Author: Tore Wig

Putin May Fall

We can be pretty sure that the likelihood of both a coup and a revolution in Russia is significantly higher today than it was a couple of months ago. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looks like becoming a historic event with far-reaching consequences. Alongside the loss of human life and devastation in Ukraine, the Russian economy… Read more »

We Shouldn’t Be Surprised by Putin’s Invasion

The wheel of history is now in motion. Russia’s gruesome attack on Ukraine disrupts one of the most significant trends in the history of nation states, namely the astounding absence of large-scale wars of invasion and occupation in Europe since the end of World War II. For many years, peace researchers have pointed out that… Read more »

Democracy Works, Even in Weak States

Political scientists have long assumed that a strong state is a prerequisite for a well-functioning democracy. Recent research suggests that this assumption is wrong. “Building a modern democratic state in Afghanistan where the government’s writ runs uniformly throughout the country implies a timeframe of many years, indeed decades,” wrote the former American Secretary of State… Read more »

The United States Must Be Viewed as a Flawed Democracy at Significant Risk of Transitioning into Dictatorship

A study of flawed democracies and semi-dictatorships describes a common pattern of events as follows: After having lost an election, the sitting president claims that the election was invalid, whereupon he attempts a coup d’état and his supporters storm the parliament. A few years ago, this sequence of events would have been unthinkable in any… Read more »

Erna Solberg as dictator?

Seen in hindsight: was Norwegian democracy actually in peril for a few days in mid-March 2020? This piece is part of our blog series Beyond the COVID Curve. COVID-19 has quickly changed everything from our daily routines, to the policies of governments, to the fortunes of the global economy. How will it continue to shape… Read more »

This may be the largest wave of nonviolent mass movements in world history. What comes next?

Around the globe, mass nonviolent protests are demanding that national leaders step down. Evo Morales, Bolivia’s three-term leftist president, is the latest casualty of mass demonstrations, after being abandoned by the military. Beyond Bolivia, people are rising up against their governments in places as varied as Chile, Lebanon, Ecuador, Argentina, Hong Kong, Iraq and Britain. This follows remarkable protests in Sudan and Algeria… Read more »

Decolonization Gone off the Rails

This summer we have had the opportunity to read about the campaign to ‘decolonize academia’: the call to improve the representation of non-Western voices in the curricula of Norwegian educational institutions. The supporters of this campaign justify it on the basis that it will challenge ways of thinking in the sciences and humanities that were… Read more »

New Mapping of Children Affected by Armed Conflict

This weekend, decision-makers from all over the world will come together to discuss current and future security challenges at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), which has become the major global forum for discussion of security policy. At the conference, Save the Children will launch its new report The War on Children: Time to End Grave… Read more »