Das Bild zeigt eine Bürgerwerkstatt Außenpolitik mit damals Bundesaußenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, SPD, im Auswärtigen Amt. Zu sehen ist ein runder Tisch mit Steinmeier und beteiligten Bürger:innen.
Eine Einbindung der Bürger*innen in die Debatte ist wichtiger denn je. | Photo: © picture alliance / photothek | Thomas Trutschel

Den Bürger*innen mehr zutrauen: Für frühe, entschiedene, substantielle Bürger*innenbeteiligung in der Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik nach der Zeitenwende

Nachdem Bundestag und Bundesrat ein Sondervermögen in Höhe von 100 Milliarden Euro „für eine leistungsstarke Bundeswehr“ beschlossen haben, beginnt sich die von Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz ausgerufene Zeitenwende in der deutschen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik in Reaktion auf den russischen Einmarsch in die Ukraine zu materialisieren. Auch der über Jahrzehnte konstatierte und oftmals lamentierte Mangel einer breiten sicherheitspolitischen Debatte scheint damit schlagartig beseitigt. Inmitten des derzeitigen öffentlichen Schlagabtausches soll nun die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie entwickelt werden – und zwar unter Beteiligung von Bürger*innen. Damit setzt das federführende Auswärtige Amt einen Trend zur Öffnung fort und hat nun die Chance, Partizipation in der Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zu stärken.

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Foreign Fighters cross the border to fight for Ukraine as Russia‘s attacks on Ukraine continue, in Przemysl, Poland
Foreign Fighters cross the border to fight for Ukraine as Russia‘s attack on Ukraine continues. | Photo: © picture alliance / AA | Abdülhamid Hoşbaş

“Enlist Now!” – Or Don’t? Why we should be concerned about foreign fighting in Ukraine

With the recent escalation of Russia’s war on Ukraine, tens of thousands of foreign fighters have flocked to the region. While the widespread praise for individuals supporting the Ukrainian defense effort is understandable, governments should take measures to prevent their citizens from joining the war. Foreign fighters epitomize the privatization of wars, and the multiplicity of individual motives and aims contributes to the conflict’s complexity. The involvement of third-country nationals also has the potential to escalate the conflict further. Lastly, Western countries will have to deal with returnees who are better trained, traumatized, and potentially radicalized.

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Two fingers and a fist
The recognition of armed non-state actors is a deeply ambivalent process. | Photo: Francis Alÿs, Children Game #14: Stone, Paper and Scissors, 2013. © F. Alÿs

The Tricky Politics of Recognizing Armed Non-State Actors

The new volume “Armed non-state actors and the politics of recognition” by editors Anna Geis, Maéva Clément, and Hanna Pfeifer discusses armed non-state actors and their strategic pursuit of being recognized as political actors. It includes methodological considerations as well as case studies from China, Ireland, Lebanon, Nigeria and, Sudan among others. The contributions study the strategic choices that state leaders, citizens, international organizations, and others make in granting such recognition, denying it, or recognizing on their own terms.

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What should we call those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 of this year? | Photo: flickr, Tyler Merbler | CC BY 2.0

The Capitol Rioters and their Supporters beyond “Us vs. Them”: A view from outside the US

What should we call those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 of this year? Struggles over possible labels matter: What one calls a certain group has implications for the ways in which one can and will engage with them. The polarization of Americans when it comes to classifying the attacks is indicative of a larger dilemma: how should one respond to the rioters and their demands – and is that even an option?

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The term "Islamism" is often inevitably associated with terrorism. | Photo: Unsplash/Marija Zaric | Free use

Who are these “Islamists” everyone talks about?! Why academic struggles over words matter

Politicians, the media, and social media users alike have framed recent attacks in Europe as instances of “Islamist” violence. The current debate often remains superficial and uses the umbrella term of “Islamism” to describe a diverse spectrum of actors, ideologies, and activities. Notably, conflating Salafi jihadism with other manifestations of Islamism risks consolidating a unified enemy image of “the Islamists” – or, even worse, Islam. This blogpost aims at disentangling these labels, in particular pointing out two discursive pitfalls: the securitisation of Islam and Muslim communities, and the equation of Islamism with terrorism.

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