Author: Nils Petter Gleditsch

Rudy Rummel – a Many-Faceted Scholar

From mathematics to democide Rudolph J Rummel always published just as RJ Rummel but was well known in the profession as Rudy. He was a man of many talents, and to some of his readers he may also have seemed to present many different faces. He came from a broken home, yet became a devoted… Read more »

The East Asian Peace – Two New Books

Two books were launched earlier this week from the East Asian Peace (EAP) program at Uppsala University, led by Stein Tønnesson of PRIO and Uppsala University. One is a monograph by the program director, Stein Tønnesson, Explaining the East Asian Peace, the other a volume edited by Elin Bjarnegård & Joakim Kreutz, Debating the East Asian… Read more »

A Tourist in Search of the Real Cuba

After traveling in Cuba for two weeks, I sit down to reflect: What is Cuba? A socialist laboratory for Che Guevara’s ‘New Man’? A vast outdoor museum of Spanish colonial architecture? An extraordinary collection of sixty-year old American gas-guzzling automobiles? A zoo for humans (excellent health care, low infant mortality, high life expectancy, cheap housing,… Read more »

Replication in International Relations

The integrity of science is threatened in many ways – by direct censorship; by commercial, political, or military secrecy; by various forms of publication bias; by exorbitant journal subscription fees that effectively deny access to the general public; by cheating and falsification of results; and by sloppiness in the research process or the editorial process… 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 »

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 »

Oh my, not another ‘Festschrift’!

Eight years ago, I wrote a short piece for a Norwegian science policy journal lampooning the Festschrift as an outmoded form of academic communication. The Festschrift, I can hear some of my non-Scandinavian readers ask: Are such volumes still being published? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Of course, it is largely a self-financing enterprise. In… Read more »

The Fire in the House of Islam

Generally speaking, the global map of conflict is increasingly shaped by armed conflicts involving Muslims on one side or the other, or on both. Are Muslim countries particularly belligerent? Is the religion to blame? Despite the numerous items of bad news delivered by the mass media on a daily basis, a global overview of armed… Read more »

Fifty Years Since the Selma March

Yesterday, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, President Obama and over 100 members of the US Congress celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march in Selma, a turning-point in the non-violent civil rights movement. President Obama was introduced by John Lewis, who with Hosea Williams and others led the march fifty years ago… Read more »