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  • Author: Zainaddin M. Khidhir
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
  • Institution: Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
  • Abstract: The complications of the Syrian crisis that has extended over six years are overseen on three distinct levels which are national, topographical, and global. A closer look at the situation in Syria in 2010/2011 will help explain why the regime has survived, the complexities of the situation in Syria, and what makes the search for a stable political settlement so difficult. The purpose of the present study is to highlight the nature of US engagement in the Syrian crisis which involves maintaining the US military presence for regional stability, ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS, countering the future expansion of the Iranian influence and political settlement to the conflict, containing the Assad’s regime in the interim. By outlining various threats, issues, assessing the Syrian conflict and its key actors, this paper seeks to explain the US response to the Syrian crisis on basis of thematic analysis. In conclusion, the United States' foreign policy has continued in a region vital to its national security interests due to available oil, its impetus to protect Israel, to support security by retaining military bases, to preserve the position of the protectorate of client states, and friendly regimes, and to resist Islamic movements and terrorism.
  • Topic: Civil War, Military Strategy, Military Intervention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sakari Ishetiar
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Russia’s abstention from UNSCR 1973, which allowed a no-fly zone in Libya and ultimately led to the collapse of the Qadhafi regime, has resounded across both Russian foreign policy and the security environment of the Near East. Competing theories claim the abstention was either a carefully-planned strategy or a tactical miscalculation, but the result—Russian rejection of regime decapitation and Western distaste for further intervention—is easily observed. In addition to tangible military and political benefits, the chaotic and unsustainable Libyan status quo bolsters Russia’s political capital by discrediting that of the West. Although Russia is unlikely to intervene kinetically in Libya, it can passively destabilize the country at almost no cost, stymying Western efforts to end the crisis. Only by recognizing and accommodating Russia’s interests in Libya can the West negotiate a lasting settlement for Libya and secure vital U.S. interests in the region.
  • Topic: Civil War, Sovereignty, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Conflict, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Centerpiece
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: From civil strife in Syria to the war in Yemen to US-Iran tensions, Shi'a groups are emerging as major players on the geopolitical landscape. The 200 million Shi'as around the world comprise 15–20 percent of all Muslims, yet little is understood about their culture, historical legacy, and political dynamics. Shi’as are the majority sect in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain, and comprise substantial minority groups in Africa, South and Central Asia, and countries throughout the Middle East. Last fall, the Weatherhead Center launched the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs to support advanced research on the diverse manifestations of Shi’ism, and to encourage rigorous scholarship on the political dynamics of its role in the Middle East. The project supports scholarship that increases understanding of the intersection between religion and politics in Islam by engaging political scientists, historians, policy makers, religious leaders, and other specializations at the WCFIA. It was a busy first year, replete with talks on important events in Islamic history, the geopolitics of Iraq, the US-Iran confrontation, and more. The project launched the online platform Visions, which offers advanced commentary on all aspects of Shi’a thought, politics, and society. Additionally, project members have travelled to Baghdad and Erbil in Iraq for field work and academic conferences, as well as to the United Kingdom to present research and conduct outreach. Team members have also travelled to various cities across the United States to give presentations and interactive workshops—including to Muslim-American communities in Dearborn, Michigan (home to the largest Arab-American population in North America) and Orlando, Florida—on the topic of religious pluralism, youth activism, Islamic thought, and civil society. Directed by Payam Mohseni, lecturer at Harvard University, the project is funded in part by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. We asked Payam Mohseni and project chairs Melani Cammett and Ali Asani about the motivations behind the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Civil War, Religion, Military Strategy, Political Activism, Domestic politics, Pluralism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: I. Aytac Kadioglu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: The purpose of this article is to assess international negotiation efforts towards ending the civil war in Syria. Although many peace events have been organised since the beginning of the civil war, the existing literature has paid little attention to the impact of international peace efforts in ending the Syrian war. The article aims to close this gap by assessing major peace efforts between 2011 and 2019; The Arab League Peace Plan, the United Nations peace initiatives, and the Geneva, Vienna and Astana peace talks. It analyses these efforts through official reports and documents published by the UN, US, Republic of Turkey, UN Security Council, and members of peace initiatives. These documents are complemented by newspaper articles showing the official views of the regional and global actors as well as the key agents of the conflict. Therefore, the article reveals the reasons for the failure of these conflict resolution efforts. The Syrian government’s reluctance to end the conflict in a non-violent way, the armed groups’ dream of territorial gains and regional and global powers’ involvement in the conflict prevented the solution of the conflict. It utilises official negotiations and ripeness approaches to investigate the insights and contents of peace efforts. The article argues that the regional and global powers have acted as facilitators instead of mediators in the peace talks. It finds that even though these peace events are viewed as official negotiations, they are only pre-negotiation efforts.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Juliana Tomiko Ribeiro Aizaw
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: The political and economic emancipation in the African continent occurred, mostly, through wars of national liberation, from 1953 to 1960, causing the uprooting of civilians who were in the midst of these conflicts, as in the case of analysis on the Horn of Africa - Somalia. Civil wars, coups d’état, political instability, physical and climatic conditions from Somalia forced the exodus of Somalis to neighboring countries in search of protection and minimum conditions for survival (Silva 2016). Kenya had an open policy for refugees, however after the fall of the military regime in Barré in 1991 it began to receive thousands of Somalis in its territory. Therefore, as a result of this large flow of people, the Kenyan government had to enlist the assistance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in search of humanitarian aid. Thus, the Kenyan government began to adopt the refugee camps as an host policy
  • Topic: Civil War, Migration, Post Colonialism, Refugee Issues, Refugee Crisis, Displacement, Coup
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia, Horn of Africa
  • Author: Daniel Olisa Iweze, Uchenna Anyanwu
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: The post-civil war reconstruction programme was promulgated by the Federal Military Government under General Yakubu Gowon at the end of the Nigerian Civil War for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and reintegration of the Igbo into the matrix of the Nigerian state. The post-war policy of the Midwest State Government in its attempts at reconstructing Anioma (Western Igboland) at the end of the civil war was half-hearted and not genuine. The efforts pursued by both the Federal and Midwest State governments in assisting people to rehabilitate themselves and rebuild their social and economic infrastructure were marginal.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Infrastructure, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Stephanie Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Conflict between returning refugees and nonmigrant populations is a pervasive yet frequently overlooked security issue in post-conflict societies. Although scholars have demonstrated how out-migration can regionalize, prolong, and intensify civil war, the security consequences of return migration are undertheorized. An analysis of refugee return to Burundi after the country's 1993–2005 civil war corroborates a new theory of return migration and conflict: return migration creates new identity divisions based on whether and where individuals were displaced during wartime. These cleavages become new sources of conflict in the countries of origin when local institutions, such as land codes, citizenship regimes, or language laws, yield differential outcomes for individuals based on where they lived during the war. Ethnographic evidence gathered in Burundi and Tanzania from 2014 to 2016 shows how the return of refugees created violent rivalries between returnees and nonmigrants. Consequently, when Burundi faced a national-level political crisis in 2015, prior experiences of return shaped both the character and timing of out-migration from Burundi. Illuminating the role of reverse population movements in shaping future conflict extends theories of political violence and demonstrates why breaking the cycle of return and repeat displacement is essential to the prevention of conflict.
  • Topic: Civil War, Migration, National Security, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania, Burundi, East Africa
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents News from the Director ……………………… 2 Announcing the Immerman Fund ………. 2 Fall 2019 Colloquium …………………... 2 Fall 2019 Prizes ………………………… 3 Spring 2020 Lineup …………………….. 4 Note from the Davis Fellow …………………. 5 Fall 2019 Interviews …………………………. 6 Nan Enstad ………………………………6 Thomas Schwartz ………………………. 9 Book Reviews ………………………………...12 Great Power Rising: Theodore Roosevelt and the Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy Review by Stanley Schwartz ……12 Little Cold Warriors: American Childhood in the 1950s Review by Abby Whitaker ………14 Armageddon Insurance: Cold War Civil Defense in the United States and Soviet Union, 1945-1991 Review by Michael Fischer ……..16 France and the American Civil War: A Diplomatic History Review by James Kopaczewski …18 “Celebrating Campaigns & Commanders: 66 Titles in 20 Years!” …………………..20 “One Must Walk the Ground”: Experiencing the Staff Ride ……………..21 Announcing the Edwin H. Sherman Prize for Undergraduate Scholarship in Force and Diplomacy………………………….24
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Cold War, Children, History
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union, Global Focus
  • Author: William A. Rugh
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Despite the focus on the results of the Yemeni conflict, its underlying causes have not been very well understood. It is a complicated story but this essay seeks to highlight three important factors behind the current turmoil in Yemen that are often overlooked. First, the country has major domestic divisions that are the primary reasons for the conflict in the first place. Second, Saudi direct intervention in Yemen is nothing new and is motivated by Saudi leadership’s strong views about the country. Third, American policy toward Yemen has more to do with Saudi Arabia and the region than with Yemen itself.
  • Topic: Civil War, Cold War, Diplomacy, Politics, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Soviet Union, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Alon Ben-Meir
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The EU is in a unique position to prevent the outbreak of a war between Israel and Iran that could engulf the Middle East in a war that no one can win.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil War, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, United States of America
  • Author: Ibrahim Efe
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: This analysis looks at images of Kurdish female fighters in social media. It argues that Kurdish female fighters have been objectified by international media and Kurdish politicians, who have realised the public relations value of images, and started to disseminate variegated images of Kurdish female fighters, particularly in the context of the war against DAESH (ISIS). The basic tenets of Edward Said’s thesis remain relevant in orientalist and gendered representations of the actors involved in Syrian civil war, and therefore the study uses orientalism as an analytical tool to critically engage with dominant western depictions of female Kurdish fighters. To this aim, news images of Kurdish female fighters are semiotically analysed using Barthes’ framework as proposed in his seminal work “Mythologies”. The analysis aims to unleash the interrelationship between imagery and international and domestic politics using the concept of post-truth politics. The imagery of Kurdish female fighters is used by Western powers and Kurdish political groups to legitimize their political positions in the prolonged civil war in Syria.
  • Topic: Civil War, Gender Issues, Social Media, Orientalism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Anders Themner, Roxanna Sjostedt
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Security Studies
  • Institution: Security Studies
  • Abstract: Post–civil war democracies are characterized by intense electoral competition. To ensure continued political relevance, ex-military-turned-politicians, or “warlord democrats” (WDs), can either engage in a rhetoric of fear or ease societal tensions by employing a rhetoric of peace. WDs’ choice of rhetoric can have a profound impact on durable peace by altering societal discourses concerning the legitimacy of using violence. A key question is therefore: Why do some WDs employ a rhetoric of fear, and others a rhetoric of peace, when running for office? We argue that the choice of rhetoric is a function of the patrimonial endowments WDs possess; if WDs lack the resources and social networks needed to distribute patronage, they may instead use a rhetoric of fear to rally voters. To highlight the explanatory value of this proposition, we compare two Liberian WDs who ran for the Senate in 2005—Adolphus Dolo and Prince Johnson.
  • Topic: Civil War, Authoritarianism, Democracy, State Violence, Legitimacy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Odigwe A. Nwaokocha
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: Civil War war fought between July 6, 1967, and January 12, 1970. The war was a result of the Nigerian federal government’s attempt to militarily force the Eastern Region, which had seceded as Biafra, back to Nigeria. The secession was followed by three waves of targeted killings of the Igbo group, mostly from the East in the Northern Region, in May/June, July/August and September/October 1966. The Igbo group was the primary target of the attacks (First 1970, 311-334). The Igbo-speaking Anioma people were not part of Biafra but the old Midwest Region on the Nigerian side. They are generally considered as Igbo (Talbot 1969; Isichei 1976, 16). They were classified as pro-Biafra by federal forces and encountered some unique challenges in the war. The conflict got to them on August 9 1967, when Biafran forces crossed the Niger Bridge, invaded the Midwest and opened a new phase in the war. The armed conflict in Aniomaland was mean, involving the killing of unarmed civilians in many places. This forms the focus of this work. The work shows that Biafran forces kick-started this terrible episode by invading the Midwest. Historical facts show that their atrocities were lower compared to those of federal forces. There were three waves of civilian killings in Aniomaland during the war. The first involved Biafran killing people of Northern descent and non-Nigerians. The second was the Agbor episode where Ika micro-nationalism, bred by fear of being slaughtered for being Anioma, led some Ika into attacking the Igbo, including the Anioma. The third was the killing of the Anioma people by Nigerian troops in Utagba-Unor, Isheagu, Ogwashi-Uku, Ibusa and Asaba when they overran the area.
  • Topic: Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, History, Violence, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Belgin San-Akca
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace
  • Institution: Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: In this paper, I examine the generation and use of large-N datasets and issues related to operationalization and measurement in the quantitative study of inter-state and intra-state conflict. Specifically, I critically evaluate the work on transnational dimensions of internal conflict and talk about my own journey related to my research on interactions between states and nonstate armed groups. I address the gaps in existing research, the use of proxy measures in large-N data analysis, and talk in detail about observational data collection and coding. I argue that future research should bridge the gap between studies of conflict across the fields of Comparative Politics and International Relations. I make suggestions laying the standards of academic scholarship in collecting data and increasing transparency in research.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil War, War, Research, Conflict, Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Frederic Foka Taffo
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: Many African countries, over the past years, have suffered the effects of civil war – and, more specifically, gross human rights violations. During peace negotiations, victims of human rights abuses are generally not prioritised, as the focus on peace is seen by political actors as superseding the interests of victims and justice. However, what kind of peace can be built in total disregard of the suffering of hundreds or thousands of people? Can a democratic society and sustainable development be achieved where there is no accountability for human rights abuses? Usually, amnesties are used as an instrument of conflict settlement. The effect of these amnesties is to preclude any investigation or prosecution of perpetrators of human rights abuses committed during the conflict period. Amnesties are often an insurmountable obstacle to the victims’ right to a fair trial, and an ineffective remedy for the prejudice suffered. Amnesties can be defined as the legal measures that are used in transitional processes, often as part of peace settlements, to limit or preclude the application of criminal processes and, in some cases, civil actions against certain individuals or categories of individuals for violent actions committed in contravention of applicable human rights and international humanitarian law rules.1 From this definition, “amnesties have a long pedigree in peace negotiations and have historically been commonly used as part of peace settlements even for armed conflicts manifesting most atrocious acts.”2 Amnesties bring into confrontation two fundamental needs of all democratic societies: the need for peace and the need for justice. For example, this was the case after the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The need for peace led the new regime, with Nelson Mandela at the helm, to opt for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission rather than using the judiciary to inquire into past atrocities. As such, the aim of this article is to put forward the position of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter African Commission) on the question: are amnesties compatible or incompatible with the human rights obligations of state parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter African Charter)?
  • Topic: Civil War, Human Rights, Democracy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conflict Trends
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on 12 September 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the warring parties in South Sudan, has been widely extolled and commended as a significant development signalling the dawn of peace. The peace deal is an attempt to revive the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) of 17 August 2015, which had apparently broken down as a result of the outbreak of civil war triggered by the violent confrontations that erupted on the night of 7 July 2016 in Juba. Whilst it is not very surprising that almost all South Sudanese, stakeholders to the conflict and commentators across Africa and beyond have expressed fervent hope, generous optimism and great expectations for peace and stability, given the intractability of the conflict in South Sudan, it is equally important to undertake a timely analysis of the R-ARCSS – specifically the possible and probable interplay of factors that may have implications for the success, or otherwise, of the peace agreement. The idea is always to systematically and constructively identify critical issues that may be pertinent to consider as all relevant stakeholders invest efforts towards peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes in South Sudan. This article therefore examines the R-ARCSS within the context of the South Sudanese internal and external conflict environment, and presents the key enablers and obstacles to the success of the peace agreement.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Sadiki Koko
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: This article uses the cases of Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone to analyse transitional justice processes in African societies where power-sharing was used as a key tool to end very protracted and violent civil wars. It is argued that, by affording warring parties a prominent role in the post-settlement political environment, power-sharing inadvertently impeded the pursuit of both restorative and criminal justice in all three countries. As an instance of ‘warriors’ justice’, power-sharing was used by such actors as an opportunity to avoid facing retributive justice. Indeed, due to the central position they held within the power-sharing dispensations, former warriors emphasised amnesty while paying lip service to reparations for victims. In all three countries, the decision to revert to the international judicial system or not was mainly motivated by political calculations rather than any genuine concern for justice. However, notwithstanding the shortcomings above, the consensus brought about by the power-sharing dispensations enabled the three countries to effect meaningful institutional reforms, albeit with limited and different levels of success.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, Political Power Sharing, Transitional Justice
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Burundi
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents News from the Director .................................. 2 Spring 2018 Colloquium ............................ 2 Cuba in War and Peace ............................... 3 Spring 2018 prizes ....................................... 3 TURF-CreWS Papers....................................4 Fall 2018 Colloquium Preview ................ 4 Final Words.....................................................5 Note from the Davis Fellow........................... 6 News from the CENFAD Community ......... 7 Profile of Dr. Eileen Ryan ............................... 9 The U.S. Military’s 2018 National Defense Strategy .............................................................. 12 Book Reviews .................................................. 17 Doyle, Don. H., ed. American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s.... 17 McAdams, A. James. Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party ....................................... 20 Judith L. Van Buskirk, Standing in Their Own Light: African-American Patriots in the American Revolution ................... 22 Burnidge, Cara Lea. A Peaceful Conquest: Woodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order. ..................... 24
  • Topic: Civil War, Communism, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Woodrow Wilson
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Buddhika Jayamaha, Jahara "Franky" Matisek, William Reno, Molly Jahn
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: Changing weather patterns increasingly shape battlefield dynamics in civil wars. Civil wars have complex origins and once violence erupts, local, regional, and global drivers, including changing weather patterns, shape the processes of conflict.1 As one study published in Nature indicated, the “stability of modern societies relates strongly to the global climate.” Others have shown that climate change undermines ‘human security’ and that warming temperatures lead to an increase in crime. Some contend that climate change research has overdramatized the causes of certain wars while downplaying important pre-war cleavages. Finally, some studies show the difficulty of drawing a direct causal link between climate change, statistically significant changes in weather patterns due to anthropogenic activity, and civil war on-set. Our field research provides further clarity and greater nuance on these debates and studies by investigating various processes and variables involved with local-level violence, environmental changes, and weather shifts. Additionally, there has been a change in the character of battlespaces, fragile food systems, and food (in)security, which highlights how changing weather patterns directly impact the formation of new battlespace dynamics and the processes of violence in the Sahel. Indeed, there is significant evidence that links temperature and rainfall shifts with decreases in political stability in the Sahel (see Figure 1). For the purposes of this article, we restrict our analysis to the central portion of the Sahel, specifically the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) area, which is bordered by Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. Already, there is substantial evidence linking temperature and rainfall shifts with decreases in local and regional political stability across the Sahel (see Figure 1). While some research finds “limited support for viewing climate change as an important influence on armed conflict,” our field work and research into the LCB illustrates how weather is impacting it specifically regarding new dynamics of violence.
  • Topic: Civil War, Climate Change, Conflict, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Carmel Davis
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: What are the implications of climate change for security in low-income countries? As global warming approaches and passes 1.5°C, climate change will reduce income, disrupt social relations, and fragment authority. I focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) because its large agricultural sector is sensitive to climate change and will likely see effects earlier than in other regions. The first section discusses climate change, particularly on the large agricultural sector in SSA. The next two sections analyze two channels by which climate change will affect SSA. First, a survey of quantitative analyses demonstrates a correlation between the level and growth of income and the outbreak of civil wars; climate change will likely decease income in the agricultural sector so the frequency of civil war outbreak will likely increase. Second, climate change will reduce the salience of then-current qualitative strategies of survival and increase the salience of new ones, which will likely increase social disruption and reduce government authority. The last sections discuss adaptation and conclude that a major effect of climate change will be fragmented authority and increased disorder in low-income areas.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Civil War, Climate Change, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Igor Henriques Sabino de Farlas, Alexandre Cesar Cunha Leite, Andrea Maria Calazans Pacheo Pacifico
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: This article addresses the refusal of US policy, between 2016 and 2017, to resettle Syrian refugees from the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2011 and has forced millions of Syrians to migrate to neighboring countries or to the West. Thus, the hypothesis defended is that the terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals in the US contributed to the increase of prejudice and generalization regarding Arabs and Muslims and, therefore, the Syrian refugees would be conceived as probable threats to the national security. In order to verify this, we present a bibliographical review confirmed by some secondary descriptive data on the perception of the American society on the Syrian and Muslim refugees. The work of Said (1993) on Orientalism, as well as the writings of Huntington (1993, 1997) on the Clash of Civilizations, are used as theoretical reference. Finally, it is concluded that the US refusal to resettle Syrian refugees is mainly due to traumas related to Arabs and Muslims, as well as national security concerns, albeit unfounded.
  • Topic: Civil War, Refugee Crisis, Militant Islam, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Mahdi Karimi, Seyed Masoud Mousavi Shafaee
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Civil war in Syria started in 2011 provide an important and rich area of investi- gation into the study of civil war. The present study is intended to concentrate on the cause of Syrian civil war. The main focus of the paper is on the investigation of why and how civil war in Syria was triggered. Despite the various ways in which Syrian civil war can be addressed, the paper benefited from good/ poor governance theoretical framework to investigate the cause of the civil war. The findings support the theoretical argument that poor governance has led to civil war in Syria. Governance indicators show lack of free and fair elections, low level of rule of law, high level of corruption, lack of voice and accountability, exclusion of different interest groups, inequity and government ineffectiveness in Syria which have been resulted in lasting civil war.
  • Topic: Civil War, Corruption, Governance, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ayla Akdoğan
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bilgi
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Most of the research on one-sided violence focused on factors that have an effect on the targeting of civilians, which were selected on account of the clarity of their definitions, characteristics that can be differentiated from the other factors, the ease with which they can be studied, as well as their recognizability. Some of the factors researched will be briefly discussed and the most important ones, which are central to this study, examined in detail.
  • Topic: Civil War, Conflict, Violence, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Global Focus
  • Author: Israel Nyaburi Nyadera
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: With the South Sudanese conflict in its fifth year in 2018, this paper seeks to not only examine the status of the civil war that has engulfed the youngest nation on earth but to also discuss the evolving narratives of its causes and provide policy recommendation to actors involved in the peace process. Having examined the continuously failing peace treaties between the warring parties, it is evident that the agreements have failed to unearth and provide solutions to the crisis and a new approach to examining the causes and solutions to the problem is therefore necessary. This paper argues that ethnic animosities and rivalry are a key underlying cause that has transformed political rivalry into a deadly ethnic dispute through vicious mobilisation and rhetoric. Therefore, it recommends a comprehensive peace approach that will address the political aspects of the conflict and propose restructuring South Sudan’s administrative, economic and social spheres in order to curb further manipulation of the ethnic differences.
  • Topic: Civil War, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Mohamed Saleh
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is the third of a three-part series of essays on Yemen highlighting the magnitude and impact of the civil war on Yemenis. Yemen is located on the southern edge of the Arabian peninsula, with the Red Sea and Egypt to its west, the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa to its south, Oman on its northeastern border, and Saudi Arabia along its northern border. Once benign representations of Yemen’s geography and sovereignty, those borders now symbolize nothing but profound anguish. The edges outlining a nation whose people remain imprisoned while waiting for life-saving aid which may not come. What at one point was a country grappling with the contradictions of 21st century development and economic growth has been bombed so viciously and blockaded so resolutely that close to a million of its inhabitants may die from a disease easily cured by oral rehydration therapy – a medical expression for treatment by purified water and modest amounts of sugar, salt, and zinc supplements. Condiments and a few bottles from a local pharmacy in any European country, and water. That is all. And yet the international community continues to watch in horror, its reaction anemic, its response stunted.
  • Topic: Civil War, War, Arab Spring, Humanitarian Intervention, International Community
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Kai M. Thaler
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Centerpiece
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is rare in recent years when a civil war has not grabbed global headlines—be it the ongoing civil wars and international interventions in Syria and Yemen, the fragile peace process to end Colombia’s half-century-long war, or the secession and collapse into violence of South Sudan, to name a few. This increase in media coverage reflects a growing number of civil wars around the world: since World War II, civil wars have surpassed interstate wars as the most prominent form of large-scale violent conflict. Most civil wars end in a government victory or negotiated settlement, but between one-fifth and one-third—depending on the definitions used—end in rebel victory with the capture of the central state or secession.1 Significant scholarly attention has focused on when, why, or how a rebel group takes power; we have little comparative evidence about the downstream effects of rebel victory. What state structures do victorious rebels abolish, modify, or create? How do they decide on policy priorities? What explains variation in the strength and scope of the states they build?
  • Topic: Civil War, State Formation, Violence, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Syria
  • Author: Sadiki Koko
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The second Congo war (1998-2003) was a very complex conflict that involved a vast array of actors, interests and issues. After a stalemate was reached on the battlefield with none of the warring parties able to achieve military victory, peace negotiations became the only viable option to end the war. Civil society organisations were directly involved in both the peace process and the subsequent transitional dispensation designed to resolve the conflict, providing some sort of popular legitimacy to these two processes clearly dominated by politico-military forces. The central argument of this article is that while civil society involvement in the peace and transitional processes was instrumental in resolving the conflict underpinning the second Congo war, it entrenched a legacy: the politicisation of the civil society movement as inaugurated in the early 1990s. Indeed, although ground-breaking, the direct involvement of civil society in the management of transitional institutions contributed to weakening its member organisations as many of their leaders were either directly recruited into existing political platforms or simply decided to establish their own political organisations and join active politics.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Civil War, History , Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo