The CSS Blog Network

Swiss Attitudes toward Security Alliances

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This graphic of the week tracks how the Swiss public’s attitude toward security alliances has developed over the past 30 years. To find out more about long-term trends and tendencies in Swiss public opinion on foreign, security, and defense policy issues, see here (in German). For more CSS charts, maps and graphics on defense policy, click here.

Mediation Perspectives: Challenges to the Multi-Track Approach – Insights from Syria

Image courtesy of ColdSmiling/Pixabay

Mediation Perspectives is a periodic blog entry that’s provided by the CSS’ Mediation Support Team and occasional guest authors. Each entry is designed to highlight the utility of mediation approaches in dealing with violent political conflicts. To keep up to date with the Mediation Support Team, you can sign up to their newsletter here.


This blog aims to shed light on some of the challenges facing the multi-track approach to mediation through the example of Syria. The multi-track approach refers to undertaking peacebuilding efforts at different levels and interlinking them where useful in order to reach sustainable peace. The concept has regained attention as numerous states suffering from conflict have failed to maintain long-lasting peace despite signing peace agreements at the national level. However, the implementation of the multi-track approach has rarely been tested through evidence-based research. This piece aims to raise some questions aimed at critically examining its application.

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Russia’s Approach to the Development of Intermediate-Range Missiles

This article was originally published by the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) on 14 November 2018. Image courtesy of Jacob Smith/DVIDS

Russia will present the expected withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Elimination Treaty (INF) as a step forcing a military response from Moscow. Even if the Russian Federation were to violate the INF by deploying new cruise missiles with a range greater than 500 km, the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty creates opportunity to blur responsibility. In the event of divided opinions within NATO, Russia’s position in arms control might be stronger vis-à-vis Europe and, indirectly, the United States. Moreover, Russia will continue expansion of its arsenal of ground-launched missiles.

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From Vancouver to Vladivostok: The 57 OSCE Participating States

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This graphic of the week maps the 57 OSCE participating states and the organization’s 11 partner countries. To find out more about the OSCE, see Christian Nünlist’s CSS Analyses “The OSCE and the Future of European Security” and “The OSCE’s Military Pillar: The Swiss FSC Chairmanship“. For more CSS charts, maps and graphics on defense policy, click here.

Crimea 2.0: Will Russia Seek Reunification with Belarus

Image courtesy of Adam Jones/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) on 19 November 2018.

While speculation about whether Russia may repeat the Crimean scenario in Belarus should not be totally dismissed, exaggerated alarmism would not be appropriate either. Rather, Moscow’s policy is aimed at making sure that Belarus and its leadership remain critically dependent on Russia.

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