar story: women being forced to trade sex for food by local community leaders distributing aid. Globally, international organisations appear to be grappling with the issue more seriously than before. Yet reports about sexual exploitation keep coming. How… Read more »

Climate Adaptation as a Pathway to Conflict Mitigation

Climate change has the potential to increase violent conflict risk. This suggests the need for a specified subfield of peacebuilding research and practice to address this issue. Environmental peacebuilding is growing in prominence among scholars and practitioners, even though the debate as to how much climate change increases conflict risk is not yet settled. This… Read more »

Could Peace Talks in Afghanistan Fail Before They Really Begin?

Is the peace process in Afghanistan already in serious trouble? Talks continue in Doha between the US and the Taliban – which is good. The Loya Jirga – dedicated to peace and reconciliation – has concluded, but with a number of prominent politicians abstaining. In Moscow a significant group of prominent Afghan politicians met in… Read more »

SIPRI says that Russia keeps cutting its military spending, but the margin of error keeps widening

Military force remains the instrument of choice in Russian policy-making, yet the expenditures on its building keeps going down. This paradoxical picture comes out of the recent estimate by our sister-institution Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which is eagerly picked up by the Russian media. SIPRI methodology is long-established and respected by experts, but… Read more »