Myanmar’s National Census – Helping or Disrupting Peace?

In March/April 2014 Myanmar will carry out its first population and housing census in more than 30 years. If carried out properly it may provide reliable data to be used not just by the government, but also by civil society organizations and political parties, as a basis for negotiating the terms of the country’s future… Read more »

Ein Hijleh: A new Boost for the Popular Resistance

The grassroots popular resistance movement in the West Bank continues its strategy of reclaiming Palestinian land to highlight how Israel slowly annexes big parts of the West Bank. This time they did not establish a new village, like the case was in early 2013, with Bab al-Shams and its offshoots. Instead, they re-established an existing… Read more »

The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Conflict Spillover

The Syrian refugee crisis has been heartbreaking to watch. According to the United Nations, over 2.4 million people have fled the country, and many more have been displaced internally. This human tragedy has shocked the world’s conscience and has led for appeals for humanitarian relief. However, does the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees… Read more »

Old Wine in an E-bottle (or, The Text that Mistook Itself for a Tactical Shift)

On January 24th Barbara Walter wrote a fascinating blog entry entitled “The Text that Changed the World”. It noted that the “Ukrainian government” had issued a text message to “thousands of protesters” effectively telling them that they had been busted (i.e., they were identified as participating in a protest event). While it is useful to… Read more »

The Battle for Bangkok

In the wake of the power struggle between the political elites in Thailand, we are now seeing a popular uprising. Once again Thailand’s capital is paralysed by demonstrations. The streets are filled with Thai flags and demands that the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, must step down. “Shut down Bangkok – Restart Thailand!” But behind the… Read more »

No Prospects of Cooling Down: why the Crisis in South Sudan must be Solved Immediately

The South Sudan crisis becomes more difficult to solve by the hour. The window of opportunity to avoid a full scale civil war is rapidly closing. But, finding a viable solution is dependent on a precise diagnosis of core issues involved. Read more at the blog of the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies, posted December 21,… Read more »

Diplomatic and Real Realities in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

  Over the last few years I have encountered a number of professional Western diplomats who express their disbelief in any serious Israeli intention of achieving peace with the Palestinians. To be sure, these diplomats also fault the Palestinian leadership for their ability to bungle almost any initiative and opportunity they encounter. But unlike the… Read more »