It seems paradoxical to regularly hear of “neglected” or “forgotten” conflicts. Jan Egeland, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, described the war in Northern Uganda as the “biggest forgotten, neglected humanitarian emergency” in 2003. Our partners, such as the International Crisis Group, write about Congo’s forgotten Katanga crisis or Pakistan’s forgotten Balochistan conflict. And Forgotten Diaries, a multiple- award- winning project, has been exclusively covering forgotten conflicts since 2008. When policy makers, the media, and researchers talk about forgotten conflicts again and again, can we really call them forgotten?
At the end of each year our partners at the Fundación para las Relaciones y el Diàlogo Exterior (FRIDE) reflect on the challenges that are likely to shape the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy agenda over the next twelve months. As the most recent bailout package for the floundering Greek economy demonstrates, the unifying thread of these challenges is that of geo-economics.
In Challenges for European Foreign Policy in 2012: What Kind of Geo-Economic Europe? FRIDE argues that the ongoing Euro crisis – coupled with shifts in global power that our Editorial Plan continues to analyze – has heralded the return of a more assertive focus on immediate economic interests. Accordingly, geo-economics is defined by FRIDE as 1) the use of statecraft for economic ends; 2) a focus on relative gain and economic power; 3) a concern with gaining control of resources; 4) the enmeshing of state and business sectors; 5) the primacy of economic over other forms of security. » More
A recent thought-provoking and provocative op-ed in the New York Times has presented a serious challenge to those who view drones as nothing more than the evil extensions of secretive warfare. According to Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Mark Hanis, “[i]t’s time we used the revolution in military affairs to serve human rights advocacy.” » More
Voices critical of Israel’s role in the Middle East sometimes argue that its occupation of the West Bank, much of the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip is imperialist in nature. Such criticism draws a parallel with 19th and 20th century European imperialism, casting the Palestinians as the indigenous inhabitants of the region and the Israelis as a hostile ‘foreign’ power. Another implication of this characterization, however, is that the occupation is economically motivated, or is best understood in economic terms. Today, to complement our discussion of ‘Economics, Politics and War’ last week, we examine some aspects of the political economy of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Specifically (and with the help of Miriam Qamar’s recent essay “Thoughts on the Dialectics of Revolution and Palestinian Nationalism”), we do so through a Marxist lens. » More