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 »

The Good Drone

Edited by Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018, 202 pp.:  9780367000844 (hbk) Kristin Bergtora Sandvik and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert’s collected volume entitled ‘The Good Drone’ highlights the materiality of the drone in the context of humanitarian applications and questions. While the book primarily deals with the question of materiality in the context… Read more »

Does terrorism work?

Does Terrorism Work? A History by Richard English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 368pp., £25.00 (h/b), ISBN 9780199607853 The renewed proliferation of terrorism studies that rapidly followed the 9/11 attacks has been well-documented, and the post-9/11 wave that is now nearly two decades old, has focused predominantly on an elusive, universally-accepted definition of terrorism. Efforts… Read more »

The INF Treaty Demise: Natural Causes and Bad Blunders

Dan Smith, Director of SIPRI, has published a very informative and thoughtful blog on the apparently imminent breakdown of the INF Treaty. Following up with a week-old second thoughts, I can share this article (adapted from the Order from Chaos, published by the Brookings).

President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev shake hands after signing the INF Treaty.

The discussion of the pending U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987) has fast progressed from the over-dramatized first reactions to even more frantic second-thoughts. Since the political decision has not yet been finalized in a formal notice to Russia, it is essential to sustain sober expert attention on the consequences of the move—which, to be clear, would break down a key pillar of the arms control system. The plea for a proper evaluation of these consequences comes loud and clear from Europe, which is going to find itself on the receiving end of Russian responses. Washington’s argument that Russian violations of the treaty—which bans testing and deployment of ground-based missiles—prompted the U.S. decision on withdrawal is solid, but Russia will still respond and perhaps pro-actively. Moscow has good reasons to assume that while it is ready to lift this ban with the treaty’s demise, the United States and NATO are not.

The Kremlin sought to provoke the Trump administration—known for its eagerness to break international agreements—into rushing the unilateral withdrawal. It has achieved just that, but is hardly in a position to harvest any political dividends.

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Where are the Women in Peace Agreement Implementation?

Zack Lee via Flickr

“In 2020, the United Nations, Members States, regional organizations and civil society will mark the 20th anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000). The lead up to this milestone and the anniversary itself, provide important opportunities to highlight and appraise progress and revise strategies…” (S/2018/900, 2018).

An upcoming event which sets the tone for this year’s Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security is the quickly approaching 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325, the first resolution on Women, Peace, and Security. Unfortunately, the UN will be able to report little progress on women’s inclusion in peace agreement negotiation and implementation. The Secretary General’s report is refreshingly frank in its description of the problem—“chilling reading” as observed by the Swedish Foreign Minister in her Open Debate statement on October 25th. Moving forward, the Secretary General has noted an important role for systematic research and names the Kroc Institute’s Barometer Initiative in Colombia as an example.Read More

This Week in South Sudan – Week 43

Tuesday 23 October IGAD deploys Regional Protection Force and establishes a Joint Assessment Team tasked to monitor the security situation of South Sudan. The non-signatory Federal Democratic Party accused the SPLM-IO of attacks in the Upper Nile. IOM South Sudan: “Migration Health Unit Report, July-September 2018”. Wednesday 24 October Parties to the peace agreement are… Read more »