NATO’s New Activity Makes Russia Anxious and Angry

Every Russian stereotype about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been disproven by the alliance’s surge of activity in its 75th year.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib shake hands after cutting a commemorative cake during the alliance’s 75th anniversary celebrations at NATO Headquarters on April 04, 2024. Photo: Omar Havana/Getty Images

Moscow portrays NATO as an aggressive and indecisive institution, rigidly controlled by the United States, and disunited.Read More

The AI Dilemma: Can Artificial Images of War and Suffering Stir Empathy?

Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert explores the pitfalls and potentials of the use of AI to provide windows into humanitarian crises and human rights abuses.

From the photo exhibition launched by the Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn.

AI-generated images have already been used by charities and human rights organizations to illustrate mass suffering and abuse. A lot is potentially at stake as we become exposed to more of these types of images, including public trust in what is real, and ultimately our ability to engage.Read More

Terrorism Undercuts Putin’s Political Agenda

The shock from the March 22 terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall is continuing to generate angst and confusion throughout Russian society while failing to inspire unity.

In front of the Crocus City Hall the day after the terrorist attack at Crocus Concert Hall in Moscow on March 22, 2024. Photo: Sefa Karacan / Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Russian population may have grown accustomed to the perpetual shocks caused by the war in Ukraine, but the people are unprepared for the return of the specter of terrorism that loomed so large in the early 2000s.Read More

Post-“Election” Russia Sinks Deeper into War Quagmire

The official results from last week’s Russian presidential election were precisely what the Kremlin ordered, but they have hardly brought the incumbent Vladimir Putin much satisfaction.

Vladimir Putin meets with election campaign activists at Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on March 20,2024. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Falsifications in the results were so blatant that Putin’s desire to prove overwhelming public support for the continuation of his autocratic rule has remained unfulfilled. Instead of discipling the political elites, he may have inadvertently informed them about the limits of his control and the infirmness of his grasp on power (Meduza, March 20).

Despite extra-tight administration and security measures, several surprises have exposed fragilities in the seemingly solid system of Putin’s power.Read More

Presidential ‘Elections’ Cannot Restore Putin’s Authority

This week, from March 15 to 17, Russia will hold presidential election. Canceling the elections would be entirely natural for the repressive autocratic regime that has matured in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin submitted documents to register as a self-nominated candidate for the Russian Federation presidential election. Photo: President of Russia/kremlin.ru

The government already has all the enforcement structures it needs to suppress protests. Putin could easily justify the move by arguing that Russia is a unique “state civilization” that does not need Western political models (Riddle, August 23, 2023; Valdai club, October 10, 2023).

Yet, millions of Russians will go to the polls — voluntarily or under duress — to partake in this symbolic ceremony, while millions more will cast their votes online (TASS, March 4).Read More

Fake Research Is Threatening Our Democracy

What will happen to public debate and our democracy if we can no longer trust research?

Fabricated ‘scientific publications’ could threaten the very foundations of our society.

Illustration: Getty images

It isn’t ‘fake news’ that scares me, it’s fake research. By this, I don’t mean plagiarism and the failure to provide correct citations, but rather completely fabricated ‘scientific publications’ that by their very nature and scale may threaten the foundations for society.Read More

Peacemaking for Ukraine: The Swiss Track, the Chinese Pretence, and the Antalya Diplomacy Forum

Battles in the Donbas trenches and across the Black Sea waters keep raging as the belligerents persist with their strategies of attrition. Neither President Volodymyr Zelensky’s defiant presentation at the Munich Security Conference, nor President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly contained any indication of readiness to compromise.

Erdogan and Zelensky during a press conference with on March 08, 2024 in Istanbul. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Notwithstanding this determination to keep the war going, three separate tracks for exploring the options for peace talks are showing new signs of activity.Read More

Facing Imbalances in Global Knowledge Co-creation

Global South-North asymmetries, or imbalances, in resources and access to mobility are often pervasive in international research, including research on peace, conflict, migration and development.

Research projects can be experienced as extractive in many contexts around the world.

Project photo from fieldwork in Hanoi. Photo: Karen Liao / MigrationRhythms project / PRIO

This means that the research process feels like it is taking something away from those involved, rather than benefiting them. This can even be the case when collaboration across unequal relationships has been carefully reflected upon by research teams.Read More

Russian Unity and Western Discord Converge in Putin’s Imagination

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly last Thursday was grander in length and style than his usual domineering performances.

Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen at a cinema in St. Petersburg that broadcasts him addressing the Federal Assembly. Photo: Artem Priakhin / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

He did not attempt to persuade the audience of loyal bureaucrats that victory in Ukraine is near.

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What Has Peacekeeping Ever Done for Us?

Are we overlooking positive synergetic effects of peacekeeping operations for peace and development?

UNIFIL soldiers guarding ‘the blue line’ between Lebanon and Israel, August 2023. Photo: Houssam Shbaro / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

While UN peacekeeping operations have increasingly come into disrepute, studies underline that operations can prevent conflict re-escalation, limit violence against civilians, and promote settlement – even if not all missions are fully successful.Read More