The CSS Blog Network

The Yemen War: A Proxy Sectarian War?

Image courtesy of Ibrahem Qasim/wikimedia. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

This article was originally published by The Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) on November 14 2018.

The diffusion of protests against authoritarian regimes across the Arab world in 2011 reinvigorated Yemen’s marginalized social movements and united different geographical and political factions in Yemen, such as the northern Houthi movement and the southern secessionist movement Hiraak.1 The Saudi Kingdom, along with other Gulf monarchies, swiftly designed a transitional plan for the country to ensure that President Ali Abdullah Saleh wass replaced with a friendly government led by President Abd Rabo Hadi. Disillusioned by the transition, the Houthis took military control of the capital Sana’a in September 2014, and Yemen descended into a civil war. On 26 March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes on Yemen with the aim to restore the Saudi-backed Hadi government and destroy the Houthi movement. What was initially planned as a limited operation degenerated into a war of attrition without a conclusion insight. Scholars and policy analysts moved quickly to examine the Yemen war as a by-product of Saudi-Iranian rivalry and another manifestation of a region-wide war between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. Yet, the crisis in Yemen is more complex; it is neither an international proxy war nor a sectarian confrontation.

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Mediation Perspectives: Integrating Religion into Conflict Analysis

Image courtesy of cms-archiv/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.

A new guide published by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) aims to help peacebuilding practitioners integrate religion into their conflict analysis and program planning. In this blogpost the authors offer a brief introduction to the guide.
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Grievances, Accommodation, and the Decline of Ethnic Violence

Image courtesy of Jonathan Alpeyrie/Wikimedia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 24 January 2018.

The finding that violent conflict has declined, especially after the Cold War, has generated a great deal of interest. Much of the initial debate focused on whether the claim itself is correct, but the finding itself seems robust in the sense that that the number and severity of violent conflicts has declined in most data sources. However, there has been less attention to why violent conflict has declined. This is unfortunate, since the confidence in stability and the expected future outlook ultimately depends on understanding the possible causes of the decline.

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It’s Not Really About the Nukes – Crisis Negotiation in North Korea

Image courtesy of Dreidprawns/Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0

This article was originally published by Political Violence @ a Glance on 12 April 2018.

The United States may soon have a shot at talking directly to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Given this unique opportunity, what foreign policy tactics should US negotiators use in the effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula? It may seem strange, but negotiators might consider taking a lesson from the FBI and the field of Crisis Negotiation to show us a better path to de-escalation.

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Mapping the Conflict in Mali

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This graphic offers a geographical overview of the various international security actors in Mali’s ongoing struggle with widespread insecurity and Islamist extremism. To read more about the conflict as well as Switzerland’s efforts to support the Mali’s fragile peace, see Allison Chandler and Benno Zogg’s recent CSS analysis here. For more graphics on peace and conflict, check out the CSS’ collection of graphs and charts on the subject here.

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