One monstrous zombie concept is the claim that climate change will spark new atrocities and conflicts over food scarcity. It’s clear that climate change is a scientific fact. But I am a skeptic about any direct links between environmental crisis, climate change and conflict and famine in the modern world. This skepticism arises partly as a reflex against the poor arguments marshaled in favor of those who predict such crises. Not to mention the trend lines: as the globe has warmed over recent decades, mass atrocities (including both large scale violent killing and famines) have declined.Continue Reading →
Begin with recognizing that all political systems need money, and that political finance should be regulated. This in turn requires drawing a distinction between political spending and corruption. This is a simple distinction to assert but a remarkably difficult one to delineate in practice.
The difference between legitimate funding of political institutions and patronage systems, and theft, needs to be drawn differently for each political system. So the next step is to initiate a process that allows countries to draw this line themselves. In institutionalized political systems, there can be an open debate on political financing, leading to legislation and enforcement. In political markets, it is the political financiers—the domestic businesses, foreign investors and patrons who provide the political money—who must take the lead. Let them collectively determine what counts as corruption and what is legitimate political spending.Continue Reading →
While I am not an expert on Burundi, I, like many others right now, am watching with dismay as violence in the country continues. My recent research has been on atrocity endings and Burundi today echoes with one finding from my work: the difference between halting (or in this case forestalling) mass atrocities and advancing […]Continue Reading →
This essay briefly examines the possible components of a ‘human security approach’ to African peace missions and security sector governance/reform.
There are three overlapping general frameworks for human security (MacFarlane and Khong 2006). The first (‘Canadian’) focuses primarily on protection from organized violence; the second (‘Japanese’) on protecting and promoting a broad range of human capabilities; […]Continue Reading →
If you missed the round-table discussion on Humanity Journal’s blog discussion on the changing nature of knowledge production in fragile states, below is an overview with key quotes from the essays and links to each author’s contribution. The series began with an essay from Rebecca Tapscott and Daval Desai, previously highlighted on this blog. Below are […]Continue Reading →
The development of a university-based peace and security archives could serve as a vital teaching and research resource for students and faculty. It would provide researchers directly involved in peace and security research with a trusted repository to deposit their valuable and hard-earned research data and could serve as a resource for research and teaching. Further, it could serve as a foundational component of a center, program, area of study, or initiative focused on peace and security, serving as the basis for a variety of symposiums, workshops, and collaborative research projects. In particular, the development of tools that allows researchers and students to interact with research data from the archives in creative ways to formulate new findings, insights, and questions can serve as an exciting nexus between archives, research data, and scholarship.Continue Reading →
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