Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan: a Manifesto

Author’s Note: Royalist and republican, Khalqi and Parchami, Soviet Union and the West, communist and Islamist, mujahid and Talib, Hanafi and takfiri, al Qaeda and America, warlord and technocrat, Pashtun and non-Pashtun, Islamic Emirate and Islamic State, KGB, ISI, and CIA – all have for decades carried on an uninterrupted struggle in Afghanistan. Attempts to… Read more »

Women’s Inclusion in the Peace Process in Mali

Women have been marginalized throughout the Malian peace process and their inclusion has received little priority, contrary to UN Security Council resolutions on the involvement of women in peace processes. Although legislation and policy frameworks promoting their inclusion are in place, implementation is lagging behind. Despite difficulties in the Malian peace process, there are opportunities… Read more »

Why Isn’t Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Treated the Same as Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Contexts?

The recent #MeToo hashtag and associated social media storm highlighted the extensiveness of sexual abuse and harassment and the exploitation of women and girls (and in some cases men and boys) by those in positions of power. It showed that the problem does not come down to a few “bad apples”, but is systemic, impacting… Read more »

Nuclear Disarmament and The Nobel Peace Prize

Since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Linus Pauling in 1962, contributions to nuclear disarmament have recurrently been an explicit motivation for granting the Prize.1 According to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the Prize this year for creating new momentum in disarmament efforts by again… Read more »

Information Technology Can Help Build Peace. This Is How.

In a recent episode of the caustic sitcom “Silicon Valley,” the hard-luck start-up protagonists attend a big technology convention. They stumble across an app called PeaceFare, a game that lets players “build peace” on their phones by giving virtual money to virtual homeless people or virtual corn to virtual starving villagers. Launched by a rich entrepreneur… Read more »

East Asian Peace: Telling Japan to be Proud

To a Tokyo audience of Japanese peace practitioners, academics, journalists and diplomats, I recently chose to address the Japanese as East Asians. I had three important messages to convey: You East Asians have a Peace to Defend The East Asian Peace is at Risk Please overcome your differences and aim for an East Asian Security Community… Read more »

Peace Diplomacy: Finding Entry Points for Female Mediators

The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has invested in a network of female mediators to strengthen women’s roles in peace and reconstruction processes. However, it is not just the supply of female mediators that is the problem, but the demand as well. Where can opportunities be found for women to make contributions to these processes?… Read more »

Beyond Recognition to One, Ethical Reassurance to Many

An award can be backward or forward looking; this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is both. By awarding this prize in a moment of crisis for the Colombian peace process, it not only serves as a recognition of past efforts made by individuals, but also rescues an agonizing process and truly encourages further collective efforts for… Read more »

An Impossible Peace

The FARC and the Colombian government deserved to share this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, however, the prize was awarded to only one party. In general we are idiots if we let political correctness govern our views about how the world works. We confuse facts with latent sympathies – a widespread form of intellectual dishonesty,… Read more »

A Bold Choice for the Nobel Peace Prize

The award of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is a bold choice. It rewards President Santos of Colombia for his great political courage, and for his ability to think in a strategic, long-term and principled manner about what is needed to bring peace to his country. Santos is also a “classic” choice for the prize…. Read more »