As a researcher, it is easier to replicate the work of scholars who have already worked on a subject, than to come up with original research. This is, of course, self-evident, but it is a trap that is surprisingly difficult to evade. I learned this the hard way, when researching the Chinese famine of 1876-1879.
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In case you missed our program this afternoon, below is a re-cap via storify, with thanks to Roxani Krystalli. The program, Staying safe in armed conflict contexts: What do crisis-affected people prioritize and does it work? Do humanitarian actors and others take note?, focused on self-protection.Continue Reading →
At what point and for what reasons does political violence evolve into genocide? When, if at all, does a genocide end? Does post-conflict violence constitute a legacy of genocide or its continuance? On September 15, 2016, the World Peace Foundation hosted a presentation of Dr. Roddy Brett’s new book, “The Origins […]Continue Reading →
Every assessment of an American President’s role in world peace implicitly requires us to take positions on two questions: First, what does world peace mean? Second, how do we evaluate an American president’s role in achieving it?
Perhaps a minimum definition of peace (‘negative peace’) is the absence of war. Everywhere? In most of the […]Continue Reading →
In his final address to the American public as President, on January 17, 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned of the rise of a military-industrial complex and the threat it posed to what he saw as the ultimate goal of U.S. foreign policy, peace. Eisenhower valued the goal of peace and realized that its priority as a guiding ideal for U.S. policy was undermined by a set of interests that were being cemented and expanded in the Cold War climate. He described the potentially distorting impact on U.S. policy—not only by intricate design but also “unsought” as ideology, interests and profit converged around militarization. Waste was not Eisenhower’s foremost concern when he drew attention to the military-industrial complex. Rather, he was concerned with the distortion of interests that skewed the focus of U.S. foreign policy. The “Global War on Terror” extends and expands the threat Eisenhower identified. In addition to the skewing factor of commercial and political interests in large-scale weapon systems, tilting the balance of democratic practice away from the interests of peace is the expansion of securitization and intelligence. We must now speak of a security-intelligence-military industrial complex, which ebbs away at transparent democratic practices.Continue Reading →
As of 2015, 43 peace operations had deployed to 15 different African countries. Africa’s increasing efforts to support its own peace operations have led to African peace and security organisations both leading on, and contributing the mainstay of personnel to, these missions. This paper examines a number of African peace operations and analyses the evolution of the mission mandates. A selection of four representative peace operations – Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and Darfur – which differ in terms of timeframe, implementing authority, size and conflict dynamics are examined to assess patterns, trends and anomalies of mandates over the life cycle of their missions.Academic and policy-related literature places emphasis on the impact of UN Security Council geopolitics, roles and responsibilities supporting civilian protection, the AU’s financial, materiel and human resource deficiencies, and the role of peacebuilding. However, little has been written on the evolution of wider peace mission mandates as well as the role of African organisations in developing these mandates.Continue Reading →
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