What Will China Do About the Middle East?

The Middle East is set to become the major test for China as a global power. The region is characterized by war, political tensions and economic stagnation. China is ramping up its role, not least with its Belt and Road Initiative. What do the Chinese think about the challenges in the Middle East? And is there a unique Chinese method for dealing with these challenges?

The Belt and Road International Forum 2017. Photo: The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

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Beyond the Police: Jerusalem’s Modular Security Provision

When we think about public security, we often think about the police, the military, or perhaps about border guards or the criminal courts. But security is often pursued in cooperation with a variety of public and private actors, enlisted by state security actors to reinforce their legal and operational capacities, while providing them with enhanced… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 46

Tuesday 13 November A UN report found violations of the arms embargo on South Sudan, an embargo which also bans military assistance and military training. Thijs Van Laer and Omar Mahmood in Irin News: “South Sudan Peace Deal: Whose Power are they Sharing Anyway?” Wednesday 14 November The National Pre-Transitional Committee set up four committees… Read more »

The Other Side of Facebook in Myanmar

Facebook has been making headlines this year with what seems like scandal after scandal, from the Cambridge Analytica data breach to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying in front of the United States Congress as a result. But perhaps one of the most serious scandals has been the social media platform’s role in Myanmar in spreading hate speech and inciting offline violence. In September, the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded in a report following its fact-finding mission in Myanmar that Facebook had been used to incite violence, in particular violence against the Rohingya Muslim community that amounted to genocide.

Social media user in Myanmar. Photo: Asian Development Bank/Flickr

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This Week in South Sudan – Week 45

Monday 5 November The National Constitutional Amendment Committee held its first meeting in Juba. Tuesday 6 November Despite the release of 900 child soldiers so far in 2018, the UN reported that thousands of child soldiers are unlikely to be freed any time soon due to lack of funds for aid agencies. Vice President James… Read more »

‘Security, Economy, Population’- A comment to Jacqueline Best

Jacqueline Best’s article ‘Security, Economy, Population’ is a welcome addition to the evolving discussion of ‘exceptionalism’ in the critical social sciences. As Best suggests, over the past fifteen years much discussion of emergency governance and exceptionalism has been shaped by post-9/11 security measures. I fully endorse her call to bring other forms of emergency government—particularly… Read more »

A Political Economy of ‘the Exception’? A comment to Jacqueline Best

One of the most noteworthy responses to the election of Donald J. Trump came from politically radical African-Americans. In light of the longue durée of racial supremacy and the experience of those exploited by America’s economic system, it was not surprising or exceptional that aracist, misogynist, xenophobic plutocrat could succeed the first black President of the… Read more »

‘Security, Economy, Population’ – A response to Owens and Collier

What are the analytical and political stakes of thinking about political economic practice through the lens of exceptionalism? These I take to be the fundamental questions underlying the very insightful comments by Patricia Owens and Stephen Collier, two scholars whose work I greatly admire, on my Security Dialogue article ‘Security, Economy, Population’. Best and Collier’s remarks… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 44

Wednesday 31 October Riek Machar returned to Juba for the first time in two years to participate on the peace celebrations. During the peace celebrations, President Salva Kiir apologized for “the immense suffering” caused by the civil war. Special representative of the Secretary General and head of UMISS, David Shearer’s speech at the peace celebrations… Read more »

Drought displacement and implications for conflict

Human migration driven by weather variability and environmental change (see, e.g., here, here, and here) has been identified as a possible link between global warming and violent conflict (see, e.g., here, here, and here). Despite academic and public policy discussions about these and similar topics, the relationship between climate change and regional migration within developing… Read more »