This Week in South Sudan – Week 12

Monday 17 March Japan announced that they will provide $1,5million to South Sudan in order to support the peace process. UNMISS prepares for the rainy season and relocated displaced in Juba. The pressure group Justice for Juba four (J4J4) demanded the release of the four detainees charged of treason. Clashes south-west of Rumbek, two SPLA… Read more »

This Week in South Sudan – Week 11

Monday 10 March An anti-UN protest took place in Juba as a response to the discovery of a UN convoy with arms. UN reported that the conflict in South Sudan has caused a record low food-security rate. Salva Kiir denied that he has formed a commission to prepare for SPLM leadership meeting. Tuesday 11 March… Read more »

Facilitating Peace in South Sudan

Yesterday, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) announced that it will employ a joint East African Protection and Deterrent Force (PDF) as a part of the agreement of cessation of hostilities in South Sudan (see previous blog post). According to the announcement, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda, possibly also Djibouti will contribute troops to the… Read more »

Rwanda, Research and the Wisdom of (Non)Responsiveness (or, Email is a Gift Not a Responsibility)

emailAs I prepare for the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan political violence of 1994 (i.e., the genocide, the interstate war, the civil war and the other forms of activity that are not easily named), I am reminded of earlier correspondence and how the modern period conceives of communication as well as what researchers must/need not respond to. EJ: Cue Rocky theme. You don’t need the link.  It’s in your head already.

Read more at PRIO Global Fellow Christian Davenport’s blog Analog – the Anti-Blog

This Week in South Sudan – Week 10

Monday 3 March UN observed large forces of rebels in support of SPLA/M-in-Opposition in Malakal and expressed fear of new clashes in the area. South Sudan United Democratic Alliances, in Ethiopian exile, stated that they support an interim government whithout Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. Riek Machar presented a list of his desired cabinet for… Read more »

The True Cost of Turkey´s Crisis

turkey-twitterOne of the foundational concepts of good democratic governance is that of a separation of powers. French Enlightenment philosopher Baron de Montesquieu´s argument for the separation of political power between the three branches – executive, legislative and judiciary – hinges on the notion that power should not be centralized in a single sovereign to prevent rulers from usurping complete control. To these three branches can be added the Fourth Estate, the media. Independent from the state, it serves as a watchdog over the three branches. Finally, there is what Yochai Benkler (2006) refers to as the “Networked Fourth Estate” which comprises the realm of the internet and social media. The events of the past weeks in Turkey give reason for concern over the viability of a tripartite system of governance in Turkey.

Read more in the blog post published March 7, 2014 on the New Middle East Blog.



12 ways to navigate coverage for the 20th anniversary of Rwanda 1994


Rwandan Genocide Murambi skulls. From Wikipedia

It is coming: the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan violence of 1994 (i.e., the interstate war, the civil war, the genocide, the sexual violence and some random wilding or, the genocide and civil war – depending upon who you are listening to).  Yes, it has been 20 years and yes it is going to be quite something.  Much has happened over the last 20 years and much has happened over the last 10 as it relates to what we have come to understand about what happened. Some of it is consistent but much of it is not. We will get to more of that as the event approaches.  Look for the relaunch of – your one-stop research site for the rigorous study of Rwandan political violence of 1994.Read More

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 »