Security Jam 2012: Halftime

Security Jam 2012: Brainstorming Global Security

We’re now half-way through the Security Jam (organized by the Security and Defense Agenda), with almost 9,000 logins and 2,000 posts. 31 polls have been published so far, with 56% believing NATO should remain involved in Libya’s transition, and 43% identifying cyber as the most worrying transnational threat. As the Security Jam gathers pace on its third day, many excellent ideas are already out there and have been discussed intensely. Here are the updates from the seven different forums:

New ISN Partner: Climate Change and African Political Stability Program

We are happy to announce that the Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) Program based at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law has joined the International Relations and Security Network. CCAPS is a collaborative research program among the College of William and Mary, Trinity College Dublin, the University of North Texas and the Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

CCAPS examines the impact of climate change on political stability in Africa and develops strategies for how to prevent related conflicts. In the words of CCAPS, the program aims at answering three main questions:

  • Where and how does climate change pose threats to stability in Africa?
  • What is the role of government institutions in mitigating or aggravating the effects of climate change on political stability?
  • How effective is foreign aid in helping African countries adapt to climate change?
Keyword in Focus

Building a New Libya: What Do ISN Partners Say?

Patronizing or just supportive? David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy walking Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the Transitional National Council (TNC), during their visit to Tripoli on 15 September; image: The Prime Minister's Office/flickr

On 15 September, a ‘new Libya‘ was welcomed among the members of the international community: first by Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, who visited Tripoli that day; then by the UN General Assembly, which recognized the Transitional National Council as Libya’s rightful representative the following day. The African Union (AU) reluctantly accepted the new reality on 20 September.

Even though Libya has regained its diplomatic status, it is only starting to rebuild itself. In this context, three main questions emerge: What are the problems the new Libya faces? How should these problems be addressed? And finally, what role should external actors play in rebuilding the country?

In the following paragraphs, I will give an overview of how some of the ISN’s partners have begun to answer these questions.

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? 

Water, Conflict and Female Vulnerability

Woman with water vessel. Source: waterdotorg/flickr

On Monday, August 29th, the Environmental Change and Security Progam (ECSP), part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, will host a free afternoon event exploring the linkages between water access, gender, and conflict. “Digging Deeper: Water, Women, and Conflict” will be a panel discussion under the auspices of a fledgling ECSP research project examining how these dynamics interact and contribute to human insecurity. If you are unable to attend the event in person, it will also be transmitted live via webcast.