This Week in South Sudan – Week 9

Monday 24 February The proposal of an interim government excluding Riek Machar and Salva Kiir was rejected by the South Sudan government. They expressed that they will not accept a solution which does not involve Salva Kiir. The South Sudan Army (SPLA) reported that they had killed at least 200 rebels supporting SPLA/M-in-Opposition who had… Read more »

A Note on Academic (Ir)relevance

Erica Chenoweth, Associate senior researcher at PRIO

Nicholas Kristof’s Sunday op-ed generated a lot of buzz among political scientists because he called out our discipline for being increasingly irrelevant in the real world. Kristof suggests the field is “committing suicide” because political scientists don’t publish enough work that policymakers can read. He holds up economists as being an ideal comparison because policymakers have incorporated their work, and decries sociologists for being so far left politically that they can’t produce any research that policymakers can abide. Lots of people have decent rejoinders, like Erik Voeten at The Monkey Cage, Tom Pepinsky, Corey Robin, Mischiefs of Fiction, Edward Carr, and our own Steve Saideman at the Spew. Kristof responded to some of the main objections on his Facebook page.

Read more in the blog post published 17 February 2014 at Political Violence @ a Glance



Why negotiations will be stalled for the foreseeable future

Perceptions of peace negotiations tend to shift rapidly from inertia to optimism, to disillusion and back to inertia. Peace talks also tend to be long-winding. True to form, the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) facilitated negotiations between the Government of South Sudan and its opposition led by Riek Machar has been a roller coaster ride… Read more »

Situation Report from OCHA

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published a new South Sudan situation report, Monday 24 February. Their latest estimate is that 710,600 people have been internally displaced since the violence erupted in December 2013, in addition 171,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.  

This Week in South Sudan – Week 8

Monday 17 February Salva Kiir admitted to having organised a private army.  Tuesday 18 February Fighting reported in Malakal, Upper Nile. Malkal divided between government forces and the opposition. Fighting reported in Warrap State. Wednesday 19 February US condemns the violence in Upper Nile. Uganda announced that the Ugandan Forces will be withdrawn from South… Read more »

Violence and Non-Violence in Ukraine

Photo from Wikipedia

​​​The Ukrainian opposition is more likely to succeed if its campaign remains primarily non-violent, writes Marianne Dahl, Doctoral Researcher at PRIO.

​This is not the first time that Kiev’s streets have been filled with demonstrators wanting to end Viktor Yanukovych’s days in the presidential palace.Read More

Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities

[Originally written 30 January] Peace talks between the Government of South Sudan and its opposition within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) facilitated by the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) started in Addis Ababa in early January. On the 23rd the parties signed an agreement of cessation of hostilities committing to “cease all military actions… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 7

 Monday 10 February Riek Machar announced, on behalf of the opposition, that they would not attend the next round of the peace negotiations as the released detainees were not invited to the negotiation table. Tuesday 11 February Public rally for peace and reconciliation in Juba, more than 4000 participated. South Sudanese president Salva Kiir terminated… Read more »

Myanmar’s National Census – Helping or Disrupting Peace?

Myanmar_Census_2014In 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 peace.Read More

Ein Hijleh: A new Boost for the Popular Resistance

31 jan - village Haitham al khatib

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 village in the vicinity of Jericho. Its inhabitants were expelled by the Israeli army, which established a base near the site. Their descendants have been denied access to the village ever since.

Read more in the blog post published February 12, 2014 on the New Middle East Blog