Author: Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

From Wales to Catalonia and Beyond: Gene Sharp and Non-Violent Nationalism

Gene Sharp – a pioneer in the study of non-violent action – died peacefully at the age of 90 on 28 January 2018. Obituaries in many newspapers have highlighted his contributions to the study of non-violent resistance against dictatorial regimes, pointing to how his work inspired the Arab Spring and his reputation as a “dictator’s… Read more »

Grievances, Accommodation, and the Decline of Ethnic Violence

The finding that violent conflict has declined, especially after the Cold War, has generated a great deal of interest. Much of the initial debate focused on whether the claim itself is correct, but the finding itself seems robust in the sense that that the number and severity of violent conflicts has declined in most data… Read more »

Zimbabwe: from Coup to Democratization?

In the early hours of the morning on 15 November, the Zimbabwean military placed President Mugabe under house arrest. The coup against one of the longest serving rulers in Africa appears to have been a reaction to Mugabe’s ouster of his vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, to pave the way for his wife as the successor to… Read more »

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 »

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 »

The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Conflict Spillover

The Syrian refugee crisis has been heartbreaking to watch. According to the United Nations, over 2.4 million people have fled the country, and many more have been displaced internally. This human tragedy has shocked the world’s conscience and has led for appeals for humanitarian relief. However, does the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees… Read more »