Category: Governance

Are Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping Two of a Kind?

Democracy and separation of powers are in decline. In many countries, individuals have taken all the power into their own hands. This is true not least of Russia and China. Vladimir Putin has used his power to invade Ukraine. Recently, Xi Jinping practised encircling Taiwan. Could Xi be as willing to take risks as Putin?

War and the Preference for a Strong Leader

Investigating what kind of leader Ukrainians want. During wars and other crises, people tend to want to be led by a strong, dominant leader. A survey among Ukrainians finds support for the strong leader preference, especially among those who feel more anger and aggression. Current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not seen as particularly dominant, though… Read more »

The Myanmar Military’s Roadmap to Survival

As massive resistance against military rule in Myanmar continues, the besieged military administration lays out three priorities in its strategy to survive. As expected, Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC), also known as the military junta, last week extended the country’s state of emergency for another six months. Along with the extension, SAC Chairman Senior Gen…. Read more »

Should Norway Join the EU? Research on Democracy and Peace Suggests So.

The debate about Norwegian EU membership has gained new life in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Norway has applied for EU-membership on multiple occasions. Charles de Gaulle blocked two applications in the 60s and the Norwegian population voted NO in referendums in 1972 and 1994 despite a clear YES-stance from the government and… Read more »

The UN Security Council Takes Action

The Security Council has played an important function during the war in Ukraine. There is a general perception that the war in Ukraine has caused an existential crisis for the UN and paralyzed the UN Security Council. This perception is incorrect. On the contrary, the Security Council has shown itself to be proactive, flexible and… Read more »

War and the Preference for a Strong Leader: Investigating What Kind of Leader Ukrainians Want

KEY POINTS During wars and other crises, people tend to want to be led by a strong, dominant leader. A survey among Ukrainians finds support for the strong leader preference, especially among those who feel more anger and aggression. Current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not seen as particularly dominant, though he is hugely popular. When… Read more »

A Popular Uprising Can Oust Putin

Putin’s place at the long table in the Kremlin is more insecure than ever, and even though he will cling to power, it is not inevitable that he will succeed. Fears that the so-called colour revolutions will spread to Russia have dogged Putin’s time in power. Colour revolutions in two of Russia’s neighbours, Georgia and… Read more »

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 »

The Taliban, International Law and the Rest of the World

The population of Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. Twenty-three million Afghans, more than half of the population, are starving. The UN warns of a risk that a million Afghan children will die. In this situation, there is no way of avoiding cooperation with those in control of the country, namely the Taliban, in order to… Read more »

Why Putin is Losing – The Weakness of Personalist Dictatorship

When personalistic dictators go to war, they are more likely to miscalculate and lose than leaders of other types of regimes. Such failures can have dramatic consequences for the stability of their regime at home, as well as for the rest of the world. Russia’s grotesque invasion of Ukraine is one of the most horrific… Read more »