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This Week at the ISN…

It's week 36 on the ISN's editorial calendar, Photo: Sebastian Crump/flickr

We’ll be highlighting the following topics this week:

  • In ISN Insights on Monday, University of St Andrews Professor Gerard DeGroot asks whether the international order has largely moved beyond large-scale conflict.
  • Tuesday’s ISN Special Feature takes a closer look at power politics and the state of the European project.
  • On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, Dr Shalva Weil of Hebrew University explores the little-known Israelite connections of the Taliban, in Wednesday’s ISN Insight.
  • Thursday’s ISN Special Feature dissects the historical argument for great power retrenchment.
  • Friday’s ISN Podcast discusses post-9/11 trends in intelligence.

And catch up on last week’s coverage here about: the history of the eurozone crisis; corruption and asset recovery; the Pentagon’s budget strategy; UN peacekeeping pub trivia; and Thai domestic politics.

Media Disruption in Times of Unrest

Don't you dare take it away. Photo: Rowan El Shimi/flickr

The role that social networks have played in the ‘Arab Spring’ has been much-discussed in recent months, and many a Master’s thesis these days must be written on how the Internet – and social media in particular – is changing political dissent movements. Given the Internet’s ability to quickly disseminate information, and to allow like-minded individuals to find each other and mobilize support for a cause, one might assume that Facebook and other forms of social media would advantage popular struggles against centralized power — and that switching them off would be a tactic of choice among weary dictators.

Quite the opposite, says Navid Hassanpour, who has used a dynamic threshold model for participation in network collective action to analyze the decision by Mubarak’s regime to disrupt the Internet and mobile communications during the 2011 Egyptian uprising. » More

UN Peacekeeping, and a Pub Quiz?

A UN Peacekeeper in Africa

A UN Peacekeeper in Africa. Photo: Flickr/Julien Harneis

I often play Pub Quiz on my iPhone as I’m waiting for the bus. Recently, I was
intrigued by one question in particular – or more specifically, by the answer:

In which country – apart from India and Bangladesh – is Bengali an official language?

A) United States

B) Sierra Leone

C) Canada

The correct answer is: Sierra Leone. Did you get this right?  » More

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