In the late 1800s, Russian playwright Anton Chekhov famously introduced a principle that would later come to be known as “Chekhov’s gun”: “if in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.”[i] Chekhov thereby succinctly illustrated the principle [...]Continue Reading →
The field of genocide and mass atrocities studies has produced significant contributions to knowledge of where, when and why campaigns of large-scale, one-sided violence occur, but offers relatively few explicit examinations of the political, social and military dynamics of the de-escalation of violence. This simple question remains unexplored: how do mass atrocities end?Continue Reading →
In this presentation I trace the genealogy of the practice of activism on civil and political rights, first of all in western nation-states, and then in [...]Continue Reading →
I HAVE a visceral memory of the cell-phone photo of a man with his eye-lids pulled off by the Syrian secret police.
This photo was shown to me in the Za’atari refugee camp by a coffee shop owner from Dara, who had fled to the [...]Continue Reading →
The United States is once again in a precarious international legal position in considering retaliatory military action against Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his people. The precedents of the Iraq invasion of 2003, the Kosovo bombing, and the unauthorized expansion of the UN Security Council support for action in Libya increase caution against attacking [...]Continue Reading →
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