Category: Regions and Powers

Trump and Threats to Truth, Democracy and Peace

Stein Tønnesson delivered this year’s The Fjord Memorial Lecture  at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer. The lecture discusses Trump’s team of advisors, calls for fighting the increasing use of lies in political campaigning, sees Trump’s election as having weakened democracy worldwide, and perceives a major risk to world peace. Tønnesson ends the lecture… Read more »

A Tourist in Search of the Real Cuba

After traveling in Cuba for two weeks, I sit down to reflect: What is Cuba? A socialist laboratory for Che Guevara’s ‘New Man’? A vast outdoor museum of Spanish colonial architecture? An extraordinary collection of sixty-year old American gas-guzzling automobiles? A zoo for humans (excellent health care, low infant mortality, high life expectancy, cheap housing,… Read more »

Trump Reminded Me Why I Am An Academic

“Why did you become an academic?” is a question that I’m frequently asked. For me, my path into this profession is pretty clear. I was about fourteen and a freshman in high school in the early 1990s. A few of my friends joined the school chapter of Amnesty International, and I figured I’d go along…. Read more »

Yemen is on the Brink

Most of the world’s attention has recently been directed towards Syria. In the shadow of Syria, the conflict in Yemen has been left to its own devices, and Yemen is now set to experience an even greater humanitarian catastrophe than Syria. In Syria, we witness the beginning of the end of one of the bloodiest… Read more »

With Orwell to the West Bank

The United States under President Trump is not the only place where the rule of law is currently being put to the test. In early February hundreds of Israeli police officers battled on the West Bank with hundreds of determined young protesters armed with stones. Sixteen police officers were injured in clashes with the demonstrators,… Read more »

The Munich Security Conference Focuses on Russia – and Reflects on Putin’s Speech 10 Years Ago

The annual Munich Security Conference will take place later this week (February 17–19) with many prominent speakers, including Dan Smith, former PRIO director and presently SIPRI Director. It was ten years ago at this forum that President Vladimir Putin delivered a famous speech detailing Russia’s deep dissatisfaction with the world order. A decade hence, Russian… Read more »

Sleepless in the Age of Trump

What we know about how great power wars start should make us terrified of President Trump. I don’t sleep at night, because of Donald Trump. This is unusual. I wasn’t kept awake at night by George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. Nor do I lose sleep over hot-blooded authoritarians such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong… Read more »

The Moonlanding

“I’ll be the first Palestinian woman to land on the moon,” she states with a wry smile. The world – and space – lies at her feet, as in theory it does for children all over the world. But these particular legs are standing on shaky ground. Her legs are in Lebanon, more specifically, they’re… Read more »