Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Killing the ‘Robots-don’t-Rape’ Argument

Earlier this spring, we debated a law professor who insisted that lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS) could clean up war. The professor posited that a war fought with autonomous weapons would be a war without rape. Taking humans out of the loop would, the argument goes, lead to more humane war. We find this narrative, where… Read more »

The “Resister’s Toolkit”

In his article in the May 2015 issue of APSR, Evgeny Finkel makes a splash by arguing that exposure to “selective repression” (such as surveillance, beatings, arrests, and torture) helps dissidents to develop a robust skill set with which to maintain enduring resistance later on. He supports this argument with data from an unlikely case—Nazi… Read more »

Surprising Trends Uncovered in New Homicide Visualization

PRIO is a partner in a new global homicide monitor that has just been published. Hosted by the  Igarapé Institute in Brazil, the monitor presents counts and estimates of global homicide over the period 2000-2014 and is intended to provoke reflection and stimulate debate. The Monitor reports 437,000 homicides in 2012, the last year for which global… Read more »

The Victory of Mustafa Akıncı in Northern Cyprus gives Hope to Turkish Cypriots of a Better Future

Northern Cyprus held the second round of its presidential election on 26 April, with Mustafa Akıncı defeating the incumbent President, Derviş Eroğlu. Rebecca Bryant writes on what the result of the election might mean for the people of northern Cyprus and future negotiations with the Greek Cypriot-controlled Republic of Cyprus. She notes that while Akıncı’s victory has… Read more »

Who’s Afraid of “Waging Nonviolence”?

Since at least 2011, the Chinese government has censored numerous websites on the topic of nonviolent resistance, including websites for the Albert Einstein Institution, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, an online bibliography of scholarship of nonviolent action, and the website for the NAVCO data project, among others. A month ago, the Chinese government allegedly… Read more »

Four Things Everyone should know about Wartime Sexual Violence

Later this week, ministers from more than 140 countries, along with an estimated 1,500 invited delegates, are gathering in London for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. The summit — the largest gathering of its type — is co-chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the actress Angelina Jolie, in her… Read more »

Activists, Authorities and the Problem of Telling the Difference

Discussion about who killed Anna Mae Aquash of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s raises some interesting thoughts regarding what takes place when governments and challengers square off against one another. Underlying most research on the topic and popular understanding is the idea that governments and challengers represent different sides of a conflict –… Read more »

Rwanda, Remembrance and Research: Or, How Rwandan Violence Taught Me to Embrace Subnational/Disaggregated Conflict Studies and Integral Conflict Research

Fourteen years ago I began a journey to understand the political violence that took place in Rwanda during the year of 1994. Toward this end, I brought with me the skills that I had at that time: 1) an interest in media as well as government-generated data and content analysis, 2) an approach that was… Read more »

Female Empowerment in DR Congo

In January 2014 PRIO researchers Gudrun Østby and Ragnhild Nordås went on a two-week fieldtrip to Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu, DRC. The main purpose of the visit was to launch the new collaborative project, “Female Empowerment in Eastern DRC”, funded by the Research Council of Norway. This project is based on a partnership… Read more »