Why Did ISIS Attack Sri Lanka?

The terrorist attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday have spawned many questions about the return of violence to Sri Lanka after a 10-year hiatus following the defeat of the Tamil Tiger (LTTE) terrorists in May 2009. The first thing to understand is that the terror attacks have no bearing on… Read more »

ISIS Women Hoping to Return Home Are Met with a Cold Shoulder from State Officials

The media has yet again turned its attention toward the women of ISIS. Currently ISIS only occupies one square kilometre of the so-called caliphate they once had, and as the final battles to regain former ISIS-controlled territory are unfolding, more and more ISIS fighters’ wives or widows have ended up in refugee camps all over… Read more »

Can President Trump Bring Peace to Afghanistan?

The negotiations between the United States and the Taliban may represent the most important turning point in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led intervention. But the path to an internal Afghan peace process is difficult, and only history will tell whether these negotiations marked the onset of a sustainable Afghan peace process or became just a… Read more »

Norway Has Chauvinistic Tunnel Vision When It Comes to Congo. The Country Has Great Possibilities.

On 10 December, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nadia Murad and to Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist. For 10 years though, the Norwegian media and politicians, including the prime minister, have viewed the Democratic Republic of the Congo as Joshua French’s prison.* This view derives from a chauvinistic tunnel vision. We will celebrate… Read more »

The Clash of Guns and Swords: Game of Thrones and Reality

Are there any similarities between the bloody war in Game of Thrones (GoT) and modern conflicts? The battle fields are certainly quite different, and dragons have very little to do with today’s conflicts (although they may allude to weapons of mass destruction). However, if we look beyond the fighting and fantasy, and study the logic… Read more »

Children Born of War Are Not the Enemy. How Can They Be Integrated into Society?

This year, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to the Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and the Iraqi human rights activist, and witness and survivor of human-trafficking, Nadia Murad. These two voices are an extremely important contribution to ongoing efforts to combat war-related sexual violence. We are among the many people who are delighted… Read more »

The Unintended Consequences of Killing Jamal Khashoggi: A Backgrounder on the Yemeni Peace Talks

This week the spotlight is on Sweden and UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths: On Wednesday representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels arrived in Stockholm to find solutions to what the UN described as the ‘worst [humanitarian] crisis in the world’. The Saudi Arabia-led nine-member coalition has been at war with the Yemeni Houthis… Read more »

#HearMeToo: Analyzing Reports to Prevent Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

#HearMeToo is the theme of this year’s 16 days of activism to end violence against women. Responding to this catch-cry, as researchers, there is much we can do to link analysis to a theory of change. Reports of sexual and gender-based violence can deliver protection to victims. But there is also the potential to predict… Read more »

The Other Side of Facebook in Myanmar

Facebook has been making headlines this year with what seems like scandal after scandal, from the Cambridge Analytica data breach to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying in front of the United States Congress as a result. But perhaps one of the most serious scandals has been the social media platform’s role in Myanmar in spreading… Read more »

The Needs, Challenges and Power Dynamics of Refugee Resettlement

This fall, the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) was held in New York. The 193 UN member states gather annually to discuss, and sometimes act upon, global issues. Refugees were on the agenda in 2018, not only because numbers are historically high (25.4 million at the end of 2017) but also because… Read more »